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Matchmaking is generally a kind of search function, which automatically searches for a suitable server for the player.
In CS:GO the term Matchmaking but almost always the extended Opponent search for the Classic Competitive Mode, i.e. the competition mode. The game specifically looks for players who are at the same level as the player. To make the matches as fair as possible, there is a ban system, the so-called Prime Matchmaking as well as the Trust Factor.
To play the competitive mode online, you need to reach at least level 2 in the profile ranks ("Profile Ranks"). These have nothing to do with the ranks (also called "skill groups") described below.
In common parlance, the CS:GO matchmaking is the Classic Competitive Mode over the Internet means. In this case five against five is played and a match runs over the normal competition distance, i.e. until a team has won 16 rounds or 30 rounds have been played.
Competitive Matchmaking does not simply put you into a game that is already running, but into a queue that is searched for suitable opponents for a new match. In addition, players who simply run away during the match will be penalized. For the case of an unintentional disconnect there is a reconnect function. You have three minutes to re-enter a match before a temporary ban occurs. Valve itself states that a match can last up to 90 minutes, but usually it lasts between 45 and 60 minutes.
Ranks in Competitive Matchmaking
In this competition mode the players are divided into 18 ranks, so-called "skill groups. The system will then search for opponents who are on the same or a similar rank. This is to ensure that the matches are always reasonably fair and that beginners do not meet experienced players.
Depending on how well you do, you can of course move up and down in rank. The ranks are based on a rating system that takes into account both the team performance and the individual performance of the players. Valve does not reveal details about this.
We have talked about the "Skill Groups wrote a detailed article explaining the system behind it and revealing the few known details. ÜBy the way, the same rank system is used in Wingman mode, but each player has separate ranks for 5on5 and Wingman. The Battle Royale mode "Danger Zone uses its own rank system, which allows a player to have up to three different ranks.
Classification in a rank
In order to get a rank, however, you first have to win ten matches in competitive mode. You will meet opponents with different strengths. But with every match the system can better guess the talent of a player and classify him.
There is a restriction that you can only win two matches per day. After that you get a temporary ban until the next day. So you need at least five days to be classified.
After ten victories you will finally get your rank. Then the restriction of two victories per day is no longer valid. But the rank can change with time. This depends on how you do compared to the other players at that rank.
No more rank?
If you don’t play a match for a month, you lose your rank again. This applies to the normal 5on5 matchmaking as well as to Wingman and Danger Zone. In the former two modes, you then have to win or draw a match to get a rank again. In Danger Zone you simply have to play several matches. When re-ranking, the rank is generally lower than the rank before the inactive phase.
Which ranks can play together?
So that no rough mixtures of differently good players arise with the Mitspielersuche, Valve introduced a restriction. If the rank difference of players in a lobby is too big, then the search for a match cannot be started. A corresponding message will appear.
The difference in rank between the lowest ranked player and the highest ranked player must not exceed five ranks. But there is one exception: A full lobby with five players can always play together, even if the ranks are actually too far apart. The restriction does not apply then, but weaker players have to expect strong opponents.
Excluded from this rule are also so called "Scrimmage Maps". "Training"). These are community maps that are temporarily included in the game. Since the result of the matches on these maps has no effect on the rank, the restriction does not apply here either.
Lockouts in matchmaking
Matchmaking is competitive, so there are stricter rules for it and a ban system in place.
Reasons for a ban
The following behavior will result in a penalty time:
Two wins a day for new players (see above) Leaving a match early Being absent during a match ("being afk") Frequently getting kicked out of matches Frequently kicking out other players Too much damage caused to team members, especially at the starting point Killing more than two team members in a match
The game does not distinguish whether an offense was intentional or unintentional. For example, if the internet connection is lost during a match and is not available again in time, then you will also receive a penalty time.
The following other reasons will cause you to be temporarily or permanently banned from matchmaking:
Deactivation of a game server login token (only for server admins) Disruptive and harmful behavior during a match ("griefing") Cheating by using unauthorized third party programs ("cheating") Ban system
There are several levels of bans. The ban system always starts with the first level. Repeated offenses within a week since the last exclusion will increase the penalty time.
1. Level: 30 minutes lock 2. Prime: 2 hours ban 3. Level: 24 hours ban 4. Level: 7 days ban
Per week without a new offense, the extent of the punishment decreases by one level. However, for a further offense you will always get the next higher penalty. Example: If you had a ban for seven days, serve it, and then commit a new offense within a week, you will be banned from matchmaking again for seven days.
In addition to these regular punishments, there are the following bans for more serious offenses:
8 days ban for breaking rules while hosting a server (GSLT Ban) 30 days ban for intentionally hindering the game Permanent exclusion for using cheats
The latter two bans are handed out via the community-based Overwatch. Exposure by Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) will also result in being unable to use matchmaking.
In mid-June 2016, Valve launched Prime Matchmaking for CS:GO. This was intended to reduce the negative influence of cheaters and "smurfs" (second accounts) and to improve the quality of the matches.
Prime status can improve the game experience via official matchmaking in all game modes. After the upgrade, you will only encounter other players who also have Prime via matchmaking. If you search as a group, all members of the lobby must have a Prime account, otherwise the normal trust factor matchmaking is used.
With the switch to Free to Play in December 2018, the Prime system has been adjusted accordingly. In addition to a better gaming experience, it also promises exclusive souvenir skins, item drops and weapon cases.
How to get a Prime account?
To upgrade your account to Prime you have to have a valid phone number in your Steam account and have reached at least "Lieutenant Rank 21" in CS:GO. Have a "Service Medal". Only one account can be upgraded per phone number.
Alternatively you can buy the upgrade to Prime in the Steam Store. It costs the same as CS:GO originally did. Then also no phone number must be deposited. When the game was switched to Free to Play, all players who had purchased CS:GO up to that point automatically received the upgrade to Prime.
By the way, community servers have the possibility to grant access only to players who have a Prime account. Other players are blocked and can not enter the respective server.
In November 2017, Valve introduced the so-called "Trust Factor" as a new basis for matchmaking. This will be used in both normal and Prime matchmaking. This is a scoring system that judges players by their behavior. For example, factors such as how much time you play CS:GO and other games on Steam, as well as how many times you’ve been reported in CS:GO, are taken into account. In addition, there are many other evaluation criteria, which Valve does not want to mention for various reasons.
Where can I see my Trust Factor?
It is not possible to see your own trust factor. Likewise, it is not known how many levels there are in this system. The only indicator to the Trust Factor are yellow and red alerts that may pop up when searching for a match. These warn you if another player in your lobby has a "slightly" or "significantly" lower Trust Factor than you and your gaming experience could be negatively affected as a result.
As a result, you can also draw conclusions about yourself if other players receive such a warning message because of you. However, these are always relative figures, since your Trust Factor is only compared to that of the other lobby members and not to the entire player community. This means, for example, that no one will get a warning message if all players in a lobby have a bad trust factor.
Increase Trust Factor
To improve your own rating, just be a positive member of the CS:GO and Steam community. Known factors that affect your Trust Factor are: The age of your account, how much time you spend in CS:GO and other games, and how often you have been reported for "cheating" in CS:GO. In addition, the Prime Upgrade has a positive effect on your own Trust Factor.
New Steam accounts therefore have a low Trust Factor in CS:GO and have to earn the trust first. This also means that secondary accounts that are used to play on lower ranks (so-called "smurfs") generally have worse cards.
If your account has a good rating by the system, then you will preferably be matched with other players who are also inconspicuous. By the way, if you search for a match with other people, the player with the lowest trust factor is used as a benchmark. – Anduriel