Steam Sales Are Great For Counter-Strike Hackers

Steam Sales Are Great For Counter-Strike Hackers

Everyone loves Steam sales. But wanna know who really loves Steam sales? Counter-Strike cheaters. Here’s why.

PC Gamer reports that whenever Counter-Strike: Global Offensive goes on sale, cheaters take the opportunity to re-buy the game on new Steam accounts. Hackers do this so they can cheat on the new accounts, while keeping their “real” accounts — the ones that have their libraries and items — safe and sound, should they ever get caught. The new accounts are called “smurf” accounts. Some of these are used as accounts for hacking. Some of them are just accounts that people use to circumvent matchmaking, as PC Gamer explains:

You look for a CS:GO profile with very few achievements unlocked or custom weapon skins equipped, tied to a Steam account with CS:GO as its only owned game (“Wow, such dedication. So hardcore,” I usually type mockingly when I encounter one of these players). Having one or more smurfs in your match is more subtle disruption but often just as bothersome as hacking: smurf accounts don’t receive a rank in the matchmaking system until they have won 10 games, allowing them to be matched with players that aren’t at their true skill level.

It’s a method of circumventing the matchmaking system (often as a way to play with friends who aren’t near the same rank), one not unfamiliar to League of Legends players and other free-to-play games. When I’m up against such a player, there’s no tool within the reporting system for me to flag their account — and why should there be? As far as Valve’s concerned, that player is another legitimate customer.

Obviously that’s not on the same level as using a program that lets you instantly get headshots or something, but still, it’s an annoyance inadvertently caused by the Steam sale that can’t be stopped by Valve’s special crowdsourced ban system.

Of course, this isn’t the only instance where players tried to game the system during the current Steam sale…

[via Via PC Gamer]


  • I read through that whole article on PCG earlier this morning. Basically, it all comes across as “QQ, sales means more poor people can join my super elite hipster club”. The writer adding a single “I want more people to play CS:GO” sentence at the beginning of the article doesn’t neutralise that.

  • So basically I should buy it cheap but not play it til the hackers have been banned in a few months? Or should I just completely avoid the toxic community that is online multiplayer these days?

    • CS:GO actually has a pretty good community. The accounts in question are usually sub par players who can’t win with the people in their bracket, making it a non-issue at best, especially in Aus where the community isn’t that massive so you’re more than likely to get skewed skills anyway.

      • I find it better than most games, with people normally rocking comical names (Like a trio going by the names “Foxtel salesman”, “Tbox salesman” and “Bigpond salesman” who would then argue about who had the better product).

  • Ok, go ahead and call me crazy, but why would anyone fork out $5+ for a copy of CSGO so that they can play 9 matches with noobs? It doesn’t make sense. Yep, you could get some easy wins but for the price? Is there something of value to get out of such activity?

    I would have thought buying more copies so you can idle for item drops in the same way as TF2 people do would make more sense – but its hardly “hacking”, and these activities are often left to “idle” servers so smart people know to avoid them.

    • Since go is the only game Ive played solidily of late I can tell you, majority of ppl do it for the following reasons. 1. So they can play with less skilled friends 2. Matchmaking before your ranked will include mg+ games and if you win those and close to all 10 you can grab a eagle or higher rank. 3. Mainly it’s so ppl can play against easier ppl or so they can achieve the higher rank

      Outside of not ruining your main accounts rank I don’t see the point tbh. I play with my silver ranked mates and eagles and I’m still mg2. It’s still challenging at that rank

    • The feeling of your fellow players as mere putty in your hands, idle puppets who, stunned and awe-struck by the godliness of your skills, can only kneel at your virtual feet in oblivious sycophancy, mumbling “I am not worthy… I am not worthy…”

      I am sure there are people around for whom getting that ten times would be worth five dollars.

      I’m not sure how the matching system in CS:GO works, but presumably they could stay in the lower brackets via such clever tactics as quitting games or else just leaving their avatar idle to lose the occasional game while they do something else. It’s pretty antisocial, but I wouldn’t expect that *other* people enjoying their game is a high priority for these types.

  • This is why I always prefer competitive gaming on my consoles over my PC.

  • Its the same with DayZ. We once met a chic in the stand alone who had bought the game 10 times due to being banned for hacking

  • I get the point, but it comes across so smug. (read the PCG version earlier). This attitude displayed by the writer is the same sort of attitude you see in games like league of legends, I hate newbies they can’t play and thus I’ll spend the whole match yelling at everyone instead of addressing the real issues of how the game/s deals with match making and ways to improve the system to stop it from happening.

    Games sales are positive, not negative if it is being abused its the game that needs to look at how it deals with new players, and the like. Surly there is like 3 people who legit have a account with only 1 game maybe a simple system to treat those accounts differently should be in place.

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