I'd like to know what messages appear when somebody is cheating and VAC detects it. Do they appear in-game (for games which support VAC natively) or via Steam's game overlay (opened by pressing shift-tab)? Does the game immediately close to show the message? What happens on the screen of the banned player and the players on the same server throughout the whole process?

I couldn't find unmodified screenshots or detailed enough info on google. This post briefly lists the things that trigger a ban, but not how it notifies the user of detected cheating visually.

  • 1
    There is one answer already, but don't be discouraged to post other screenshots and descriptions of what happens in other games. May 23 '16 at 12:48
  • A partial answer can be found in this question: What is “OpenGL” and why did a player get banned for it?
    – OrangeDog
    May 23 '16 at 13:53
  • @OrangeDog something tells me that was a custom server's anti-cheat protection. Valve would probably have included a better text description than that. But what do I know. Anyway, without screenshots as proof it's not of much interest to me. May 24 '16 at 2:15

Caveat: I have never been VAC banned so all information provided below is from different sources across the internet.

When a player on the server is VAC banned

The notification most likely varies slightly from game to game. In Source games, a message will appear in the chat stating something like

Player [PlayerName] has left the game: [VAC Banned from secure server]

You can see this in this screenshot:
Player has been VAC banned

(It's fairly blurry sorry, I'm still looking for a better quality picture)

When you are banned

Again, the notification varies slightly from game to game, but if you are VAC-banned mid game, you will get a notification similar to this:

CS:GO VAC message

According to the TF2 Wiki, you will recieve the following notification when you try to connect to a VAC-enabled server.

VAC Ban Notification
Message displayed to a VAC-banned client.

The TF2 wiki explains in further detail the different measures that take place in the event of a VAC Ban. In addition to receiving the above message:

those who are VAC Banned have all non-purchased items deleted from their backpack.

Needless to say, it would not be a very pleasant situation to be in.


  • 4
    you also get some text on your profile that says how many times you have been banned and days since the ban May 23 '16 at 7:28
  • @CreeperzEdge - indeed. I didn't mention it as it wasn't really what the OP was asking but true nonetheless :-)
    – Robotnik
    May 23 '16 at 9:27
  • @CreeperzEdge times? I thought it was permanent, and therefore should only happen once? Or can you go to non-vac secure servers and be "banned" repeatedly, but then nothing should happen because you're on an unsecured server… Could someone clarify? May 23 '16 at 12:46
  • 1
    @user1306322 - Bans aren't across an account, they occur per-game engine. As per the TF2 Wiki: "Those who are VAC Banned cannot enter a VAC-enabled server. However, this only applies to the engine the game uses. For example, if you are banned on Counter-Strike or Half-Life, only games which use the GoldSource engine will be affected. You can still play games and connect to secure servers on games that do not use the same engine."
    – Robotnik
    May 23 '16 at 13:14
  • 1
    @user1306322 - Updated to match. I'm trying to find a clearer picture but not having any luck at the moment :-(
    – Robotnik
    May 24 '16 at 2:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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