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[CS:GO] Valve's Poor Support For Community Servers & Lack Of Communication (2nd Attempt) (Reddit Thread/2016)


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”I’ve seen this thread before?”
There is a chance you’ve seen this thread before on this subreddit. On August 19th, a thread with very similar contents as this one was posted. However, the thread was deleted by a malicious user (I’ve secured my account since). Therefore, I am reposting the thread with adjustments.


Hello, everyone. I would like to address the current state of Valve’s support for community servers. I’ve tried this before and the thread I made did succeed (thank you, r/GlobalOffensive!). However, we never received a response by Valve.

A majority of these topics have been brought up before but sadly went unnoticed by Valve. I am hoping Valve can give some sort of response this time. In the end, it is worth a try!


Last Reddit Post
The last Reddit post about community support can be found here.



  • Servers Running Content Against Valve’s Server Guidelines.
  • Valve’s Communication Between Server Operators.
  • Consider A Beta For Source 2.
  • The Current State Of The Server Browser.
  • Other Small Things.


Basically, servers are running plugins against Valve’s server guidelines. These plugins are giving the servers a big advantage over servers which are obeying the guidelines. Valve isn’t doing enough to eliminate the servers disobeying the guidelines either.


Next, Valve’s communication between the server operators is also poor. Server operators would appreciate it if the CS:GO developers at least started posting on the mailing list again after each update (with patch notes) like the TF2 team does at the moment. That said, there are many other areas Valve can improve communication in.


Furthermore, the community server browser is also highly outdated and broken; I believe a Garry’s Mod-like server browser would fit very well with CS:GO. I also believe we need to give non-empty servers an advantage over empty servers.


Other small things include finding a fix to the current Linux limitation in CS:GO servers, allowing players to gain XP in community servers, allowing community servers to participate in the Quick Play pool, start to patch exploits more quickly, and my opinion on why Valve isn’t pushing for 128 tick servers.


Servers Running Content Against Valve’s Server Guidelines
As a some of you are aware, there are many servers running plugins against Valve’s server guidelines. These specific plugins give players knives from the CS:GO market, weapon paints from the CS:GO market, etc. Although a majority of the player base enjoys the free content, it is killing communities obeying Valve’s guidelines.


A few of you may just say “Well, these communities should just put the plugins on their servers to compete”. There are a few valid reasons why communities shouldn’t be running these plugins. Firstly, it is wrong. Although Valve doesn’t appear to care about community servers (from my view), it is still wrong. Secondly, you are just hurting other communities who want to obey the server guidelines. Thirdly, I had custom weapon models (not sold on the CS:GO market) on my servers in the past and suffered from two bans and I’ll be honest, it is not fun moving the servers onto a new account. In fact, I’ve spent around one - two hours moving them after each ban I received (remember, these bans come with no details and I had no clue which server was triggering the ban).


Valve has taken action in the past to eliminate and ban servers going against their guidelines, but it hasn’t been enough. There are still plenty of servers out there with these plugins and they’re striving better than ever.


Here are some solutions Valve could use to eliminate these issues.


Make The Ban Waves More Frequent
This is the most viable option because it will eliminate servers intentionally going against Valve’s guidelines. Currently, ban waves aren’t consistent. A few weeks ago, I made a thread on the mailing list that addressed the inconsistency with server bans. After this thread was made, I saw three ban waves in three days (once per day). Afterwards, it stopped for a week or two. In order for this ban system to work out, Valve needs to start issuing more bans and stay consistent.


Prevent Servers From Giving Banned Content
This is also a great option. As far as I know, TF2 does this and it works out great. Basically just prevent servers from giving banned content (e.g. knives, etc). A server modification called SourceMod already has a feature that prevents servers from executing code that triggers a server ban. If the SourceMod developers can do this, the CS:GO developers definitely can too.


Remove The Ban On The Plugins
This would allow servers to compete on an even playing field again. Although, Valve is actually making money each time they have ban waves. I doubt this will happen.


To sum up, many great communities are suffering because they are obeying Valve’s guidelines. From what I’ve seen, many of these servers running the banned plugins also offer a poor environment for their players. For example, I’ve seen servers that are running these plugins spam MOTD Ads mid-round (every minute). Yet, the server is in the top ten on GameTracker (server ranking website). My point is, there are many bad servers striving due to nothing being done about these plugins.


Valve’s Communication Between Server Operators
The next thing I want to talk about is Valve’s communication between server operators. Currently, I believe it is poor. Valve rarely communicates with server operators. For example, the CS:GO developers have stopped posting on the mailing list after releasing each update. At one point, they would post on the csgo_servers mailing list after releasing each update. These posts would include all of the relevant update notes. This generally was great because server operators subscribed to the mailing list would know when updates were released via e-mail. Despite that, the TF2 developers still post on the mailing list after releasing each TF2 update.


There are other areas where Valve can communicate better. Another example was when they started to enforce the server guidelines. Valve never made it clear whether custom weapon models are allowed or not. This question is still unanswered to this day.


Communication between Valve and the community is important. Although I have seen an improvement recently, it is still very poor.


Consider A Beta For Source 2
A hot topic recently discussed was when/if CS:GO will move to the Source 2 engine. Personally, I believe it will. However, I haven’t seen any solid proof yet.

If CS:GO is moving to the Source 2 engine, I would like to see an open beta beforehand. This will give people time to point out bugs, etc. in CS:GO as a whole. As for community servers, if there’s no beta or communication beforehand, this move will most likely be a disaster for server operators.


I highly hope Valve considers an open beta before moving CS:GO to the Source 2 engine.


Current State Of The Server Browser
The current state of the CS:GO server browser is poor. The server browser is highly outdated and doesn’t even match CS:GO’s color scheme. Moreover, I’ve seen some reports that players still only see around 100-200 servers in the server browser which should have been fixed more than a year ago.


In my other Reddit thread, I suggested completely remaking the server browser and perhaps making it more like the Garry’s Mod server browser. It would be nice to see the server browser organized into groups for each game mode like the Garry’s Mod server browser. Of course, an option to list “all” community servers should be available as well. I still feel this is the best direction to go.


That said, I want to give another suggestion for the community server browser. After doing some testing with the Steam Master Server API, I’ve discovered there are at least 20000 empty community servers and around 11,000 community servers with at least one player (average). This does not include Valve’s official servers. Sadly, the cap on the amount of servers I can retrieve from the API is 20000. This means there are more than 20000 community servers being displayed on the server browser which are empty and only ~11,000 (peak) non-empty servers. I think it would be best to give non-empty servers an advantage on the server browser. For example, have the “Has players playing” filter checked by default. Although I can understand server operators being upset over this, I still feel it would be the best option. In the end, server operators should have a player base trying to populate their servers. As of right now, I can get five to ten players on my servers but it won’t go above twelve players. I feel the server browser being cluttered with empty servers isn’t helping.


If and when CS:GO moves to the Source 2 engine, I highly hope they remake the server browser and that it is done well. You can read my other Reddit post (linked at the top) for more details about the community server browser.


Other Small Things
There are a few other small things I want to talk about. This includes suggestions, issues, etc.


Linux Limitation
As mentioned in my other Reddit post, there is currently a Linux limitation in CS:GO affecting servers; CS:GO Linux servers don’t appear to use the networking thread while CS:GO Windows servers do. From my understanding, the extra thread (AKA networking thread) handles the networking CPU load from the CS:GO server. This makes a huge difference on larger CS:GO servers (basically, think of the server being able to use 150% CPU with the networking thread instead of 100% CPU).


Valve has been aware of this issue for quite some time now. However, the issue is still not fixed. While I do understand the CS:GO developers are unsure what could be causing the limitation, I would appreciate it if communication was made about the issue. Hopefully this can be fixed sometime in the future. Many server operators want to run CS:GO servers on Linux but sadly can’t due to this limitation (unless you want terrible server performance).


XP And Quick Play For Community Servers
Currently, official player XP and Quick Play are disabled for community servers. I believe players should be able to earn at least some XP on community servers and community servers should be put into the Quick Play pool (only servers running official maps).


While I do understand why Valve doesn’t want players receiving XP in community servers, it is drawing many players away from community servers. The biggest issue I see from allowing players to gain XP on community servers would be bad server operators intentionally making servers for players to farm XP in. Personally, I’m unsure about the best way to prevent the system from being abused by bad server operators, but I do have suggestions. Here are my suggestions:


Limit XP For Players While Playing On Community Servers
Although server operators may be against this, I believe this would help against servers attempting to farm XP. XP can be limited by player or server. For example, if XP is limited by the server, the server can only give x amount of XP daily to players.


Track XP By Server
If Valve decides to track XP on community servers by server, I feel more options would open up. For example, if a server is caught farming XP and banned, all the XP given to players by that server would be removed. Although, I can definitely see players being upset over this. For example, if a player joined the server while the server wasn’t farming XP, they could lose all the XP they’ve gained when the server was banned later. That said, perhaps Valve could see when the server started farming XP and remove all player’s XP from and to specific dates. This would obviously take some work but I feel this would be the best option.


Community Servers Have A Different XP System
I’m not sure if this is even an option and I can see many people disagreeing with this. However, I just wanted to throw this out there anyway. Community servers could have their own XP system. For example, under the official XP bar, there could be “Community XP” bar which is used for community servers.


There are definitely ways to allow players to earn XP on community servers without the system being abused, but it will require work. I hope the CS:GO developers at least consider this feature as it will help community servers out a lot.


I also believe community servers should be in the Quick Play pool (only servers running official maps). For a while, community servers were put in the Quick Play pool but were taken out a couple years ago after an update. Server operators trying to run stock servers likely stand no chance against Valve’s official servers since they have a big advantage (quick play + official player XP). There are servers out there that offer an arguably better gaming experience than Valve servers (e.g. 128 tick and no lag), but are sadly empty most of the time.


Naturally, players should be able to easily blacklist servers they do not like. Once the server is blacklisted, they will not be put into that community server again through Quick Play. Perhaps add another option “Blacklist all servers under this account” which will blacklist all servers under the same Steam account as the original server you blacklisted. For example, if a server operator put up sixteen DeathMatch servers where the server performance is terrible and MOTD Ads spam every minute, of course somebody is going to want to blacklist the server. However, there is a chance they’ll be put into one of the other servers they have. Therefore, adding an option to blacklist all servers under the specific account will save the player time.


Recently Patched Exploit
On July 27th, 2016 an exploit was officially patched that prevented players from intentionally crashing community servers. While I do appreciate Valve officially patching this exploit, it took them over a month to do so. The first time I saw the exploit reported was on June 20th. It was reported to Valve multiple times since then and they still took over a month to eventually fix it. This, in my opinion, is ridiculous. Thankfully, the modding community was able to quickly write a SourceMod extension to patch the exploit. However, this extension was somewhat hidden in a thread on the SourceMod forum (AlliedModders). There were still server operators completely unaware of the extension that patched the exploit and constantly asking why their server was getting attacked.


Valve should make these type of things their main priority. In my opinion, exploits shouldn’t exist any longer than a week, let alone over a month. I hope Valve realizes how bad this makes them look and starts to improve in the future.


128 Tick For Valve Official Servers
The next thing I want to talk about isn’t a suggestion or issue; I simply want to let everybody know why I think Valve isn’t pushing for 128 tick servers.


Running 128 tick is very heavy on the server machine’s CPU. In fact, I believe 128 tick takes around 2 - 3X more CPU than 64 tick (for servers, not players). I would imagine this would cost a lot of money for Valve due to machine costs and such, although Valve should have the money for it.


Personally, I think that is the main reason they aren’t pushing for 128 tick. It may sound obvious but it seems like a lot of players are expecting them to move to 128 tick. As of right now, Valve does not appear to want to spend money on something they don’t “need”.


To sum up, CS:GO’s current state regarding community servers is poor. From my view as of right now, the CS:GO developers do not seem to care about community servers. I am aware that they are simply following basic business acumen as a corporation should, but I think it would be in the best interest of everyone if Valve offered more community support. Of course, a majority of these issues may be fixed once the Source 2 engine is released. However, Valve hasn’t communicated about any of them. I am therefore assuming the worse outcome. I truly hope Valve does start to improve in the future. Not only are community servers suffering, but the game as a whole appears to be as well (many issues going unnoticed, etc.).


If you have other suggestions for CS:GO, feel free to post them in this thread! There are still many issues that need to be fixed. I wrote about the ones that are the most important to community servers from my view.


Thank you for reading.

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