Catching vs Stopping cheaters
by Ashley Robinson

Cheating in competitive games has been prevalent far before video games. Be it lying about your dice in snakes and ladders or committing a robbery in Monopoly, whenever there’s a winner and a loser, people will try to cheat. Of course, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive isn’t an exception; no matter how long you’ve been playing, you’ve either encountered or heard of some annoying hackers making the game unplayable for everyone else.

Valve has always had a way of dealing with hackers, with one of its most notable appearances in 2014 when it banned KQLY, a seemingly god tier AWPER for Titan eSports. The way VACnet works means that it is either completely on the ball, meaning no one realises what good work its doing, or massively behind the hackers – in which everyone complains about how bad the system it. VAC, or ‘Valves Anti Cheat’ network, has a huge database with all known hacks uploaded to it. If someone uses a script that VAC recognises, they’ll booted from the game and a permanent record attached to their steam account. This means hackers will update and alter their programmes so that Valves database has no record of their programme and won’t be able to spot it until VAC is updated in the future and armed to seek out their malicious scripts.

Valve has recently taken a new approach to their Anti Cheat, however. Some people have noted this as a welcome change to root out the wrongdoers, whilst others have complained about it’s intrusiveness. When starting the game, CSGO will scan your PC. If it finds any external programmes running that it doesn’t like, it will tell you to close them in order to enter the game. You can, of course, refuse, but doing so will only put you in matches with other players who also refused the check. This acts as another countermeasure, like Prime status, that attempts to keep honest players honest and discourage people from using hacks in the first place. This was potentially inspired by Valorants approach to anti cheat, which has a similar way of weeding out players with malicious programmes running in the background.

What do you think? Should we ban hackers when they hack or stop them from playing entirely? Let us know on Twitter!