When you visit the Steam Community Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) discussions, you see a lot of topics of people complaining about cheaters.
On the other hand, there are also people who have not seen a single cheater in ages.
Why is that?
I was wondering about this question too.
I was also part of the latter group, but I just could not believe that so many people would be crying/finding excuses or lying on purpose.
That’s why I decided to „discover the truth“ and so I’ve decreased my Trust Factor (TF) on purpose in order to start from the bottom and get (back) to the top.
After 4 months of testing, the answer to the question above became really simple: It all depends on your TF!
In this guide I’ll be trying to cover everything about Trust Factor (TF) along with disproving it’s myths and giving tips to people who are trying to either improve or decrease their Trust Factor (TF).
What is a Trust Factor (TF)? And what is it’s purpose?
If I try to explain it in the fastest and most understandable way, it’s basically a system on Valve’s end which tries to separate „the good“ from „the bad“.
I’ll give a few examples of that:
toxic people should not be playing with nice guys
clean players should not have to play against cheaters
players with over 2000 Matchmaking (MM) wins should not have to deal with fighting dodgy brand new accounts
and 10 – 15 years old Steam accounts should not be facing brand new accounts as well
The thing is, nobody knows how exactly it works.
It’s likely a complex system of many algorhythms, which is not revealed to the public.
If you are not happy with your TF and think it’s not properly working (as explained above), you can always email the CSGO devs at CSGOTeamFeedback@valvesoftware.
However, don’t expect to get any reply or have your TF re-calibrated, that email is there only for feedback.
The most common myth is that people think that there are just 3 levels of TF (Green, Yellow and Red).
It’s based on messages that pop up in a CSGO lobby when you start searching for a match.
However, these 3 colors only indicate a difference (small/none, slight, or huge) between each players‘ TFs and searches teammates/enemies according to it in order to give a fair gaming experience to every player.
So, when there appears no message in a lobby, it does not mean that your TF level is the same as the one of your friends.
There can be hundreds of levels, nobody knows for certain! It just means that both of your TFs are in the green (=high) area.
I’ll give a quick example again:
When I play with Person A (whose TF is the highest), I see no message in a lobby.
They see no message about me as well.
When Person B joins, Person A sees their TF as Yellow.
I, however, still see no messages in a lobby (as my TF is the second highest).
When Person C joins, their TF is Yellow to me and Person B.
However, it’s already Red for Person A.
When Person D joins, their TF is Red to everyone (and they get kicked from the lobby – just kidding!).
So, what’s the conclusion? It can’t work solely on colors (3 levels), as there are at least 4 levels of TF (and likely even more) as pointed out above.
What defines „the good“ and „the bad“?
Yet again, nobody knows for certain! But many things are pretty obvious! I’ll try to come with as many examples as possible.
To make this easier to read and/or understand, I’ll introduce you two guys.
The Good Guy:
He’s a long-time member of Steam, also an active participant of Steam Community with a history of no (VAC, Game, Steam Community, Steam discussion) bans.
He frequently plays games on Steam and also buys new ones.
He’s never been offline for more than 180 (random number, but you know what I mean) days.
(I could come up with many more examples there (as your TF is decided not only by your CSGO in-game behavior, but also by your behavior on Steam in general), but I do believe that the CSGO points are much more important, so I’ll move on to them.
When he joins a MM game, he always uses a mic, communicates with his teammates and tries to cheer them up.
He never goes afk or abandons matches, he also never griefs on purpose (which means that he doesn‘t block/teamattack teammates, never buys deagle only or writes positions of teammates to the enemy team etc.
He’s also never rude in (voice) chat and does not kick (too) many people, does not report (too) many people, and of course, plays fair and does not cheat.
The Bad Guy:
He joined Steam yesterday and his only game is CSGO.
He’s had a few VAC banned accounts before and he’s been banned from Steam Community discussions, because he complained about his VAC ban(s) and he was really rude.
Now he’s trying his luck again!
He decides to join a MM game, and he’s very un-happy about his teammates performance.
He calls them noobs, teamattacks them and eventually abandons the match.
The next match he gets owned by the enemy team, so he calls them some rude names, reports them all and goes afk.
Eventually he gets another cooldown.
In his 3rd game he decides to play negev only.
His teammates ask him to drop them weapons and he tells them it’s a waste of money, because they are all noobs.
He gets vote kicked from the match.
In his 4th game he just decides to cheat, because hell, why not! He gets VAC/game banned before hitting the 10 games mark.
Rinse and repeat!
What’s the point of the examples above? Well, it means that „The Good Guy“ is not likely to get a low TF by default, while „The Bad Guy“ is not likely to be in the mid – high area.
However, mistakes can always happen, so if you are in the „wrong“ TF area, don’t give up! You can always become „The Good Guy“, no matter your gaming history.
Or, if you are tired of playing against clean players and want to fight cheaters instead, be my guest! There are various ways of improving or decreasing your TF.
Improving your Trust Factor
If you expected another essay, I’ll likely disappoint you, because it’s very simple – just play (and be a good guy/gal)! I know it’s easier said than done and if you are not no-lifeing CSGO as much as me, it might take you a while, but you’ll eventually get there.
You can’t expect to improve your TF within days.
Personally, I needed 2 months to improve my TF from „low“ to the „high“ area.
Which took 328 MM games in total.
And I’ve encountered 98 convicted cheaters in total (at average every 3rd - 4th game had a cheater).
So I am feeling with you when you wonder why you should bother.
But it’s worth it!
Since I’ve hit the high TF area again, I’ve only encountered 10 convicted cheaters out of 271 games - and like 6/10 appeared in games where my friends TFs were Yellow and/or Red compared to mine! That means about 27 clean games in a row at average! Is not it awesome?
Proof of all my games can be seen here - https://csgostats.
January 25th, 2019 – April 1st, 2019 – low – mid TF area games
April 1st, 2019 – present day – high TF area games
Reports, their impact on your TF and ways of preventing people from reporting you
This is quite tricky, because it’s often said that reports should not have any impact on your TF.
However, I do believe that certain reports do have impact.
If you often get reported for voice/text chat abuse and also for griefing, it means that your behavior is not likely too good.
Same goes for cheating reports – if you get reported too often, you might be up to something.
Even though people are generally more paranoid in low – mid TF areas – considering how many cheaters there are.
So, you might rack up quite a few (false) reports when playing.
But don’t worry, if you are clean, they should be voided (once you get to Overwatch and people decide that you are not guilty).
And in order to get to Overwatch, I believe that you need to get reported 11 times within a short amount of time, which is not very likely to happen.
So I would not worry much if somebody reports you from time to time, as the impact of such reports is minimal.
However, if you are afraid of getting reported, there are quite a lot of things that you can do to prevent them:
improve your Steam Community profile (make it look nice and legit, raise your Steam Level, get more games)
get rid of all the negativity (remove all toxic comments from your profile, remove all your VAC/Game banned friends, don’t play with toxic/negative people)
show that you are serious about CSGO (hunt Service Medals, buy Operation passes, watch CSGO tournaments and level up your coins, spend more money on the game and get yourself a nice CSGO inventory)
I would also advise to not report (too) many people.
Personally, I have reported 0 people since my experiment, not even the most obvious cheaters.
I was afraid that if I reported too many people (considering how much I play), many of my reports would be false and this would also lower my TF, because it would bring unnecessary work to the Overwatch (OW) investigators.
And in the end it seems to have paid off! It’s quite tricky, indeed, so the perfect balance of this is to only use the report button, when you are 1000% sure that the person is breaking the rules.
So, instead of excessively reporting, I would advise to do Overwatch cases, as it’s much more effective and not only you get Bonus Experience (EXP), you also get a warm feeling at your heart, because you are helping the community! It is often said that the more (and more accurate) you do OW, the faster your TF could improve - I can’t however confirm this as I started to do OW cases only when my TF got high enough to see if there is a way of improving it even further (that’s also the main reason of writing this guide – oh no, I’ve just exposed myself!)
Some more ways of improving your TF (apart from playing and being „the good guy“)
If you are a new player who started to play after December 7th, 2018, I would definitely advise to buy CSGO Prime access from the in-game main menu.
Not only this boosts your TF, it also puts you together with other players who had either purchased this Prime access as well, or played before December 7th, 2018.
If you decide to play without Prime, your TF will be even lower by default, and you’ll also face many more (and much more obvious) cheaters than in low area TF Prime matches.
I also would not advise to (excessively) use alternate/smurf accounts, because if your TF there is low(er), it could affect your main account’s TF as well.
I definitely would not advise to be really nice on your main, but at the same time really toxic on your smurf, as both accounts are connected and so this could pretty much complicate your road towards the high TF area.
Also, if you smurf and do really well, you are likely to get reported much more often in general, and who knows how much of an impact exactly these reports would have (more info two headlines above).
In order to find this out, I would have to pay for a report bot subscription and excessively report my own account every day.
Which likely would not be very effective, because it’s not even confirmed that these so called report bots work - they use a bunch of throw-away Steam accounts that automatically report you, however, there are rumours that in order for the report to be counted, the account reporting the person has to be connected to the same game (server) – which is not the case for these Report bot accounts.
So in the end it all might just be a pretty elaborate way of luring free money from you!
It’s also rumoured that boosting Commends (Friendly, Good leader, Good teacher) can also improve your TF, but I would not rely on this too much, as I still saw quite a few people with thousands of these commends in my low area TF games (as well as people with heavily idled CSGO hours).
Another way is getting more involved within the Steam Community.
Take part in the Steam discussions, be nice and helpful, buy and play more games, get some recognition! Post reviews, guides, artworks, submit new stuff to the workshop.
How to decrease your TF?
Don’t be a nice guy, surround yourself with toxic people, play in low TF area games! Cheat, get excessively reported! This is easier done than said, as lowering your TF is actually much easier than improving it!
However, if you want to keep being a nice guy, you can do it the same way I did.
At first I did not even plan to lower my TF (even though I kind of expected it) – I was just moving to another country.
I got myself a new PC and a new phone number.
And this (brand new PC, brand new phone number) seems to have pretty much resetted my TF.
So if you want to get a low TF, pretty much wipe your PC and change some of your Steam account’s details (e.
the phone number).
Or, get yourself a brand new (ideally non-Prime) smurf account.
Trust Factor comparision and closing notes
Considering that my TF is in the high area, I am always open to compare my TF with other people.
So, if you want to find out what your TF is like, please write ‚Trust Factor comparision‘ to my profile (or post a comment to this guide) and I’ll add you as fast as possible.
I am always happy to help people, and I’d also love to find someone whose TF is much higher than me (someone who would see me as Yellow or Red in a CSGO lobby) and discuss with them.
So, if you think that your TF is superb, feel free to challenge mine!
I’d like to thank to all my friends (mainly the DCC | Double Chilli Cheese group) who were patient with me while I was doing this experiment, and willing to invite me to their lobbies, even when it meant fighting cheaters because of me!
This guide was fully written by me (Nassking) and it’s forbidden to use any of it’s content without my permission.
I also apologize for any grammar errors (and/or typos) as I am not a native English speaker.
I thank you for your understanding and wish everyone a nice and enjoyable (even though that’s not too likely!) – but mainly fast - TF grind!
Disclaimer: None of the pictures above were created by me and were only used in this guide to demonstrate my points.