Game Server Operation Guidelines

Game Server Operation Guidelines

In July 2015 the CS:GO team reached out with a request to server operators to stop providing services that falsify the contents of a player’s profile or inventory:

CS:GO community servers provide valuable experiences to players and communities, and are serving more players than ever before. Over the past month, 3.1 mln unique players were observed playing on community servers and this number keeps growing each month.

We’re aware that some server operators are offering to their players false inventories and/or profiles as a free or paid service via mods on their servers. These mods inaccurately report the contents of a player’s inventory and/or matchmaking status, devaluing both and potentially creating a confusing experience for players.

Therefore, we are asking server operators to remove any mods and plugins that falsify the contents of a player’s profile or inventory.

To be clear, the services that should not be offered on a community server include (but are not limited to):

– Allowing players to claim temporary ownership of CS:GO items that are not in their inventory (Weapon skins, knives, etc.).
– Providing a falsified competitive skill group and/or profile rank status or scoreboard coin (e.g., Operation Challenge Coins).
– Interfering with systems that allow players to correctly access their own CS:GO inventories, items, or profile.
[To clarify: it is also not acceptable to provide players with custom models and/or weapon skins that do not exist in the CS:GO ecosystem]

If your server provides any of the above services then we request that you disable them. If for some reason you are unable or unsure of whether a particular plugin should be removed, feel free to contact us.

We will continue to monitor the players experience on community servers, and may reevaluate if further actions need to be taken to ensure that server operators comply with the request above.

(1) Do mods that provide custom knives (e.g., ‘vanilla’ Karambit or Bayonet knives) fall under the same restrictions as mods that spoof other inventory items like weapon skins or display items?
Yes, these mods fall under the same restrictions because they are generating/simulating items that are not owned by a player.

(2) Do mods that provide custom knives or weapons fall under these same restrictions when the items are only visible to the player holding the weapon?
Yes. Regardless of who can see the items, mods should not generate/simulate items that are not owned by a player.

(3) I use a mod that grants stock primary/secondary weapons and grenades to players through a gun selection menu. The mod only drops stock weapons and does not grant knives. Is this mod ok?
Yes, it’s fine to provide basic stock weapons to players via a mod.

(4) Assuming that I’m not granting an item that a player does not own:
-Is it ok to have a “remove all weapons”/“hide knife” function on a server?
-Is it ok to have a “knife drop”/“knife switch” function that allows a player to drop their knife (that they own) so another player can pick it up?
Both of these functions are fine. There are some game modes where it makes sense to have unarmed players (e.g., surf), and in a trading server being able give a player your knife to inspect is fine too. In general, letting players use what they own in a new way isn’t a problem.

(5) I’m using a mod that doesn’t spoof competitive ranks or coins, but it does adjust the scoreboard (e.g., a surf server where group tags represent skill rating, score is your rank on the server, MVP is your completion percentage, etc.). Is this ok?
At the moment we have no issue with mods that modify scores or player names in the scoreboard.

(6) What is the time frame for making these changes?
Ideally these changes would be made immediately, but we understand if server operators need a few days to make their adjustments. We’ll continue to monitor over the next week, and will post a notification if any further action needs to be taken.

In January 2016, we permanently disabled Game Server Login Tokens belonging to server operators that were providing free or paid services that falsified the contents of a player’s profile or inventory. The Steam user that generated the tokens is now also permanently restricted from creating new GSLTs.

A new Steam user account associated with a new qualifying phone number ( will be required to create new GSLTs.

To avoid future disruption game server operators are best advised to comply with CS:GO server operation guidelines described above.