Counter-Strike: Global Offensive went free-to-play on Dec. 6. The reaction from fans has been mixed — literally, as the positive reviews for the past 30 days on Steam stand at a “Mixed” 59%, which stands in contrast to the game’s “Very Positive” 86% overall reviews.

Hackers and cheaters, though, apparently love free-to-play CS:GO — the ones that are still playing, at least. In December, the Valve Anti-Cheat service (VAC) banned over 600,000 users, by far the largest total for a single month, as charted by CS:GO expert @Nors3 on Twitter:

Judging by his chart, the 609,373 VAC bans were roughly triple the previous high. While Nors3 admits that it’s “difficult to know the origin of the Game bans,” CS:GO’s F2P transition almost certainly is the cause for this sharp uptick, which resulted from five ban waves over the month. Another big ban wave in December targeted cheaters in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, though it came from PUBG itself, not from VAC, and only targeted about 30,000 accounts.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

6 Readers Commented

Join discussion
  1. Teddy on January 8, 2019

    Team fortress 2 and Counter strike global offensive are both in a very bad spot being free to play on stream.

  2. PuddingBear on January 7, 2019

    We need a Korea policy with online game force people to register with SSN. Along with heavy regulation on store of the game. This way you ban the person not an account or IP and hopefully ban all Loot Crates or Forms of gambling in any game.

    • Weilan on January 8, 2019

      Steam can at least enforce all accounts to be linked to a phone number and to be verified with SMS.

      This won’t remove cheating, but it will greatly reduce it.

  3. rickshaw on January 7, 2019

    There’s ya negatives there, 600,000 of them all writing crappy reviews because they were banned. THat’s The true Steam community for ya! once slander starts in steam it never stops.

  4. Rundundukas on January 7, 2019

    Age of cheaters … we should take example of Korea or Japan, simple sue cheaters. Otherwise its fight against windmill.

    • Cloak on January 7, 2019

      Hah, that number is nothing I’m sure. Imagine the amount they don’t catch, if a cheater knows what they’re doing they can avoid detection for years. And now that the game is F2P all people need to do is make another account. By the time they do these waves the damage will be done and they will have ruined peoples day. This going F2P crud is a slap in the face for the people that actually payed for the game. But they need to go after the head of snake meaning the people that make profit off of selling their cheats. But I doubt they will do anything until it starts to actually hurt their business. That’s if they’re not planning to collect as much money as they can before jumping ship seeing it went f2p and all. Typical abandonment tactic for most games that go F2P and were already sinking before going F2P.

      Call me a stick in the mud but really do miss CS without Steam and “Esports” days. Rip 1999-2002