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Counter-Strike will soon start silencing abusive players

Squish, squelch, squash

We've been there. You're rushing long-A on Dust, asking for smoke cover, but the response is deadlier than any digital gunshot. A high-pitched wail ruptures your headset, puncturing eardrums and shattering glass. Your monitor's ruined. When the dust settles and the ringing stops, the comms are wild with name-calling, homophobic slurs and swears that'd make a sailor blush. But mic screamers beware. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is about to take action against abusive communications by automatically muting troublesome teammates.

Valve detailed the changes in a blog post titled Squelching The Noise (gross). CS:GO players already have the power to mute all players, but the team feels it's currently too broad an option. That you might, in fact, actually want to communicate with your team from time to time makes it all the more frustrating that some strangers are using their microphones to perform ear-crime.

You may have noticed that you can now report players for "Abusive Communications or Profile". If someone receives too many of these reports, they'll be muted for all other players by default - teammates can choose to unmute them if they wish, but their cries will fall silent on everyone else. Besides text and voice chat, players can also report profiles as abusive, squashing their icon from the in-game roster.

This auto-mute lasts until the account gains a certain amount of XP. You can't ride this one out on another account 'til the timer passes. Valve hope this report-based system will help the community regulate itself. Reports will be weighted towards players with longer playtime who report less-frequently, hopefully avoiding mass-squelching from bots or aggrieved sub-communities.

But that's a heavy reliance on CS:GO players not to abuse the platform for their own ends. For example, YouTuber 3kliksphilip suspects situations like a foreign speaker being reported as abusive just for saying hello in their native tongue, or a player being penalised for a malfunctioning microphone.

I suppose we'll have to wait and see what sort of abuse threshold warrants a squelching. Gross.

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Natalie Clayton avatar

Natalie Clayton


Writes news when everyone else is asleep, sometimes

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