Gift a Steam game to someone who then gets banned and you’ll be prevented from gifting that game again

Valve Anti-Cheat changes

Some new Steam Anti-Cheat regulations have come into play, as part of Valve’s continued efforts to curb cheating in their games, particularly in regards to the uber-popular, mega-hackable Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Part of this includes making it impossible for the game to be ‘saved to inventory’ – cutting off the easiest way to get cheap copies of the game – and banning users from gifting if they give the game to an account that is then banned.

Don’t cheat, and don’t let your mates cheat, at these great FPS games.

Here’s Valve’s description of the change:

“If an account has directly gifted a game to other players who have been VAC or permanently Game Banned, then that account will lose the ability to gift that game.”

This is to prevent dedicated cheaters from, for example, creating 10 accounts, then gifting the game to those accounts from their main repeatedly whenever they’re caught. Now the first time it happens, they’ll no longer be able to gift CS:GO – or whatever the game happens to be – again.

Valve have also made it impossible to “buy to inventory” any game that is VAC or Game Ban enabled, the anti-cheat services they offer to developers through Steam. They say that they’ve “taken these steps to ensure the integrity of the multi-player experience for those participating in online gaming communities.”

Valve go on to point out that they realise this might be inconvenient for some, but believe it’s an important step to cutting down on what has been rampant cheating. “We understand that the restrictions on buying to inventory may be inconvenient for some legitimate users, but we believe that these steps will reduce the number of cheaters you’ll play against. And that’s important in having an online gaming experience that’s fair and enjoyable for everyone.”

Community reaction has been a mix of celebratory and cautionary, happy that strong moves are being made against cheaters, with some worried that the punishments may be too harsh and end up being misdirected. Chances are, Valve’s done the math and discovered the amount of gifting of their older games is fairly low, so any splash damage should be limited. Plus, if people are dissuaded from cheating because they know it will mess up their friends’ accounts, all the better.

Full details in this post on Steam.