Are you a Counter Strike Global Offensive player??? Then you might be well aware of the facts that cheater are prevailing in the game from the very beginning and now it has raised to an incredible amount along with smurfs who ruin your gameplay. But VALVE has always tried to stop those hackers/cheaters by bringing BAN Hammers in form of VAC or VALVE ANTI CHEAT. Now many have witnessed the power of VAC but to make your gaming experience better VAC has more than 1700 CPU’s working for it to punish cheaters.
Today most of the popular multiplayer games have to face never-ending battles against cheaters. But as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive rose in 2014 to become the most-played FPS in the world making it a game to face huge amounts of hackers. CSGO is the 10th game released on Source and the third in the Counter-Strike Series and as a result, many were fully aware of how to tamper with VALVE’s gaming engine. Due to the type of gameplay that CSGO offers it is indeed a skilful game of angles and accuracy which also make cheats more effective. The in-game weapons are deadly and putting those guns in the hands of aimbots/wallers makes it even worse. Also, a key skill point of the game is that you will have the upper hand if you are able to know the exact spot, you enemies are hiding which can be easily done by the infamous wall hacks.
VALVE’s VAC system is day by day getting updated to counter the cheaters using various hacks and the fight against hackers is important. Valve and McDonald looked to deep learning, a solution that had the capability to operate and adapt over time to new cheating techniques which have become an attractive trait to Valve, which will automate aspects of Steam rather than hire hundreds of new employees to tackle issues like curation. VALVE’s creation to fight cheaters is known as VACnet which is a project that represents about a year of work.
VACnet works along with OVERWATCH which the community players used to review reports of disruptive behaviour, determine whether those reports are valid, and apply temporary bans if appropriate. According to McDonald “subtle” cheats remain difficult to solve but in developing VACnet, Valve decided to target aimbots first because they use specific, easily-definable points during rounds of CSGO that is at time of the shooting. This allowed Valve to build a system which captures the changes in pitch (Y-axis) and yaw (X-axis) degree measurements in a player’s perspective which is a half a second before a shot, and a quarter second after. This data, along with other pieces of information like what weapon the player is using, their distance, the result of the shot are the individual ‘data particles’ that together form what Valve calls “atoms,” which is essentially a data package that describes each shot.
VACnet doesn’t necessarily spot a cheater based on one atom, and it needs a sequence of them and the thing that VALVE actually want is 140 of them or as per requirement of VACnet. They just take the 140 out of an eight-round window and then stuff these into the model. Both players and VACnet report players for judgment in Overwatch. But in the case where VACnet reports a suspected cheater, they are probably the cheater.
For VACnet to work properly as it should VALVE need a server farm could handle CSGO’s millions of players, loads of data, and grow as CSGO grew. At present, there are around 600,000 CSGO competitive matches per day, and to evaluate all players in those matches Valve needed about four minutes of computation, amounting to 2.4 million minutes of CPU effort per day which means it would require 1,700 CPUs to do that daily work. So Valve bought 1,700 CPUs and 1,700 more for a room to expand VACnet. For getting this much hardware stuff, Valve had spent at least a few million dollars which consist of 64 server blades with 54 CPU cores each and 128GB of RAM per blade which is nothing if compared against the CS:GO game copy sales alone in 2017 which almost estimated around S120M, but with the current hardware setup to BAN cheaters VACnet is one of the robust anti-cheating system built for a single game.