TrueSteamAchievements' Cheater Policy

What is your policy on cheats?
Some achievement tracking sites are quite happy to have game-savers and achievement hackers on their leaderboards. Here at TrueSteamAchievements, our members have made it clear that we don't want these gamers included within them. Including these gamers distorts the scores by devaluing our TSA ratios, so we want to try to remove these achievement "wins" from our equations. Therefore, it is our policy is to flag gamers that we find guilty of cheating, and remove their achievements from our calculations.
What happens if someone is reported to you?
We have set up a panel (called the Investigations Team, or IT for short) to look at complaints made into gamers, and to investigate their achievement wins for anything that looks suspicious. After a legitimate complaint is received, a member of the panel will write a report into the gamer, listing any achievements that they feel are dubious, and any evidence showing the gamer as being cheated. The report is then published to the panel, a copy is sent to the gamer in question on TrueSteamAchievements and they are given the option to respond to any allegations made in the report. Once all the information from the gamer in question has been received, or if a week goes by without a response, the panel then vote on whether or not they feel the gamer has cheated.
What happens then?
If the panel are not convinced that the card has cheated/hacked achievements, the complaint is dismissed and everyone lives happily ever after. The user will retain their Full Tracking status. However, if the panel votes against the card with a large enough majority, the gamer will be moved to one of three different account levels on TrueSteamAchievements:

Game Removal: The first time an account is caught cheating (or retroactively for accounts currently on NS), the owner of that account may be given the opportunity to remove the cheated games from their TSA account. The opportunity to remove games will be based on an agreement by the account holder that the game is in fact cheated (even if not by them) and they are willing to lose the game to retain leaderboard access. When a game is removed, its TrueSteamAchievement score and any record of its achievements are removed from the profile on TrueSteamAchievements. The statistics will also be removed from any leaderboards for that game. The Investigations Team will only remove 1% of the total games played (up to three total games) from any given card. For example a tag with 203 games played may only be eligible for removal of two cheated games. Accounts under 100 games played will be limited to the removal of one cheated game. If an account has had any games removed and cheats another game or is found to have cheated additional games in the past, the account may be moved to No Tracking.
  • Complete achievement tracking - excluding the removed game(s)
  • Achievements Won and Games Started will factor in site ratio calculations - excluding the removed game(s)
  • Still retains TrueSteamAchievement Score / TSA Ratio
  • Retains TrueSteamAchievement leaderboard access
  • Will show in "Gamers who completed this game" lists and feed items - excluding the removed game(s)
Non-Stat: Gamers that are found to have a small amount of cheated games on their card may be given the option of a Non-Stat account. Generally speaking they will have no more than two games on their card that show signs of cheating. The purpose of this level is to help protect users from problems after being hacked or from glitches that are not well known. However it also may be used to forgive a gamer who has repented for their cheating. Well-known problems with achievement unlocks will not have any action taken against them.
  • Complete achievement tracking
  • Achievements Won and Games Started will not factor in any site ratio calculations
  • Still retains TrueSteamAchievement Score / TSA Ratio
  • Will not place on any TrueSteamAchievement Leaderboards
  • Will not show in "Gamers who completed this game" lists or feed items

No Tracking: Gamers who egregiously cheat will still be removed from TSA scanners. While moving these accounts to non-stat would work, the scanner resources are better saved for people who are not cheating. No access changes have been made to this level. These accounts will continue to be marked with the icon on their Gamer Homepage.
  • No achievement tracking at all
Please note that we do not have any power to remove achievements from Steam.
How do you define "cheating"?
The Investigations Team uses the following guidelines: Examples of cheating (but not limited to these):
  • Using profile editors or other software to unlock achievements without playing
  • Gamesaving, which is the practice of using a save from a different gamer
  • Knowingly using a hacked lobby to unlock achievements
  • Editing or manipulating game / save files
  • Using any software or patches not released by the game developer
Examples that are not considered cheating (but not limited to these):
  • Boosting / trading kills, wins, etc
  • Switching your timezone/language
  • Offline gaming in general (provided the achievement doesn't require online access)
  • Offline gaming to avoid a title update
  • Reverting a game to a specific title update
  • Changing your PC date/time while offline
  • Using a turbo controller to automate grinding
  • Taking advantage of an in-game console (Fallout 3 PC)
  • Taking advantage of an in-game cheat code (most LEGO games)
  • Taking advantage of bad stats coding (Quake 4 Ranked points / Far Cry 2 de-rank)
  • Taking advantage of bad AI coding (Left 4 Dead / World at War Zombies Map Pack 3)
  • Taking advantage of bad coding in general (Left 4 Dead 2 late join)
  • Taking advantage of any developer tool
  • Playing a game prior to its release date
  • Using modded weapons
  • Allowing others to play for you on your tag

How do I report someone?
If you want to report someone for cheating, please click the icon which can be found in the drop down menu below their gamerpic on their homepage.
I've got some achievements that glitched on my card, but these were entirely random and not done on purpose
First and foremost, the panel is not judging the gamer. They are only judging if there are illegitimate achievements on the gamers account. We go to great lengths to ensure that we don't find against a card that has known glitches. We know the Steam and those that develop games for it aren't perfect, and sometimes weird things happen that are out of anyone's control, we don't want to penalize people in those cases.
Regarding user submitted achievement solutions
Solutions on TrueSteamAchievements can be submitted by any site member. The review process for solutions is based on community feedback and is not managed by the Investigations Team. As such, solutions that encourage cheating may sometimes be posted. If you are unsure if any given solution is cheating or not, please post in our forum. You can find the link near the end of this page.
I've been found guilty of cheating, can I appeal?
You can post questions & comments to the Investigation Team in this forum. Remember to keep it civil. Please keep in mind that anything posted in this forum can be read by anyone on the site. If you need to contact the Investigations Manager privately you can contact them here.