Take the 2-minute tour ×
Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Many Source engine games are run on servers that are "VAC-Secured". How does the VAC really work? What is it looking for? If it finds something "bad", what does it do?

Is there any way a user can appeal a VAC ban?

share|improve this question
4  
I ask this question not so that I can get around the VAC, but just so I don't make some mod that I should not be making. And, if I were to get "caught", what I can do about it. –  Jeffrey Jul 27 '10 at 13:12
add comment

4 Answers

up vote 25 down vote accepted

From the Steam KB:

Important:

All VAC bans are permanent - Valve has a zero-tolerance policy for cheating and will not lift VAC bans under any circumstances.

Also,

Any third-party modification 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.

And

The following will not trigger a VAC ban:

  • Using chat programs like X-Fire
  • Playing multi-player mods which do not modify core .EXE and .DLL files
  • System hardware configurations
  • Updated system drivers, such as video card drivers
  • Using custom skins, sounds or map

So if your mod fall into second category but not first, you should be okay :)

It might also be good to know that VAC bans don't happen instantly, usually a random time between a week - 2 months you will see this ban occur. This is to help stop the cheaters from knowing which hacks actually get pass VAC Security.

share|improve this answer
2  
That's an interesting line to walk. Multi-player mods are allowed, but not one that would "give one player an advantage over another". –  Jeffrey Jul 27 '10 at 13:20
    
Do you think by multi-player mods it means spin off games such as TFC was to the original half-life? –  Josh K Jul 27 '10 at 13:24
1  
I assume it just means mods to multi-player games, like custom HUDs. I know lots of people use these, but you could argue that they may give an "advantage" to the players that use them. –  Jeffrey Jul 27 '10 at 13:29
    
You could argue that indeed. I tried to find more information on Valves side of this, but my results didn't lead to anything useful –  Josh K Jul 27 '10 at 14:59
    
hmm that means all the MW2 server-hacks are not bannable offenses. That's good to know. They're fun to play :-p –  Mechko Jul 27 '10 at 21:45
show 3 more comments

VAC works by scanning your system while you play any VAC supported game (TF2, L4D1+2, etc). I don't know what exactly it scans for, and in fact, that is probably not public knowledge at any rate.

Bans are unappeal-able, and final.

When it kicks in, you are unable to play online multiplayer on VAC secured servers.

share|improve this answer
    
That last part isnt 100% true, they (your friends) can choose to play in a non VAC Secure server with you. –  Josh K Jul 27 '10 at 13:43
    
Fixed if for you. –  badp Jul 27 '10 at 14:41
add comment

See here:

The VAC system reliably detects cheats using their cheat signatures. Any third-party modification 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.

The following will not trigger a VAC ban:

  • Using chat programs like X-Fire
  • Playing multi-player mods which do not modify core .EXE and .DLL files
  • System hardware configurations
  • Updated system drivers, such as video card drivers
  • Using custom skins, sounds or maps

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, such as scripts or custom skins. Only download custom content from trusted sources. Hackers sometimes maliciously disguise their cheats to cause others to get banned.

share|improve this answer
add comment

For copyright issues, we can't copy paste text here. Cough, cough.

Here are the relevant links:

share|improve this answer
1  
Being discussed here: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/705/… –  Jeffrey Jul 27 '10 at 14:46
    
I have a Forum account, but I do not have the permission to open the first and the third links. –  Denilson Sá Aug 9 '10 at 14:39
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.