Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's new anti-cheat system has been introduced in the game's latest update (opens in new tab), but its rollout has been anything but smooth.
Trusted Mode blocks the vast majority of external processes from interacting with the game, requiring players to close any offending programs and restart CS:GO before access will be granted. While trusted mode can be disabled through adding "-untrusted" to the game's launch options in Steam, doing so will not only prevent you from accessing any VAC-enabled servers, it also reduces your trust factor (opens in new tab), which in turn impacts on how matchmaking works.
Unofficial game modes, such as those downloaded through and run on community servers, may need to be run with trusted mode disabled in order to even work. Considering community servers and custom game modes have been at the heart of Counter-Strike since forever, this is an absolutely bizarre decision.
Even worse, ordinary players are reporting that software such as OBS (opens in new tab), Discord (opens in new tab), Spotify and Nvidia Game Filter (opens in new tab) are falling foul of Trusted Mode, despite having no impact on the game itself. Another problem is that the game doesn't actually tell you which process is triggering trusted mode, meaning players are finding themselves barred from the game with no idea why.
If players manage to get through to a match, they are also reporting large performance decreases (opens in new tab). A precise cause for this hasn't been determined yet, although some are reporting closing other programs (opens in new tab) (that didn't get caught by Trusted Mode) rectified the issue.
Unfortunately, there isn't anything individual players can do to get their favourite programs working with CS:GO again aside from disabling trusted mode entirely and suffering the consequences. It is up to the software's developer to ensure their files are "digitally signed with an Authenticode signature (opens in new tab)" in order to comply with the new system, and even then, Valve says it maintains the right to block any signed code that "interferes with the game in any way".
Valve is yet to release any statement regarding the issues players have been facing since the update launched.