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. Commented May 23, 2016 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
    Commented May 23, 2016 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. Commented May 24, 2016 at 2:15

1 Answer 1


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 Commented May 23, 2016 at 7:28
  • @CreeperzEdge - indeed. I didn't mention it as it wasn't really what the OP was asking but true nonetheless :-)
    – Robotnik
    Commented May 23, 2016 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? Commented May 23, 2016 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
    Commented May 23, 2016 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
    Commented May 24, 2016 at 2:31

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