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How Valve is muzzling toxic gamers in CS:GO

It's no secret that online gaming comes with the danger of running into jerks. You know the type: toxic gamers who always seem to have something inappropriate to say or some rage to vent. It can be a real hassle for those of use who just want to play a few drama-free rounds of Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Valve has taken notice of this issue, and is implementing a new strategy to block out the haters.

In a blog post fittingly called "Squelching the Noise," Valve announced plans to cut down on abuse. This new system will automatically mute players who have received "significantly more abuse reports than other players." Valve didn't reveal what that ratio is, so we're left to wonder how many reports are "significant." Even so, this might help to stem the flow of toxic players in the game.

Note that this upcoming mechanic will not kick these players: it just defaults them to mute. In this way, other players will be aware that their teammate might just have an issue with their temper. They then have the choice to manually unmute this purportedly toxic player or just leave them on mute.

How gaming deals with toxic players

This certainly isn't the most harsh of punishments. Other games are much more strict when it comes to toxicity.

Last year, for example, Gears 5 made headlines by doling out massive suspensions to "rampant quitters." Players who dipped out of one too many multiplayer matches, leaving their teammates high and dry, were faced with suspensions that lasted months, even years. One player posted on Reddit that they had been banned 640 days — almost two whole years. 

Valve, too, has handed out lengthy bans. Dota 2 devs also took "excessive reports, failing to ready-up or abandoning" very seriously. Players found guilty of these mortal sins were banned for up to 19 years. When they posted their sentences on Reddit, they didn't exactly get a lot of sympathy. There's nothing players hate more than a toxic teammate.

Valve and other developers are working to minimize toxic behavior so that players can do what they most want to: play in peace. We'll have to wait and see if it works.