Steam VAC ban notices are suddenly appearing for Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, and Team Fortress 2 players, despite the fact that – in some cases – they haven’t actually played the game in years. CS 1.6, Modern Warfare 2, and TF2 players say they are getting Valve Anti-Cheat notices that are more than a decade old. One Counter-Strike 1.6 player has a notice from 17 years ago, while another Counter-Strike Source player has received a ban notice despite not playing the game in 14 years.
Counter-Strike, Team Fortress 2, and various Call of Duty games incorporate Valve Anti-Cheat, which is designed to detect prohibited behaviors and issue penalties and bans. A variety of players of these FPS games report that, in the past week, they have received ban notices relating to games that they might not have played in more than a decade, as Steam seemingly resends age-old notifications relating to past penalizations and bans.
“Notification from Steam that I have been VAC banned,” one Counter-Strike Source player, with the username ‘yaboyroldy,’ says. “I haven’t played CSS in like 15 years. What’s going on here?”
“Just got this message,” Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 player ‘ItzMatt415’ says. “Why 14 years later?” A variety of players share the same experience on Steam forums. ‘FreakDude42’ says they have received a ban in Modern Warfare 2 despite the fact they “haven’t played the game since 2011.” ‘Halfmystic,’ a Counter-Strike 1.6 player, says they were banned in the shooter 17 years ago after their account was “hijacked,” but received a notice on Tuesday November 7, 2023.
‘TheProScout’ says they have received a ban notice for Team Fortress 2 dating back to 2010. Despite the notices, however, it does not appear that Valve is issuing new bans – these are simply notifications for old bans that are suddenly resurfacing. Possibly, this is due to updates to either Valve Anti-Cheat or Steam itself, which are causing past notices to be reissued. Indeed, Valve published an updated version of the Steam client on Tuesday October 31, which may have resulted in old ban messages being resent.
So, if you receive a notice, it may not be that you have just been banned, but simply an old notice resurfacing after several years. It’s rumored that Valve may make another Steam update that allows you to hide the game you are playing from your friends.
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