Valve is using Steam player data to power Counter-Strike: GO matchmaking
Valve has implemented a new matchmaking system into Counter-Strike: Global Offensive that considers information from both a player's Counter-Strike matches and general behavior on Steam when pairing them up for matches.
While Valve admittedly has additional resources at its disposal as the owner of Steam itself, the new system offers an interesting look at one way game developers are trying to clean up the toxic and cheat-ridden streets of online multiplayer games.
The system itself looks at what a player does on Steam to help it make informed decisions about which individuals will play nicely together in matches. So far, Valve says these 'Trust Factor' matches have seen fewer reports than matches created using the previous system.
The company hasn't given up the full list of things the Trust Factor system looks at, but it did say that it considers the behaviors and attributes of player's Steam account to determine their trustfulness.
The company has since experimented with using statistics like overall Counter-Strike: Global Offensive playtime, the frequency players have been reported for cheating, time spent playing other games on the same Steam account, and general progress toward being a "positive member of the Steam Community."
The system also doesn't replace the previous Prime matchmaking system entirely. Instead, it will build on Prime's phone number and level-based verification with the evolving list of additional statistics being considered by the Trust Factor matchmaking.
Valve isn't the only developer looking outside of games themselves to solve problems with cheaters and misbehaving players in online games. Recently, Blizzard took advantage of Xbox Live's built-in reputation system and moved to automatically mute players with an 'Avoid Me' ranking in Overwatch's built-in voice chat.