CS:GO data miner finds new VACnet anti-cheat measures
With the CS:GO IEM Rio Major underway, all eyes are currently on Valve’s first-person shooter. A few days ahead of the biggest tournament of the year it was revealed that the game’s anti-cheat measures have been buffed. The news came courtesy of @gabefollower on Twitter who is well-known for following Valve titles. According to the data miner, VACnet, Valve’s deep-learning anti-cheat, has had a few changes implemented recently.
As a game plagued by cheaters, CS:GO could do with multiple anti-cheat updates. Here’s what was discovered in the new game files.
VACnet now tracking unnatural movement in CS:GO more actively
looks like @csgo developers started tracking player’s movements way harder than before, especially some artificial stuff like bhop and fast mouse flicks (auto aim?)
so VACnet gonna get even stronger now 😳 pic.twitter.com/3cSCt9cMzH
— Gabe Follower (@gabefollower) October 21, 2022
A few strings and elements in the game files have indicated that the title will track certain elements more closely, including bunny hopping and unnatural flicks. Potentially flagging unnaturally scripted bunny-hops, the new elements could help trigger flags on VACnet. While this is great news, this simply means that detection may improve. It isn’t guaranteed that cheaters will get banned. Currently, VACnet flags suspicious behavior and sends cases to Overwatch. Overwatch is the in-game community moderated system where cheater demos are reviewed. If the player gets convicted, they get handed a ban.
While Valve has VACnet in place, others like Riot and Activision have different anti-cheat solutions. Unlike Valve Anti-Cheat, which is a non-invasive anti-cheat, others take a more direct approach. Anti-cheats like RICOCHET require explicit access to system files to monitor suspicious activity. Over the years, this has grown to be the primary criticism of Valve’s solutions. Despite Valve’s regular ban waves, cheaters seem to be one step ahead. However, a recent ban wave saw over 300,000 cheaters being banned in September. Looking to keep the cheater count down, VACnet could see a lot of improvements in the coming months. Those interested in taking a closer look at the files can find them here.