1. Don't click any links in Steam chat. Scammers are sending links with special characters that look exactly like real Steam-related websites.

How to spot Steam Hackers/Scripters

Discussion in 'SteamRep Guides' started by Bacon Overlord, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. Bacon Overlord

    Bacon Overlord Donator - Tier V

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    This may not be a direct relation to the whole trading issue.. but it WILL help you find out if the person you're about to try to trade with is involved in some stuff that would sway you one way or the other.

    I'm going to help you spot someone that is a Steam Hacker first of all.

    This one is easy. What do people hack on Steam? Pretty much ANYTHING... they hack their Steam level, they hack their card numbers, their badges, etc.

    The easiest way to spot a hacker on Steam is to check out their Steam level. If they are anywhere over 90 then it's pretty safe to assume they should have quite a bit of history for you to verify. If you click on their "badges" link on their Steam profile, you should not only see their badges, but also the EXP they have accumulated so far. If it shows an insane amount of EXP required for the next level (it's generally going to be less than 10K unless they are over level 190) like this guy: http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198062161809. If you'll notice he has only 5 badges and is level 90+ (your first clue) then you click his badges and note that in order to make his next level, he requires over 95,000 exp. That's the sure sign that someone has hacked their Steam Level.

    Some hackers are a bit smarter and cover their tracks better. They might actually care what people think or they might have some money and time tied up in the account. You never know. But, another sure way to tell is to click their badges.

    Pay close attention to the timeframe they created their badges. Now, bear in mind that when you create a badge, you have to buy/trade for the cards first. Granted, this can be done in advance. However, you still have to click the "create" button for each badge level (up to 5 for regular non-seasonal badges and 1 for normal non-seasonal FOIL badges) and watch all the little cards swirl around and then the data about what 3 items you received, if you completed a level, etc. That takes time as well as switching between that badge and the next one that needs your attention. Generally a high-end computer system with a great internet can put a 10-card badge together in about 15 seconds from click to click. That means a 5-level badge will take about 75 seconds. Note that it takes more than 1 minute. Even a 5-card badge still has a minimum time for completion of 10 seconds each. This is, not only for Steam to keep the servers from being bombarded by people creating badges, but also to keep people from timing out and losing their hard-earned cards, etc.

    So... we know the background information. But, when you're looking closely at some people's cards.. you'll notice something strange. They have more than one 5-level badge created in the same minute. Is that possible? The short answer is "yes". Because the system is limited on what it tracks, it only actually posts the time the badge was COMPLETED, not when it was started. So, it's possible that you could get done with one badge at 1 second into a minute and finish a quick 5-card badge and potentially have two badges created in the same minute that are level 5. Is it likely? No. Don't forget, if you're looking at a non-level 5 badge then it took much less time to create them and you can have all kinds of them done in the same minute. I wouldn't expect more than a couple though.

    So, why do people have up to 20 to 60 level 5 badges with the exact same time and date? That's not possible. Based on everything we just talked about, it's not possible to have more than two (unlikely) level 5 badges created in the same minute, much less 20. Yet, when you go into the badges of most of the uber-high level profiles on Steam, you'll note that they have lots and lots of situations where they have 20-60 badges all created in the same minute. (example: Check out http://steamcommunity.com/profiles/76561198032978162 badges on Dec 16th at 9:21 PM.. he has 16 level 5 badges all created in the same minute... actually he has lots of these types of situations, this is just an example... another is Feb 15th at 11:50 PM.. he made over 20 level 1 badges all in the same minute, the next minute several more. Again, not possible. Not even with scripts)

    That's when you know you're not dealing with someone that's on the level. They are hacking and creating badges for their profile. Not that anyone should be surprised considering the amount of time and money that goes into even hitting level 200 (I know, I'm level 200 and did it totally legitimately).

    So, there you have it. A very basic crash-course on how to spot hackers and scammers on Steam. They may have a perfect track record in rep, trading, etc. But, do you really want to trade with someone that may have just created that account specifically to make it look like they are a pillar of the community, but could end up banned at any time when Steam finally starts getting wise to some of these tricks, hacks and exploits?

    Basically, the deal with the Steam Subscriber Agreement (SSA) is as follows:
    Anything you buy from the Marketplace is known as a commodity. Commodities (per the SSA) are owned by Steam, therefore they can control what you do with them. In this case we're going to be talking about Steam Cards and Badges.
  2. 404UserNotFound

    404UserNotFound Donator - Tier V

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    Yeahhhh no. Not everyone who has been on Steam for years has a high Steam level. The only people with levels over 90 are either incredibly good traders, or like the guys with levels up above 300-400, have a lot of money to spend.

    My steam level is in the 50's and I've been a member for 5 years with good trading history. I've never scammed anyone ever.

    So that kind of blows that theory of yours out of the water.
  3. 404UserNotFound

    404UserNotFound Donator - Tier V

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    First off, I kind of misread that bit about level 90s, and having history to verify. I thought you were stating that anyone over level 90 is more reputable than anyone under level 90. You're just talking about checking their Steam level and then their badges to see if that info adds up. That's good advice.

    However, you're spreading a fair bit of misinformation about how long it takes to craft badges. I could craft several badges to level 5 within the same minute using AutoHotKey or any other keyboard/mouse macro creator.

    Some of the situations you list off make it seem like you don't know that you can open multiple browser tabs and complete multiple badges within the same minute. It's all very simple stuff. I could easily complete 50 badges to level 5 using browser tabs and AutoHotKey. That's not hacking of any sort, it's just working smart instead of working hard.

    Let's say you were to level 60 different badges up to level 4 first. Because Steam checks the time they were completed, you open up say...60 tabs, one for each badge. One by one, you go tab to tab clicking the craft button really fast. Within a minute you'd probably hit at least 40-50 badges done.

    That's most likely what was done for a lot of those guys who have 20 badges done in a minute. I'm surprised you didn't figure this out while you wrote this guide.
  4. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    My account is about 1 year old, and level 1 :p
  5. Bacon Overlord

    Bacon Overlord Donator - Tier V

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    You kind of have to read it to understand how that fits in. People below 90 wouldn't generally take the time to find shortcuts/hacks/scripts to level... since the XP required for leveling at 200+ is 2000 per level (20 badges). 90 is where the XP really starts ramping up.
  6. Bacon Overlord

    Bacon Overlord Donator - Tier V

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    That's correct, you could spend all the time prepping to make a whole bunch of badges all at the same time.

    But, what's the motivation there? It's not a time savings.... especially considering you have to switch between badges, get all the webpages set up in advance so they all line up perfectly (and I do mean PERFECTLY) so you can just click through them all.. in order to get 20 or so level FIVE badges in the same minute, mind you. That's 100 badges you're going to create and 20 different badges you'll have to switch to also.

    It's a pointless investment of time for all that prep unless you're just trying to see if you can do it. You might be able to if you use some pretty complicated scripts. But, that's kind of the point. The SSA forbids automating any portion of the buying or use of what it considers consumables and commodities. Hence, why I wrote this guide.

    Anyone over level 100 that isn't using scripts or hacks is really dedicated and pretty much having to spend HOURS a day and thousands of dollars on nothing but leveling.

    I know.. I'm currently level 202 and I've done it all totally legitimately.

    If you scroll through the badges of a couple of the people I linked in the guide, you'll see how they have like 20 badges created in the same minute. Then, the next minute they have another 10-15 badges... and then two or three every other minute for pretty much the entire day and night. It's obvious that it's automated.

    The part of the guide to focus on is the fact that they are using some form of illegal hack/script and that can be a factor in whether or not they should be trusted.
  7. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    no, they don't spend thousands on leveling. I know one that has spend less then 50 dollar, and is level 150+
  8. GoldLobster

    GoldLobster Donator - Tier V

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    Wow thats pretty good Silent. I've spent more then that and I'm only level 50. I assume they trade cards or wait for people to list them for a very low price.
  9. SilentReaper(SR)

    SilentReaper(SR) Retired Staff

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    he's a game collector, he swaps cards and games etc.
  10. GoldLobster

    GoldLobster Donator - Tier V

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    Ah very cool.
  11. 404UserNotFound

    404UserNotFound Donator - Tier V

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    Alright, fair points. But here's the thing. Valve doesn't care. Sure, they put lines in the SSA about not using automation to buy commodities. Yeah that's understandable. But using them (i.e badge crafting)? Yeah pretty sure Valve is going to overlook that.

    I've never seen anyone ever get in trouble for using any sort of automation to level badges and I know quite a few people who have done so for badge crafting. They've purchased all the badges legitimately and didn't want to sit there crafting manually. That's where an easy badge crafting AHK script was created to take care of power-crafting.

    I can see avoiding the people who unlock the badges via hackery and don't have the XP to go along with a high level and a bunch of badges. Screw those people. But avoiding people who earned their badges and level legitimately through use of an automation script for crafting? That's just wrong.

    Now I did find the bit in the SSA you're referring to, and you've got it twisted (yay, actual proof that you're wrong)

    I CTRL+F'd for "commodit" and "consum" and couldn't find anything. By "subscription marketplace process", Valve is referring to the purchasing of items from the Marketplace. Using an automated script to automatically craft badges is completely fine. There is nothing anywhere that states you are not allowed to use automation for crafting badges.

    Heck, want more proof that Valve doesn't care? Dr. McKay of AlliedModders (a SourceMod/MetaMod/AMX Mod X plugin-making community) has designed a browser extension for Chrome/Firefox that adds an option to automatically buy any cards needed for a badge.
    https://bitbucket.org/Doctor_McKay/steam-trading-card-bulk-buyer. Tons of people use this, no-one has been banned for using it.

    He's also made a 1-click sell-on-marketplace extension which I personally use because it makes selling all the bloody emoticons and backgrounds I craft 100x easier and quicker. It checks the lowest price on the market of the item and allows you to easily list it on the marketplace for that lowest price with 1 click. Of course, if it's too low for you or wrong, you can still manually list it.
    https://bitbucket.org/Doctor_McKay/steam-inventory-augmentor

    So in closing, you've lumped scripters in with hackers as if we're evil. I script things for SourceMod. Not all scripters are evil. And badge-crafting automation is not against any rules, especially if you legitimately purchase the badges. You aren't doing anything wrong.
    [iMBa] KiLLeR likes this.
  12. Bacon Overlord

    Bacon Overlord Donator - Tier V

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    Sounds good to me. The whole thing with there being zero time between badges is still something that isn't explained. But, I appreciate all the research that went into your response. People can temper what they read in my guide with your good research. Thanks.
    [iMBa] KiLLeR likes this.
  13. 404UserNotFound

    404UserNotFound Donator - Tier V

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    And I know that I may have come off sounding like a dick in my response, and that was not intentional. Zero time between badges? I explained that above. It could be a result of multiple tabs, as Steam doesn't log the exact second a badge was created, just the hour and minute.
    [iMBa] KiLLeR likes this.
  14. Rag1hit

    Rag1hit New User

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    The closest I have in between badge creations with lag and all is a minute. I bought all the cards first from the market and had 2-4 badge creations ready. Click on ready on 1 in a browser and then clicked on another on the steam client. Is it possible to create badges from multiple tabs in a browser? Would that make me violate a steam rule?
    [iMBa] KiLLeR likes this.
  15. Someone 2

    Someone 2 Donator - Tier V

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    I doubt it.

    You can also press "Craft Badge" and refresh the page to not have to wait for the spinning.
    [iMBa] KiLLeR likes this.