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Valve needs to rethink the game ban display on Steam profiles

The game ban record on user profiles has been around for a long time, but it it time to retire this feature?

Updated: Jul 12, 2023 2:53 pm
Valve needs to rethink the game ban display on Steam profiles

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Valve’s Steam has a vast library of features that we enjoy; some of these include achievements, messaging, and profile customizations. However, there is one feature that we’re not too fond of anymore. Does Valve need to rethink the game ban display on Steam user profiles?

We’re not suggesting that this feature be removed entirely, nor advocating for cheating, especially without consequence. We just think this feature needs a revisit. Let us explain.

Speaking of Steam, did you know that there was a Steam-breaking Summer Sale exploit discovered recently?

Valve needs to revisit the profile game ban display on Steam user profiles

We say this for the simple reason that game developers have way too much power over your Steam account.

Right now, if you get a game ban on a game that is on Steam or tied to your Steam account, you will get a big red message on your Steam user profile stating the number of game bans you have.

Steam ban user profile

This message is basically a permanent feature of your Steam account. As you can see, this user’s ban has been on display for 7.5 years. For all intents and purposes, this person has been permanently branded a cheater.

We’re not arguing against repercussions for breaking the rules, of course, there should be consequences. However, being branded by the same hot iron as when you were convicted of a game ban 7 years ago seems a little excessive.

This is one of two types of game bans that can appear on your Steam Profile, the other is a VAC ban, which is less severe.

Why is a VAC ban less severe than a game ban?

A Valve Anti Cheat, or VAC, ban placed on your profile will only be on display to others for 7 years, which is still a long time but at least it disappears. The ban will still be visible to you, though, as a reminder to not repeat your actions.

VAC bans are issued by Valve’s anti-cheat and are thus controlled by Valve. There is no process to appeal a VAC ban, the ban hammer is swift and ruthless. But an improperly placed VAC ban can be removed after investigation.

So, we described what a game ban on Steam is, what’s the issue with them?

Game developers are given too much power when issuing game bans

When a game developer issues you with a game ban, your Steam profile will be permanently branded as a cheater. Remember, this ban won’t go away, as it’s not a VAC ban. This potentially ruins your Steam account and whatever valuables you may have stored in the form of rare skins, items, etc.

Good right? Sure, there should be consequences for cheating, but what if you broke the rules 7 years ago, like the user above? It seems a little harsh that the game ban displays operate in this way.

How should Valve address the game ban display issues?

There are a few ways that bans can be displayed without ruining a Steam account after just 1 ban.

Maybe there should be a separate section within Steam to check for game bans, maybe a separate tab you have to click. So it’s not automatically obvious that the account has a game ban.

Alternatively, Valve could have all bans disappear after X amount of time, or a more robust appeal process, as Valve clearly states it cannot do anything about developer game bans.

Another way is that there’s only a big red text branding your profile after 3 game bans, a sort of “3 strikes and you’re out” system.

Game bans can also happen accidentally, or come as part of an account breach. It can also just happen for games you haven’t played in a long time, this is what happened to u/bluebull107 on Reddit.

Sometimes it’s just not your fault, and as of right now, appealing this issue can be a daunting, tedious task. This is why something needs to be done.

There are plenty of comments advocating for change in the comments of that Reddit post, such as this one from BlackS0ul

reddit valve revisit profile ban

Valve treats all bans like VAC bans

The issue is that Valve treats all bans like VAC bans, which display on your profile, blocks you from Valve official giveaways, and significantly lower your trust factor in CS:GO.

Valve then states that any developer ban cannot be undone or disputed by Valve itself. You, however, do reserve the right to appeal the ban with the issuer.

If that is the case, then the game bans issued by parties that are not Valve should not be displayed on players’ Steam Profiles. If Valve has no power to remove them, they should not be displaying them.

This is just food for thought, as of right now there are no plans to revise this feature, that we know of. But it would be nice for people to be given a second chance, especially when cheating / rule-breaking was committed nearly a decade ago, as it was in the example given at the beginning of this article.

Valve needs to rethink the game ban display on Steam profiles, do you agree?

Jack is a Tech and News Writer who has a vast and proficient knowledge of CPUs, Motherboards, and Computer technology.

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