/What is a trust factor?

What is a trust factor?

Trust factor is a player characteristic used in matchmaking for a number of games on Steam, for instance, CS:GO. It reflects the conscientiousness and reliability of a particular person. When selecting a match, players come across allies and opponents who have a similar trust factor, which allows fair and decent players not to intersect with violators. The trust factor mechanic has been around for a long time, but Valve continues to keep the details of how it works in secret. Even in the official Steam Support FAQ some questions aren’t answered. That is why I decided to write information that can help understand how the trust factor is formed.

What influences the trust factor?

Listed below are the main reliably known parameters that affect the trust factor.

Your Steam usage history

When you launch a new game for the first time (eg CS:GO), your entire reputation is based solely on your previous experience with the platform. Your trust factor will be higher if you have been playing on your account for a long time and have not been noticed for any violations. Your trust factor will be lower if you are playing from a new account, or if you have many accounts, some of which you have committed violations of the rules.

Availability of Prime status

At the time of writing this guide, prime status can only be obtained through purchase for $15. You can read about what it is and what it affects in the corresponding FAQ from Steam Support. This does not hide the information that your trust factor will be higher if you get prime status.

Having an linked phone number

Like the prime status, this characteristic has a positive effect on your reputation. Your trust factor will be higher if you link a phone number to your account.

VAC bans and game bans

Receiving a block indicates a gross violation of the rules, which greatly affects the trust factor in a negative direction. Your trust factor will be lower if you have already been banned in other games, or if the VAC system has detected you have cheated in CS:GO, but hasn’t had time to ban you yet.

Conscientious game

If you play for a long time and don’t provoke a decrease of the trust factor, then over time it will increase. This is guaranteed by the developers, who claim that if you just consistently play CS:GO, then this is enough to gradually improve the selection of matches. Your trust factor will be higher if you play for a long time with no violations. Your trust factor will be lower if you receive temporary game bans (for example, after griefing).

Myths about the trust factor

On the Internet, you can find a huge number of myths and rumors related to the work of the trust factor. They have nothing to do with reality, but at the same time, they are repeatedly mentioned and quoted, which leads to the appearance of a huge amount of informational garbage. So I will list here the most popular misconceptions related to this topic to make you not consider fiction to be true.

MYTH №1: You can find out the value of your trust factor

There is no reliable way to find out your trust factor. You can only guess whether it is high or low based on the quality of the games played. However, there are quite a few sites on the Internet that are ready to allegedly measure your trust factor. In fact, such resources give out information that is not related to you in any way, which doesn’t make sense. Therefore, such services are absolutely useless.

MYTH №2: The trust factor is categorized

Some users divide the trust factor into «green», «yellow» and «red», attributing certain properties to each category. In reality, there is no gradation. One of the origins of this myth is that when starting a game in a lobby, players may receive a message that one of their allies has a lower trust factor than them. This message has a yellow background if the difference isn’t very large, and red if the difference is significant: This message is only a warning that the selection may change. It depends on the difference in the trust factor among the players in the lobby, but not on the specific value of any of them.

MYTH №3: The trust factor depends on the amount of money deposited on Steam

In fact, it doesn’t matter at all how much money you deposited into your account and how much you spent. This won’t make the trust factor either higher or lower. Therefore, buying games or any actions with in-game items in order to improve the reputation is completely pointless. The same goes for the Steam level, which has nothing to do with the trust factor.

MYTH №4: The trust factor depends on activity in the community

Some users think that by taking screenshots, creating guides, posting comments, and participating in all sorts of activities, they improve their trust factor. Of course, this isn’t so. This popular myth leads to the flooding of the community with a large amount of garbage that doesn’t carry a semantic load. It’s also worth noting that by rewarding, commenting on, or liking user content (like this guide), you don’t improve your trust factor in any way. But you do something nice for the author 🙂

MYTH №5: The trust factor depends on the account settings

In reality, you can neither raise nor lower your trust factor by changing your account settings (unless, of course, we say about authentication issues, like linking a phone). Some people advise you to make the profile public, as well as follow a number of other strange recommendations, but this will not help you. Make your profile settings the way that you personally will be comfortable.

MYTH №6: The trust factor depends on awards, rewards, and praise

Praise can beautify your profile, give Steam points, but nothing more. No rewards will increase your trust factor, whether it’s in-game praise or community rewards. Separately, it is worth noting that profile comments, «+rep»s, etc. also don’t affect the trust factor in any way.

MYTH №7: The trust factor may depend on the actions (violations) of other users

The original concept of the trust factor is based on the fact that it evaluates only you and your actions. Violations by other users can’t have any effect on your reputation. This means that if your friend or teammate violated the rules (for example, used cheats), then this can’t affect you in any way. After all, you are just an ordinary person, and you might not even know about it. Therefore, all pieces of advice about what you need, for example, to remove owners of game bans from friends, is meaningless.

MYTH №8: Valve staff or customer support can change your trust factor

The user integrity rating mechanism works in isolation, and neither Valve employees, nor the technical support service, nor anyone else can directly work with someone’s trust factor.