CS:GO Trusted Mode – What does it do?

On the 8th of July 2020, Valve released an update to CS:GO called “Trusted mode” which is designed to increase the quality of everyone’s in-game experience.  One of CS:GO’s persistent problems has been cheating as there have been countless examples of bunny-hopping, aim-hacks, wall-hacks, and the infamous spin-botters.

CSGO Trusted Mode

© CS:GO

What does the CS:GO Trusted mode do?

Trusted mode works by verifying that no third-party software is interfering with the CS:GO game files or process. This verification process is intended to make it a lot harder for cheaters to use cheats, which overall should make the game fairer for everybody.

Trusted mode is now enabled by default on all accounts. It is also required to be able to play on VAC secured servers. For those unfamiliar with VAC, it stands for Valve Anti-Cheat and it is used to secure all official CS:GO servers along with official servers on other Valve games and some third-party games. Getting caught cheating on a VAC server earns a permanent account ban from VAC secured servers.

Unfortunately, the new Trusted mode also blocks some programs that don’t have anything to do with cheating. For example, OBS and Discord can both cause issues with CS:GO Trusted mode when using the game capture mode and the Discord overlay respectively.

OBS users can still stream using OBS. They will however, need to use window capture mode and play CS:GO in a non-fullscreen mode.

If your software is detected interfering with Trusted mode, CS:GO will open, then show a warning saying that Trusted mode was unable to launch. In some cases, you will be told which program it is that’s causing the issue, although this is not always the case. You’ll be advised to restart the game with the offending software disabled to be able to play. Seeing the Trusted mode warning message doesn’t affect your CS:GO trust score in any way, or cause you to get VAC banned, it’s just a warning to disable the software affecting the game.

If third-party software attempts to interfere with the game process after the game has launched, the Trusted mode popup will still appear and may force you to restart your game in Trusted mode. Needing to restart your game like this could cause you to receive a matchmaking cooldown if you left an in-progress game.

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Disabling trusted mode

If you’re unable to determine which app is causing issues with Trusted mode, or if you really want to play with third-party software, it is possible to disable Trusted mode. To do so, you need to go into CS:GO’s Steam settings, then add “-untrusted” as a launch option. You should be aware that launching the game with Trusted mode disabled like this will negatively affect your trust score, which may negatively affect the quality of your matches.

Add the “-untrusted” game launch option through the game properties in Steam to launch untrusted mode.

Disabling Trusted mode will also prevent you from playing on any official servers. You will be limited to community servers or custom games only. If you wish to play non-official game modes that require third-party software, you can do so by using the “-insecure” launch option. It’s unclear if the -insecure launch option also negatively affects your trust score.

Unfortunately, there are rumours that some hackers were able to bypass Trusted mode within days of its release. CS:GO Trusted mode was never expected to block all forms of cheating. Yet, it is another pretty strong anti-cheat tool that should make cheating more difficult. And improved gaming experience for everyone is what we all seek.

Read next: Departures and New Signings in CS:GO Summer roster shuffle