Is AI the future of CSGO’s anti-cheat? Gabe Newell says yes

By Steven Rondina


May 13, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

Gabe Newell is still happily stranded in New Zealand and surprisingly, he’s much more talkative about Valve than he usually is.

The Valve president recently did a question-and-answer session at a high school, which was recorded by a student in attendance. A long list of subjects were touched upon, with Counter-Strike’s anti-cheat issues being among them. Newell was vague in his response.

“A lot of the work we’re going to be doing is going to be based on AI which is back to solving the problem of making sure that people are behaving like humans…that turns out to be a pretty trackable thing in development,” Newell said.

This served as a jumping-off point from which he discussed the future of artificial intelligence and how automation will potentially change how people live within a decade. With that in mind, he said that “anti-cheat in Counter-Strike is one of the easier problems.”

Newell’s response makes sense in that it’s easy to pick out cheaters in some circumstances, as players using spinbots and aimlocks exhibit strange behaviors that are obviously computer-assisted. Teaching an AI to identify these odd behaviors and take action would go a long way towards shutting down hackers quickly and effectively.

That said, don’t expect these changes to come any time soon. Newell’s discussion on AI went deep into the future and he joked that a computer could be trained to run Valve in four years, but a computer being trained to end cheating in CSGO might take seven.

CSGO cheating remains a serious problem

Cheating in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been a constant issue that is showing little sign of improving. A number of prominent personalities around the game have voiced their frustration with Valve on the matter or simply moved on to rival tactical shooter Valorant, with the most notable example being Michael “shroud” Grzesiek.

This wasn’t helped when Valve’s Trust Factor system was broken for some reason. The publisher acknowledged the issue and acknowledged that it had led to “bad matches” for players.

Despite all of these issues, CSGO continues to grow. The game has been pulling in great player counts in 2021 and seems unlikely to stop any time soon. Until that changes, it’s hard to expect Valve to make any serious quality-of-life improvements to the game.


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