My friend thinks he can use cheats offline on Team Fortress 2 without being VAC banned. I think that he will still get banned for this. He then proceeded to tell me that if Valve cares so much about hacks then why would they make it so easy and simple to enable the developers console to do so.

I am just really confused and need somebody who knows from credible experience of this subject. Can you get VAC banned for using cheats offline on Team Fortress 2?

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    I think the server needs to request VAC protection before it's enforced. You can see if a server requires VAC by looking at the shield symbol on the left side in the server list. Even then, VAC is only meant to protect from 3rd party tools or modified binaries. A server can easily allow or forbid the usage of console commands. But I'm not too sure about that, so I'll let someone else give a definite answer.
    – Nolonar
    Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 22:22

3 Answers 3


You will not get VAC banned for using cheats on your own server. As far as that is concerned you might as well be modding the game; what you do on your own is neither here nor there. In many ways it is easier to "cheat" on an offline server by using commands in the dev console such as sv_cheats 1. It is only considered cheating (to the point of getting VAC banned) if you use these mods/cheats on public servers where you would gain an unfair advantage, for the simple reason that it ruins the game for everyone else. In addition, a server must request VAC protection to actually use the VAC system, so if your friend does not enable that there is no way he'd be banned anyway.

In summary, your friend is free to use whatever cheats he pleases, so long as it is in offline mode only.

  • ok well then it is a good thing I did not put money on it then huh? lol thanks for clearing this up Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 0:48
  • @AndrewEckert No problem. If I solved this for you then please consider accepting my answer (the green tick under the answer score) :)
    – imulsion
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 9:32
  • Source? I always assumed "The client is vac-secured" and "the server is vac-secured" were two separate things, and you could get banned for using hacks even on a non-VAC server. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 11:48

The server he's on needs to be VAC-Secured. by default the local server he'll run IS VAC secured and CAN ban you. if he starts a server externally with the -insecure command line option he will be able to play on it without worrying about getting VAC banned.

the console does not contain any way to 'cheat', exploits available through scripting are not considered 'cheats' unless you enable sv_cheats.


It depends on what they mean by cheating.

If they mean using console commands like noclip, just type sv_cheats 1 in the console.

If they mean things like aimbots, which seems to be the case, there are two ways to make sure VAC is disabled when you start up the server. One way is to put -insecure in the game's launch settings, which can be found by right clicking the game and going to Properties, and clicking "Set launch options" under General. Another way is to type sv_lan 1 in the console, and checking that it is on once the server starts up.

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