What is VAC?


VAC stands for Valve Anti-Cheat, an automated system designed to detect cheats installed on users' computers. If a user connects to a VAC-Secured server from a computer with identifiable cheats installed, the VAC system will ban the user from playing that game on VAC-Secured servers in the future.
The VAC system reliably detects cheats using their cheat signatures. Any third-party modifications to a game designed to give one player an advantage over another is classified as a cheat or hack and will trigger a VAC ban. This includes modifications to a game's core executable files and dynamic link libraries.
While server admins may choose to ban specific players, server admins cannot VAC ban players.


The following will not trigger a VAC ban:


Using chat programs like X-Fire or Overwolf System hardware configurations Updated system drivers, such as video card drivers


How can I ensure I don't get VAC banned?


Reporting cheaters in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will help identify users that should be viewed by Overwatch.


When should I report a suspect?


To ensure your account does not get VAC banned, use only trusted machines to play on VAC-Secured servers. If you are not sure whether or not the machine you are using to connect to Steam may have cheats installed, do not play on VAC-Secured servers.
Use caution when installing any game modifications like scripts or custom skins, and only download custom content from trusted sources. Hackers may maliciously disguise their cheats to cause others to get banned.
For more information on how you can protect yourself and your account, please refer to our Account Security Recommendations FAQ.
Additional information on Valve's policies can be found in our Steam Subscriber Agreement.


How do I report a cheater?


If you believe to have played with or against a cheater, please follow the instructions in the Reporting suspected cheaters FAQ to report the suspected cheater.
Note: Users are not VAC banned based on reports alone. Other factors are taken into account before VAC bans are issued.


What games are VAC enabled?


A list of VAC enabled games can be found on the Steam Storefront by clicking here.


If I'm VAC banned can I play on insecure servers?


Yes, if the game offers insecure servers. Some VAC protected games allow servers that are not protected by VAC.
Users that are VAC banned are still able to play on insecure servers for the game they are VAC banned in. Please note that not all games have insecure servers.


Will I be punished if someone sharing my Library cheats?


Your Family Sharing privileges may be revoked and your account may also be VAC banned if your library is used by others to cheat. Additionally, VAC-banned games cannot be shared between accounts. We recommend you only authorize Steam Accounts and computers you know to be secure, and as always, never give out your password to anyone or share your account.


What is the difference between a VAC Ban and a Server Ban?


VAC bans prevent you from playing on secured servers across all of Steam. Server administrators may issue a Server ban, but these are not as severe as a VAC ban. We cannot prevent Server bans at Valve; whoever runs the server can ban players for any reason they desire.
If you find that you are banned from a large number of community servers you have likely been banned by a third-party ban tool, such as Steambans or Punkbuster. These third-party tools are used by a large number of servers sharing a common database of banned IDs. These tools are unrelated to Steam and we cannot assist you in resolving these issues.
You will not be banned by the VAC system unless you log in to a VAC-secure server with a cheat installed on your computer.


What games am I VAC banned from?


To see which games your VAC ban affects, please launch Steam and go to Steam > Settings > Account tab > select "Click here for details" under VAC Status.


What games can I play if I have been VAC banned?


VAC banned accounts can still play single-player games, local LAN games, and multiplayer on non VAC-secured game servers. To find non VAC-secured servers, from the Steam main menu click on View, select Servers, then select Not secure in the Anti-cheat dropdown.
Cheating in one of the following Source games or a Source mod will result in a VAC ban for all games in the list below:
Counter-Strike: Source
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch
Day of Defeat: Source
Team Fortress 2
Similarly, cheating in one of the following Gold Source games will result in a VAC ban for all games in the list below:
Counter-Strike
Condition Zero
Ricochet
Day of Defeat
Team Fortress Classic
Half-Life: Deathmatch
Deathmatch Classic


How do VAC bans relate to my phone number?


VAC bans are applied to all accounts sharing a phone number at the time of the infraction. For this (and many other) reasons we do not recommend sharing your phone number or using another user's phone number on your account. Accounts sharing the phone number that do not own the game the VAC ban is for will still receive a VAC ban and will not be able to purchase the game moving forward.
There are no restrictions placed on phone numbers that were on an account when the account was VAC banned; phone numbers can immediately be used on new accounts.
Note: This feature is not enabled for all games and is used at the discretion of the developer.


How can I find out what I was VAC banned for?


We do not disclose the cheats that were detected while connected to a VAC secured server that resulted in a VAC ban. We have detailed records for each VAC ban, however, releasing this information would only benefit cheat developers. The VAC team regularly investigates claims of false VAC bans to increase the effectiveness of Valve Anti-Cheat.
If a VAC ban is issued incorrectly it will be automatically removed by our servers.


I wasn't using my account when I received a VAC ban. Can it be removed?


No. Regardless of who was using the account at the time of the infraction, VAC bans are permanent and will not be removed. While we understand this can be frustrating, we must maintain a zero tolerance policy for cheating to foster a fair game that all players will enjoy.


Can I move my items and games to a different Steam account?


No. Items and games cannot be moved from a VAC banned account to a different account, however, new games can still be purchased and registered on a VAC banned account and the account can still receive items, but not send them.
To prevent additional bans on your account, please remove all cheats from your computer before playing on VAC secured servers. If you do not know how or where the cheats were installed, you may want to consider reformatting your hard drive(s) and starting over with a fresh installation of your operating system.


Does my VAC ban affect my ability to send games as gifts?


Yes. VAC banned accounts cannot send the game they've been VAC banned in as a gift to other Steam accounts in the future. Similarly, if you gift a VAC-enabled game to an account and the giftee's account is VAC banned you will not be able to gift that game in the future.


Can I upload content to game hubs if I have been VAC Banned?


No. You cannot upload new content, such as guides and artwork, to a game hub if you have been VAC banned from that game.


Can I vote on Steam Workshop content if I have been VAC banned?


No. You cannot vote on Workshop content on Steam if you have been VAC banned in any game.


Banned by Game Developer (Game Ban)


Playing games should be fun. In order to ensure the best possible online multiplayer experience, Valve allows developers to implement their own systems that detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats.
Game developers inform Valve when a disruptive player has been detected in their game, and Valve applies the game ban to the account. The game developer is solely responsible for the decision to apply a game ban. Valve only enforces the game ban as instructed by the game developer.
For more information about a game ban in a specific game, please contact the developer of that game.