Seeing the Light

After several months at a discount, players have found their way to the AUG. Now that everyone has had a chance to learn to love it, the AUG has returned to its original price tag.

There’s a lot more to digest in today’s update, from changes to maps to the in-game economy, shotguns, and rifles. We’ve also added new features like flash assist UI and loadout shuffle. Full details can be found in the Release Notes.

Prisma Case

Introducing the Prisma Case, featuring 17 new community-designed weapon finishes and the Horizon Knives in Chroma finishes.

From Abbey to Zoo

In today’s update we are saying goodbye to two Community-created maps – Subzero and Austria. In their place we are adding two new maps; Abbey, a bomb defusal map set in a Mediterranean village, and returning to CS:GO from a three year hiatus, we’re bringing back a community favorite, Zoo!

These new maps are only available in Defusal Group Sigma for Casual and Deathmatch, but in the coming weeks they’ll be added to Competitive matchmaking. As with previous Community maps, be sure to vote on your favorites with your play time.

High-altitude Wingman

51 stories up you’ll find the newest Wingman location – a revised version of Vertigo’s B site. Terrorists can make their way to the site three ways; by climbing an exposed staircase from T spawn, by moving through a new boost window, or through CT spawn. Counter-Terrorists will need to utilize utility, teamwork, and steady nerves to keep the site secure.

A local news helicopter is standing by to capture the action, so get out there and play!

Hot and Cold

There’s a lot to digest in today’s update, which includes some new maps, positional audio settings, and gameplay. Click here for more details!

Entering the Rotation

Two new maps have entered the game, Biome and Sub-Zero, and they’re currently available to play in the Casual Sigma map group. We’re measuring playtime on these (and other) maps in CS:GO, so vote with your bullets and let us know which maps should stick around!

There are other changes to the map pool. Austria has been a popular Casual map, and is now available for Competitive Matchmaking (and has been moved into the Casual Delta map group), while Canals has been moved out of Competitive Matchmaking. Additionally, today we’ll be saying goodbye to Shipped and Insertion.

Starting Conditions

Today we’re shipping a change to the start-of-half economy aimed at reducing the immediate impact of losing a pistol round. In Competitive Matchmaking, both teams are now considered to start the half with a one-round ‘losing streak’ that is reset following a round win. Instead of $1400, the Round 1 loser receives $1900, then $2400 for a subsequent loss, etc.

We’ve also made some gameplay changes to the CZ75a and the Tec9, as well as a price cut to the SG553 and AUG.

So take a deep breath, dive into a match, and see what’s new!

The Best of Hydra

Today, we’re launching a new and improved method for matchmaking players who are likely to have a good experience playing together. For more details click here.

Today also marks the end of Operation Hydra. As the operation comes to a close, we’re making several changes to CS:GO:

Wingman

Wingman was the most popular Operation Hydra Event, and will remain available for players with a few changes. Wingman matchmaking will feature community favorite Wingman maps from Operation Hydra, and players will now be able to select individual maps instead of having one randomly selected. Additionally, players will now have a Wingman skill group that will be used exclusively when matchmaking in Wingman.

War Games

With the War Games format, players were able to select their desired game mode and could select a new experience after a few rounds. We’re keeping the War Games format, and folding in some of CS:GO’s alternative game modes into that category. In the War Games tab, players will be able to select Arms Race, Demolition, or the most popular War Game of Operation Hydra, Flying Scoutsman!

Competitive Map Pool

Today we’re adding Agency to the Competitive map pool, and making some additional adjustments.

The Competitive Matchmaking map pool previously contained every map in CS:GO, making it difficult for new or recently updated maps to stand out among the crowd of available options and generating poor matches as a result. To address these problems, the least-played maps will no longer be featured in official Competitive Matchmaking. Over time, promising new or updated maps will enter the map pool, and less played maps will continue to be removed.

Casual Map Groups

To give players’ favorite maps a better chance of winning the vote, maps in the Casual game mode have been redistributed into new groups based on overall playtime. Some of the least-played maps have been removed from the pool, and some new maps have been added: Austria, Shipped, Agency, and Insertion. As with the Competitive Matchmaking map pool, the Casual map pool and map groups will be updated over time.

The Trust Factor

The Trust Factor

We’ve launched a new and improved method for matchmaking players who are likely to have a good experience together.

Improving Matchmaking

Last year we launched Prime Matchmaking with the goal of providing a better matchmaking experience. Initially the system simply matched players who linked CS:GO with a unique phone number. Later, the system additionally required in-game experience (players needed to reach rank 21).

As these constraints were added, the Prime status created a hard boundary in the CS:GO community, and players who might otherwise be perfectly happy playing together were separated.

We’re committed to the goal of getting dedicated CS:GO players together, but we’ve been looking into improved approaches.

A Matter of Trust

So what if the Prime system was re-imagined using a wider range of factors? We started with that question, and have been experimenting with matching players using observed behaviors and attributes of their Steam account, including the overall amount of time they had spent playing CS:GO, how frequently they were reported for cheating, time spent playing other games on their Steam account, etc. We call this system Trust, and these factors considered together form a player’s Trust Factor.

The results of the experiment have been positive. In matches created using Trust Factor, most players ended up generating fewer reports regardless of their Prime status.

We wanted to keep the best parts of Prime and ditch the parts that cause problems in the CS:GO community. Starting today, players will, by default, enter matchmaking using their Trust Factor rather than their Prime status in the short term. Players with Prime status can still choose to additionally restrict their matchmaking pool to other players with Prime status–though Trust is always on.

Trust Factor F.A.Q.

Q: What are the factors used in the new Trust Factor matchmaking system?
A: We’re not providing the list of factors in the Trust Factor matchmaking system for a few reasons. We don’t want players to have to worry about any particular action while they’re playing CS:GO or other games on Steam. Additionally, because we’re constantly updating the Trust Factor matchmaking system, any list of factors would become out of date very quickly. That being said, in general we’re looking at your past experience in CS:GO and on Steam, to ensure the system is as accurate as possible.

Q: Can I look at my personal Trust Factor?
A: We don’t plan to display your Trust Factor – the goal is to provide a better matchmaking experience without you having to worry about optimizing anything. In fact, in most cases knowing your Trust Factor wouldn’t be very helpful – we’ll try to match you with similar players, but like skill groups, the range of players on a server will vary depending on the time of day, your region, the maps you’re queuing for, etc.

Q: What can I do to improve my Trust Factor?
A: All you need to do is be a positive member of the CS:GO and Steam community. We’re still iterating on the Trust Factor model and adjusting the way various factors are combined, but we want to make sure that all you have to do to improve your matchmaking experience is continue to play CS:GO and other Steam games legitimately. The more you play, the more information the system has and the easier it will be for the system to determine who you should be matched with.

Q: I used to have Prime Status. Does that improve my Trust Factor?
A: Yes! Phone numbers and CS:GO Rank are among the factors used in the new Trust Factor matchmaking system. If you had Prime Status before, your Trust Factor will benefit from your phone and in-game experience. If you have not linked your CS:GO account with a phone number, you should–doing so will improve your matchmaking experience.

Q: I’m a new player, will I have a low Trust Factor?
A: Not necessarily. Your Trust Factor is impacted by your experiences on Steam as well as CS:GO, so if you’ve been a positive member of the Steam Community in the past, you’ll likely enter CS:GO with a high Trust Factor.

Q: How will you know if this system is better than the previous one?
A: In addition to reading player feedback, we’ve been evaluating Prime by measuring the way players interact with each other. Objectively, we can tell that Prime is successful when players stick to their matches and report/kick each other a bit less (these tend to be good measures of a pleasant matchmaking experience). We plan to use the same approach to evaluate the Trust Factor system.

Q: I suspect that I have a low Trust Factor because the quality of my matches is poor. What can I do about this?
A: Send us an email at CSGOTeamFeedback@valvesoftware.com with the subject “Trust Factor Feedback” and include a description of your experience and your Steam ID. These reports will help us improve the system.

Q: I suspect that my friend has a low Trust Factor because of the quality of my matches when, and only when, I party up with them. What can I do about this?
A: Tell them to email us as recommended above. Be aware that when players are in a party, we use the lowest Trust Factor of any individual in the party for matchmaking purposes.

Q: I play CS:GO on a Steam account that I acquired from someone else (rather than creating it myself on steampowered.com). Could this explain the poor experience that I am having?
A: Yes. When you acquire a premade Steam account then you also acquire that Steam account’s Trust Factor. Additionally, acquired accounts commonly have a very low Trust Factor. Don’t acquire accounts from other users.