CS:GO data miner finds new VACnet anti-cheat measures

Danyal Arabi
|Published 01/11/2022

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.

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VACnet now tracking unnatural movement in CS:GO more actively

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.

About the author
Danyal Arabi

Danyal Arabi

Danyal Arabi is an Esports writer and Editor at The SportsRush. With a vested interest in computers since an early age he has managed to sink more than 4000 hours into CS: GO over the years. As a Deus Ex enjoyer and fan of the earlier Assassin's Creeds, narrative-driven games have taken much of his time. Being a 2D fighter enthusiast across franchises like Injustice, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter, a fair few controllers have been sacrificed in his pursuit to win. Apart from all things gaming, Danyal enjoys motorsport, bowling, and spending weekends with his pals over good food and banter.

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