Overview Steam's peer-to-peer matchmaking is built around the concept of a lobby. A lobby is a entity that lives on the Steam back-end servers that is a lot like a chat room. Users can create a new lobby; associate data with a lobby; search for lobbies based on that data; join lobbies; and share information with other users in the lobby. A single lobby can have up to users in it, although typically most games have at most players. Skill-based matchmaking is built on top of this system. The Steam peer-to-peer matchmaking API is a set of functions that enable users to find other users to play a game with.
The matchmaking functions all live in ISteamMatchmaking , which contains more details on the parameters for each function. Lobbies are uniquely identified by Steam ID, like users or game servers. The Steamworks Example has a full working implementation of lobbies. Matchmaking process flow The usual model for getting groups together to play is as follows: User selects in the game that they want to play multiplayer, and what kind of multiplayer they want rules, scenario, etc.
The game searches for lobbies that have a similar same set of rules, using the lobby search API. If a lobby is found, then the game joins that lobby; if no lobby is found, then it creates a new lobby Users stay in a lobby until there are enough players ready to launch the game. Data is communicated between the lobby members about which character they want to play, or other per-user settings. If there are some rules that need to be enforced in the lobby for example, only one user can play as a certain character , there is one and only one lobby owner who you can use to arbitrate that.
There may or may not be a user interface associated with the lobby; if there is, the lobby data communications functions can be used to send chat messages between lobby members. Once the game is ready to launch, the users all join the game server, or connect to the user nominated to host the game, and then leave the lobby. Once all users have left a lobby, it is automatically destroyed. Searching for lobbies To have your game search for a lobby, you need to call: Depending on the users connection to the Steam back-end, this call can take from ms to 5 seconds to complete, and has a timeout of 20 seconds.
Up to 50 results may be returned, but usually it's no more than a couple. The results are returned ordered by geographical distance and based on any near filters set. To add filters, before you call RequestLobbyList you need to call one or more of the filtering functions: Creating a lobby If you can't find an existing lobby for a user to join, this is when you'd typically create a lobby. This is equally as interesting. Maybe this could be used to use hardware IDs as a factor in trust factor, tbh the more information steam can have the better against cheaters.
Knowing of a player is on an internet cafe machine could be hugely helpful knowledge to them. I would bet any amount of money that they already do this in some way, no way Johnald McDonald would have mentioned cross-account user tracking in the GDC talk without having this in some shape. The PC Cafe system is basically, you buy a license of the game, then a user on your network can access the game with their account without buying it. If the person is cheating, the cafe is otherwise unaffected. I am not very informed about the whole HWID thing, but wouldn't it be a bit like browser fingerprinting?
There is other next-level stuff out there - other types of user fingerprinting, like identifying a particular user by the idiosyncrasies of their mouse movements. Not saying Valve is using ANY of this, but just pointing out that I am pretty sure there can be a lot more to it than just a motherboard serial number. Yes Trust is a Machine Learning system, so there are probably no "hard" lines drawn anywhere. If you look into ML and stuff, it is basically just the power of raw statistics applied to large data sets.
If I had to guess they are probably using all info available to it, if Valve is really going balls deep and offering the service commercially. I wouldn't be surprised if they made a hash of key files on your PC or something as a "fingerprint". This is why I have ever so much faith in Trust They're going to catch you. It is just statistics. You can't fake the ripples in the pond around you. Yes, "no hard lines", that's what I am getting at. This all makes a lot of sense to me too, though I am one of these people that have no Trust-related problems, never encounter obvious cheaters, and I can't speak to the experience of people who claim to be saintly players but have terrible TF.
The system seems to work really well to me. But I don't know how intrusive Steam can be and what information it can collect without causing some kind of outcry. So I don't know if they can do all this, but if they could I think it would be extremely powerful, and possibly as intrusive as any "intrusive" system people have been asking for in the past AFAIK, doing a hash check isn't a big deal though. If you change even 1 bit of data, the file will have a completely different hash "fingerprint". This way you can check files for integrity without actually looking at them.
And IMO this is actually even more powerful than any "anticheat" system as far as actually keeping legit players happy is concerned, could ever be. Valve specifically made TF to defeat the "cat and mouse" cheat detection game. The problem with this and the other side of this debate that is usually left off is that most of the variables used in hardware fingerprinting much like browser fingerprinting, as you've pointed out , can be changed.
People like to point out that you could spoof something silly like a MAC address to get somebody else in trouble. I guess again, from limited knowledge that we have to look at this in the context of machine learning, where simply changing one or two variables isn't enough - these algorithms could theoretically still identify an individual player with a high degree of probability. It's all conjecture, but it seems like this would be a direction to look at if you really want to tackle habitual cheaters.
I think using AI would be more effective to identify cheating behavior on the spot, rather than using it in the backend to maintain a "probability database. I just think that same level of deep learning would be better used to improve the actual anti-cheat mechanics. Pfff, the reason I play on joystick. Some might say pure yoy, some others would call allu dENCE, though we all know that allu's density is 2. The whole point is that someone can come to a lan cafe, and play any steam gsme available in assume there are restrictions with xertian 3rd parties.
Internet cafes pay for the privilege making those PCs even less likely to be banned. Blizzard had a massive problem with cafe cheaters in Overwatch though I don't remember what their solution was. It's effectively useless and will not deter any cheaters. D lol not gonna happen ofc. Exactly why it's never gonna happen. No one will upgrade their PCs. A single component wouldn't get banned or be ineligible. People keep saying this but never giving definite proof that hardware bans are useless.
It's been used for other products, and anything that complicates the hacking process even a little is good. Imagine buying some secondhand PC parts and getting banned because you don't know if the previous owner was cheater or not. Valve's old cybercafe program had accounts that were essentially immune to VAC bans. Every time you signed on from a cybercafe you got a new account.
Wonder how it'll work with the new system Hardware bans are infinitely more problematic than they are effective, take for example somebody cheats on a public use PC or a PC they do not own. Then what happens if a PC is a certain brand of prebuilt or laptop and is exactly identical to another? How would you differentiate perfectly enough to ensure that someone is not banned on an identical system? But steam is trying to bring the normal steam client to China probably with some heavy modification. Probably to give China access to all games on the Store. We'll probably be able to see player numbers from China aswell.
Lots of countries use steam in Asia. Like Korea, Japan, Singapore, etc. Just as much as Europe even. If the region lock isn't working properly, this is a huge problem. Its an amazing idea on paper and for me in practice as well , if they adjust it good enough and sort out all the small issues it has it will be a great and welcome addition to Matchmaking in any game. I assume it will be included in the already existing Matchmaking API Steam provides to all Developers so Valve doesn't reveal any data to third parties.
Problem is that there isn't an effective way to remove the low trust factor for those who clearly aren't cheating. Let's say you mainly play esea or faceit like my brother and have over 4, hours into the game. Everyone thinks you are a cheater and reports you. This system is good if your whole community is nothing but silvers.
But this system punishes those who spend a lot of time on it and actually get really good. There's a reason why faceit and esea are thriving right now, trust factor and match making are pretty much dead now. Especially with csgo being free to play. It's a cheater festival Don't get me started on casual lobbies and the amount of cheaters now.
My main account has 5k hours, i have like 70 games on steam about 2k hours in those , steam lvl 39, and i have over mm wins with a relatively steady elo climb Can you spot the mistake? I never even thought about downloading cheats. I have played on like 20 accounts in my cs go time. Not banned ones but if you reach a certain elo you dont want to duo with silver or gold friends on your main account.. Dude, I am actually so irritated about this. I literally stopped playing CSGO a month or two ago and transitioned to DOTA because my trust factor happened to get fucked by being reported a lot while playing a 5 stack with lower skilled players.
I am assuming this is what caused it since my trust went from no message to yellow to red in a few weeks, exclusively playing in a 5 stack. I have been enjoying DOTA quite a lot and the learning is fun, but if you end up with a smurf in that game it is like twice as bad as in CS. You literally can't win lol. Now I come to find it's likely i'll end up getting blasted by smurfs in that game even more now when the trust factor drops for it since apparently my steam trust factor is garbo. I literally left my favorite game to get away from the trust factor and it followed me to my new pass-time that I am really enjoying.
I'm not looking forward to all of my games that opt in to think I'm a cheater just because my trust factor happens to be low in CsGo. Just feels like the the entire trust factor is build around assumptions, and if anyone is mislabled It was funny for the first three rounds, and then it got to the racist name calling challenge between him and three others. The bought prime part of the free update fucked over everyone.
Trust factor, like vac net is a completely half baked feature that shouldn't be any other game in it's current state. This is a shame tbh. I have been impacted by Low Trust factor recently on returning to the game- here is a segment from an email I sent to the CSGO support team that it seems here in the comments effects most other players that are getting fucked over by this system: I get reported by players that just assume I am cheating they post in the game chat saying they have reported my account but in actual fact the rank system has unintentionally placed my account in a "Smurfing" situation.
I feel like I have been punished by the system for just playing and participating in your game with no previous or current negative background. This system is new, and it shows..
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I have had a significantly low trust factor for just over a month now, and it jumped straight into the red trust one day after a match.. I have been thinking that commendations and reporting needs a rework anyway. The system looks dated compared to the rest of the game now, I was thinking that they need to focus on rewarding players for good behaviour League and OW do this very well imo rather than every match, people just throwing out reports willy nilly because they got rekt.
We also launched a bug bounty program with Hackerone[hackerone.
It's a small price to pay compared to the public relations nightmare, stock drop, and reputation damage caused by a security breach. Great to hear that as a fair player I have the same "chance of being a cheater" as someone who has 10 vac banned accounts on his friends list with ban dates following each other, and just created an 11th one ;x. Man I hope having friends who have been banned doesn't affect trust.
I've had a low trust factor since it was first implemented, and consequently almost everyone I've met has a low trust factor as well. I want to have a good trust factor but seemingly nothing I do helps. My main account and 2nd account got nuked by vac ban linked through mobile in Christmas and the vac was subsequently removed in January. The trust on my main account was untouched while my 2nd account's trust got nuked confirmed by friends. Im unsure about my conclusion but it seems like it doesn't affect friends but affects the account that has a previous vac ban heavily even if it was revoked.
I'd be happy for this if my CSGO experience wasn't absolutely ruined by the fact every game I play I have to question if the enemies are cheating or just lucky. Having low trust factor was funny for a bit since I've only found 1 person who didn't get a red trust factor warning queueing with me, but I genuinely don't even enjoy playing the game anymore because of it. It's a big step forward on paper but in practice, there's several people in this thread with similar experiences to me and it worries me a lot.
But I guess hours, games and a 9 year old account is about equal to a week old account with 1 game and 10 hours.
Steam Matchmaking & Lobbies (Documentação do Steamworks)
Is trust factor even decent though? I've just returned to CS: I got into a game this morning I have 1. I've played CS for a while, I know people smurf and they will now more than ever. Rank 2 Profile no previous year "Medals" of service on display. I rolled with it and just carried on playing, I've smurfed myself so I just put it down to that and me being rusty. Game finishes and I check the replay because the fact in the 2nd half he just so happened to be playing whatever bombsite we went to didn't sit right with me.
Replay was inconclusive, I like giving people the benefit of the doubt and he wasnt watching us through walls or prefiring, he could have just been extremely lucky on bombsite and I don't wanna accuse a guy of cheating for nothing, I wait a few hours, log onto my 2nd account and add the guys profile, curious if he will accept me. Guy has hours in CS: GO, just below 50 of those hours being in the past 2 weeks, almost no friends on the account, level 2 steam profile, he's in 1 "steam group" which is is in Russian.
GO since , always had an account in good standing, never left enough matches to get more than a 24 hour ban which was always due to internet issues causing me to get a ban get placed in a prime matchmaking game Bought prime no doubt with an account with less than hours, doing extremely sussy things.
The best way to find out is to queue up with someone who has a good trust factor. But for many, trust factor has broken the game. GO is now a completely different, unenjoyable experience.
Just so you know, valve set hours to be hidden by default a few updates back so many players haven't changed it back. Don't see why valve would do that, it was a very good indication on the skill if your opponent. Thus the cycle continues. My friend and I duo que dmg-le and every other game we get into a silver 2-nova 2 lobby.
Our team and theirs. Why am I playing with silvers and novas that have a level account? This is quite bad. Now my low trust factor due to lower ranked players reporting me can be everywhere! TF is nowhere near perfect enough to even get out of a beta let alone a multigame release. You know it's not working when: Sick, i get reported every game in MM for being a "cheater" just because im better than them.. It's great to see this improve but I really hope this doesn't lead to people who got stuck with low Trust for unexplainable reasons now getting screwed in every online game they take part in.
I'm assuming there's going to be a baseline Trust Factor simply related to account data gathered outside of games and then individual game data can add to this on a case by case basis. That way good players who simply get mass reported in GO for example aren't then screwed when they decide to play something else. Oh gosh, I hope upgrade will really do something. For me the trustfactor just molesting my arse so bad. I have 3k hours, account made , never teamkilling and still I am the one who have lowest trustfactor in the lobby.
There is even email to contact Valve support if you think that your trustfactor is wrong. Sent email, never got any answers. After 3 game a row enemy spinbotting, thats something.
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I basically stopped playing csgo when tf came in because I constantly got shitty games, and I don't really think of myself as a toxic player or someone who leaves games regularly etc. I hope this helps since I have a damn high tf and been getting cheaters the past 4 matches straight. Also I do at least 1 OW a day.. Same here, hours with mm wins and every operation bought, around hours in rocket league and many other hour titles in my library and my steam account is from I always have the lowest trust factor in any lobby and I can't figure out why. I hope the improvements mean that they worked out the kinks of actual good anfd longtime players unnecessarily getting a low trust factore because they got rage reported by lesser players who couldnt explain losing to them any other way but to ragereport them.
My buddy is in mdl and he avoids mm like the plague because his trust factor is needlessly low. If they remove the dumbass report function that lowers your trust every time someone reports you, it might not be half bad. My account is like 10 years old, I have around games, I have 4K hours in CS alone, Never once cheated, scripted, anything. It's not uncommon for me to stop playing MM for months at a time during league seasons. I always decay down to a MG1 which makes me appear to be a smurf even I'm technically not.
Fucking rank decay man I went from Global to MGE by not playing for 6 months. First time I touched a mouse again after those 6 months I played a game of CS and went So what if the Prime system was re-imagined using a wider range of factors? We started with that question, and have been experimenting with matching players using observed behaviors and attributes of their Steam account, including the overall amount of time they had spent playing CS: GO, how frequently they were reported for cheating , time spent playing other games on their Steam account, etc.
I feel like it is the case though. I also never try to cause altercations, pretty quiet besides for callouts. The only thing I can think of for my terrible trust factor is getting reported for cheating. Although I've managed over games without getting banned. Would be great to have a better trust factor after surviving all of those vac waves. I'm in the same situation. Getting annoying when people keep telling me that I'm making this up. My friend queues with me on a "smurf" account, but its really just an account became his main because it had prime and his didn't.
Want to add to the discussion?
You playing with your friend who's smurfing probably doesn't do great things for your trust factor. I most definitely assume it does, I've got only one account, plenty of years on steam, plenty of other games I play, zero bans in any. Played matchmaking after a decay, climbed up from gold nova 1 to DMG and slowly but surely had my friends get messages about my trust factor being low, eventually leading to the "significantly lower".
The only thing that occurred was people reporting me for "cheating". My trust factor seems to reset whenever I decided to let my rank completely decay, once I play another match and regain the rank, it's still fine. And while this isn't proof, I've got no other explanation than the reports against me are lowering my trust. It almost certainly does. In csgo I'm considered quite good for my rank so when I left and came back I got reported endless. Now every game I'm in is full of either 10 hour accounts or straight up hackers.
But in my experience that's definitely how it works, it's a huge factor. Reports on my alt account ruined it.
Welcome to Reddit,
You have an alt account likely affects your trust factor. I believe they have a way of linking accounts. I honestly just think that smurfs receive low trust by default. My smurf, that's level 0, has only 1 game, and is like a year old, has a much, much better trust than my main account. I'm accused of cheating almost every game and my Trust Factor is presumably fine on my main as I haven't come across a cheater in a long time. If I hop on my smurf to play with friends it's cheating nightmare. I play with a friend who has a shitty trust factor on both accounts, most likely because of reports.
He likes to play with an aug and the t equivalent and is quite good with it, so some people get salty over it and report him. He usually play with me and some other friends but we don't have trust factor issues. Hope they can show anything positive other than "upgrade". The system is at best flawed as is, being quite inconsistent. People say they've seen improvement, no change, or massively degraded experience. Not knowing anything about what actually affects the score is both a positive for Valve and a negative for players.
Hopefully there can be some measure of transparency that is attainable before trying to export the system to other games. Toxicity in games will always be a thing, and it's good to see effort made to at least lessen it, but just saying "upgrade" doesn't make me any more confident in the system as is, especially if simply getting reported lowers trust, as that button gets massively over used.
If your average everyday layplayer can come to this conclusion, what's preventing an office full of accredited industry professionals from ascertaining the same thing? Reports can't be trusted at face value because players can't be trusted at face value. This is a given. I don't understand this argument, do you honestly think industry professionals don't make idiotic decisions? My experience with trust factor so far has been great. I pretty much never play against blatant cheaters, in fact, there was only ONE blatant cheater that i've seen within the past year, and it was last week when i saw him.
Not too shocking i suppose when you think about all the BS accounts that Valve made Prime. Only thing that kinda sucks, is that TF in a way, makes you alienate people with low trust factor. I have a friend who is a beast at CS. He has been playing since 1. Every single game he gets called a hacker and reported. Unfortunately he is married now and doesn't play as much but that is a different story.. Whenever we play together CS always says "May take longer because your party's trust factor is low.
I can see why this can be a good thing, but there are also cons to people who are insane at video games. Trust Factor is such a terrible system, if you somehow get stuck with low trust factor, it's basically permanent. If this goes to other games, I'm pretty sure I'm done with Steam. I completely stopped playing matchmaking and switched to paid FaceIt because of trust factor garbage. Wouldn't this affect the security of the anti-cheat in a way, where anyone who can get a game on steam will be able to access code within trust factor?
Or will Valve be keeping everything under the covers somehow? I don't know enough about programming to say, if it's possible to add something like this as just a plugin. I'm just thinking about how they're going to integrate it into the game. Also, AFAIK Trust factor is server based, so this would mean that Valve has to also host servers for every game using Trust factor to keep everything secret.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, even though this is only speculation. If your security relies on the source code not being available, it means that your security has a vulnerability that can be easily exploited. The code being open means there are more eyes on it that can spot these errors. Furthermore, trust factor is an algorithm that is comprised of many, many variables.