Counter-Strike Global Offensive Matchmaking

One of the biggest complaints about any competitive multiplayer game is the matchmaking. Developers pore over all sorts of details in order to make matchmaking algorithms beneficial for players. Well, Valve is stepping outside the box and making matchmaking variables based on your behavior in other games.

Over on the official Counter-Strike website, there's an update for the game called "The Trust Factor". This is a replacement system for the previous model known as the "Prime Matchmaking" system. In the "Prime Matchmaking" players would have to attach a unique phone number to their account, and they would be paired up based on their in-game experience. This created fractures for some players because it meant that if you enjoyed being matched up with or against certain groups of players, those who ranked up or didn't rank up fast enough would eventually be moved out of the matchmaking pool.

According to Valve, this created what the team referred to as a "hard boundary" for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community.

Instead of relying on the strict boundaries of the previous system, Valve decided to re-imagine a new system based on observable player behavior. Instead of matchmaking based on strict, arbitrary variables, the developers decided to experiment with creating an algorithm based on the conditional variables of a player's account behavior and attributes from their Steam profile.

For instance, the algorithm takes into account how often an account was reported for cheating; how often the account spent playing certain games; and whether or not the account was VAC banned at any point.

According to the post, the experimental results have been positive so far, and Valve will be ditching the parts of the old system that didn't work in favor of the new "Trust Factor Matchmaking".

The post explains that players can't know exactly what factors and variables will account for the totality of how an account is gauged for the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matchmaking. Based on the FAQ, Valve will be experimenting with a variety of factors, adding and removing some depending on what best works with the algorithm.

Now one of the common questions is "Will we be able to see our Trust Factor?" and the answer is an emphatic "No!". Valve doesn't want players worrying about their trust factors. Valve wants players to just play.

According to the developers, your trust will go up as you continue to be a model citizen within the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive community.

There's a dedicated feedback account also being setup for those who feel as if they may be negatively affected by the new matchmaking algorithm. So if you feel as if you're an upstanding digital citizen of Counter-Strike but you're being matched up with the wrong people, don't hesitate to reach out to Valve and discuss the issue with the support staff.

The Trust Factor Matchmaking will continue to roll out for players and become the de facto standard of matchmaking for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. One can only wonder how the community at large will take to the new change.

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