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CS:GO - Overwatch guide

Everything you ever wanted to know about how CS:GO's Overwatch system works.

CS:GO is one of the few games we've played which hands players a duty. If you're someone who has spent a lot of time with the game, then you'll be asked to help the community a little. The system goes by the name of "Overwatch", and within it you'll play a part in weeding out the cheaters by acting as one member of a virtual jury.

Choose to accept and you'll be shown some footage from a player who has been heavily reported for cheating, all of which is presented from their perspective. To save you time, the Overwatch system automatically cuts to parts of the match considered to be the most telling moments, and once the vida has elapsed, you'll vote on whether you believe the player involved was cheating or not.

While it may sound like a chore, CS:GO's Overwatch system is somewhat of a privilege to be a part of as you're genuinely helping out the game's community. What's more, it's very satisfying when you know for certain you've discovered a cheater.

However, it's a feature of the game that's somewhat mysterious when it comes to how it's unlocked, how it functions and what you'll get out of it - apart from the glowing sense of satisfaction, of course.

For all the details on CS:GO’s Overwatch, have a read through our guide below. For further detail, make sure you head on over to Valve's official blog post on the subject.

How does Overwatch work?

If you’re an experienced member of the community, you’ll be tasked with watching footage of a player that’s recently been heavily reported for exploiting the game in some way.

Once the footage has come to a close you’ll be asked to determine whether you thought those reports were valid.

How do I gain access to Overwatch?

To unlock access to Overwatch, you’ll need to be an active member of CS:GO’s community. That's less in the sense of chiming up in the Steam forums, and more to do with playing the game.

”Investigators” are chosen based on competitive wins, account age, hours played, Skill group, low report count and more. If applicable, prior Overwatch participation is also taken into account so that those who’ve taken part before may receive more cases to participate in.

Your best bet at becoming an investigator is to play more matches in the official competitive matchmaking pool, earning XP and climbing up the ranks.

What footage are you reviewing as an investigator?

You’ll be watching a randomly selected eight-round segment from an accused player’s match. The accused will be named as “The Suspect” and all the other player names will be omitted. This goes for the text and voice chat too.

What happens once you’ve viewed the footage?

At the end of an Overwatch session you’ll be given four possible charges to choose from. Each charge has two verdicts: “Insufficient Evidence” and “Evident beyond a reasonable doubt”. If you’ve not got the time to do a review, you can always postpone it and get it done another time.

Of course, if all investigators point to the players having committed an offense then the appropriate action will be taken against them. If there’s a mixture of votes with no obvious conclusion, then the case will be thrown out.

More popular CS:GO guides:

This video by timeisbutawindow showcases Overwatch in action, so do make sure to give it a view!

How do points work in Overwatch?

You’ll need to be accurate when you’re investigating cases.

You’ll accrue points depending on whether you’ve agreed with the vast majority of other investigators, and you'll lose points if this isn’t the case.

The only way to improve your Overwatch score is to watch the footage carefully and make an informed decision, which isn’t too difficult as it’s surprisingly compelling to act as the detective!

Earning lots of points impacts your Overwatch Investigator Score. Submit accurate verdicts in the majority of your cases and you'll begin receiving XP rewards based on the overall accuracy of your recent verdicts, scaled by your Overwatch Investigator Score.

The higher the score, the better the XP rewards.

Are the are any rewards for participating in Overwatch?

As mentioned above, you can earn XP bonuses by submitting accurate verdicts. After this has happened a few times you’ll receive an XP boost reward which’ll kick in when you start playing matches.

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Ed Thorn avatar

Ed Thorn

Reviews Editor

When Ed's not cracking thugs with bicycles in Yakuza, he's likely swinging a badminton racket in real life. Any genre goes, but he's very into shooters and likes a weighty gun, particularly if they have a chainsaw attached to them. Adores orange and mango squash, unsure about olives.