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Valve's new CS:GO matchmaking system considers your overall behavior on Steam

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Valve has rolled out a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive matchmaking system that expands on the Prime Matchmaking system it launched last year. Called Trust, the new system takes a more holistic approach to connecting players than Prime by taking into account a much wider range of factors, including some drawn from outside of CS:GO. 

Prime Matchmaking requires that players link their accounts to their mobile devices and have a minimum CS:GO rank of 21, to help ensure a reasonably consistent level of skill and commitment between connected players. But that "created a hard boundary in the CS:GO community, and players who might otherwise be perfectly happy playing together were separated," Valve said in a blog post

Enter the optimistically-named Trust system. "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," Valve wrote. "We call this system Trust, and these factors considered together form a player’s Trust Factor." 

The experiment appears to have worked out. The post says that matches created using Trust have resulted in fewer reports, even among players who don't have Prime status. As a result, Trust Factor will now be the default CS:GO matchmaking system, although players who prefer Prime can stick with it for now. 

The blog post includes an FAQ, although some of the most obvious Qs aren't Ad: Valve isn't going to provide the full list of variables that determine your Trust Factor, nor is it going to tell you what your Trust Factor is or how you can improve it beyond the general suggestion of not being a dick. 

"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 post says. "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." 

Still, if you think your Trust Factor is somehow off the mark because you're getting low-quality matchups (and you're reasonably confident that you haven't been a dick lately), you can drop a "Trust Factor feedback" inquiry email to CSGOTeamFeedback@valvesoftware.com. 

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.