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Valve has stopped issuing VAC bans?

Here come the cheaters

Updated: Jun 13, 2023 9:37 am
Valve has stopped issuing VAC bans?

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Valve may not possess the absolute best anti-cheat system globally, but it is undoubtedly one of the most renowned ones, owing to platforms like Steam and popular games such as CS:GO and TF2. When it comes to recognition, Valve’s Anti Cheat (VAC) stands out.
A VAC ban permanently sanctions the banned user, prohibiting their access to multiplayer features in the specific game from which they have been banned. But Valve has stopped issuing VAC bans.

Whilst the Valve forums are still rife with bans, the data continues to register that VAC bans are rapidly decreasing in volume per day. Could this be a sign of a new Valve Anti Cheat implementation?

VAC bans continue to decline

We thought we would see an increase by now, but according to Steamid, we’re still seeing a gradual decline in the number of daily VAC bans.

VAC bans continue to decline

There were 2 bans issued on 11/05/23 according to Steamid’s data. Whilst it seems off, it would be hard to imagine that Steamid’s data access has been revoked in some way. If that were the case, we would have seen a sudden decline down to 0.

It was recently announced that CS2 will be getting an updated VAC, so that could be the reason that VAC is not currently as active as it once was. Maybe we are left waiting for the implementation of CS2 to see VAC bans increase once more.

The gradual decline in VAC bans

According to Steamid.uk the daily VAC bans have been on a rapid decline over the last month or so, with the latest data only showing 138 bans on 20/05/23. If you compare that to a month prior, 20/05/23, the daily bans are nearly 2000.

VAC bans by Valve

It is worth noting that the majority of banned accounts within the last 6 months, encompassing the entire data range for these statistics, originated from 2019. This indicates that the scope of banned accounts extends beyond hastily created recent Steam accounts.

On 24/05/23, the most recent data available, the daily bans stood at just 93 bans. There are an estimated total of around 62 million players daily, as reported by Backlinko. So as you can see, the bans have really stopped coming in.

You cannot attribute the decline in bans to the loss of data either, as the Steamid data sheet registers change over time, as opposed to just a sudden drop-off.

VAC bans sorted by account creation date

But why is all this happening? Has Valve given up on banning cheaters? There are w few theories that we have conjured up to explain this decline in VAC bans.

Valve is too busy with Counter-Strike 2 to issue VAC bans

While it is one of the theories, it is the least possible one, considering Valve’s reputation as a reputable company. It is highly unlikely that they would compromise the quality of their services simply because they are working on a new game. It isn’t likely that game developers themselves are responsible for issuing VAC bans to cheaters. Although this theory exists, its likelihood is low.

Valve is updating its anti-cheat for Counter-Strike 2

Valve actively enhances the VAC system in preparation for CS2, providing a plausible explanation. Speculation suggests that the anti-cheat technology in CS2 will exceed the sophistication of its CS:GO counterpart. Naturally, implementing updates of this scale demands a significant amount of time.

Valve’s decrease in VAC bans could stem from actively implementing and/or testing the new VAC system. Valve, along with other companies, typically upholds a strict level of secrecy concerning their anti-cheat measures, as knowledge in this field translates to power. By limiting potential cheaters’ understanding of the inner workings of the anti-cheat system, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to successfully evade it.

We’ll likely never know the inner workings of the VAC system, but we can speculate that it’s being implemented right now, this is why we’re seeing a rapid decrease in VAC bans per day.

When will Valve begin issuing VAC bans again?

It is hard to tell, but we doubt cheaters are in the clear for very long, there are still some accounts being banned but there’s no information pertaining to the accounts that have been banned. Maybe those accounts are being blatant about cheating and not trying very hard to avoid detection, whilst other, quieter cheaters are going undetected.

We can only hope that whatever Valve is doing, it is resolved, fixed, or implemented soon, as CS:GO, for one, is constantly flooded by cheaters.

Are cheaters going unpunished by Valve?

Valve’s enforcement against cheaters remains as strong and decisive as ever. Although it may seem that there is a noticeable increase in cheaters within Valve games currently, we are confident that Valve is closely monitoring and tracking those who choose to cheat during this time. We do not endorse cheating in any way, but it is possible that, for the time being, some cheaters may go undetected. However, their accounts being eventually identified and banned seems inevitable to us.

Final word

To conclude, Valve has witnessed a gradual decline in issuing VAC bans over the past month. The data provided by Steamid.uk highlights a significant decrease in daily bans compared to previous months, indicating a noticeable shift. Notably, the majority of banned accounts within the last six months trace back to 2019, implying that recent Steam accounts aren’t the sole focus.

We have come across several theories to explain this decrease in VAC bans. One theory suggests that Valve’s involvement in developing Counter-Strike 2 may have impacted their ability to promptly issue bans, although this theory is considered unlikely.

Another plausible explanation is that Valve actively updates and tests its anti-cheat system in preparation for Counter-Strike 2, with speculation suggesting it will surpass the sophistication of CS:GO’s counterpart. Valve upholds a high level of secrecy surrounding its anti-cheat measures, making it increasingly difficult for potential cheaters to evade detection.

While it might appear that some cheaters currently go unpunished, it is crucial to acknowledge that Valve maintains robust enforcement against cheaters. They actively monitor and track individuals who choose to cheat, and it is expected that identified cheaters will eventually face the appropriate consequences.

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

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