Recently a famous youtuber (this is his steam ID here) got game banned on Steam. So I asked a friend "what is a game ban?", and he told me it is almost the same as a VAC ban. The difference is that with a game ban you can still play casual games, but with a VAC ban you can only play with bots.

How do you get a game ban? Are these 2 bans not the same thing?

  • 8
    Have you clicked the "Info" link next to the message on his steam profile saying he got banned?
    – Nzall
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 9:09
  • Yes, I have but the info is pretty less... Is there any more specify info about it?
    – kit
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 9:15
  • 1
    @kit are you sure you read the “Info” link? It appears to be full version of the accepted answer’s summary. I think you may have read something else. It is very verbose.
    – Evorlor
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 18:11

2 Answers 2


The only difference is that a game ban is given by the game developer and a VAC ban is given by the Valve Anti-Cheat system. Also a VAC ban can be given for more than one game (usually all games using the same engine).

  • VAC bans are given by Valve's anti cheat system and either automatic or given by employees.
  • Game bans can be given by custom technologies, users or game devs themselves (such as CS:GOs Overwatch, which leads to a game ban after a community vote based on replays)
  • Game bans can be expanded to VAC bans if the user in question is being caught by VAC.

Game bans must at all times uphold the VAC rules, for example a game ban must not ban the player from playing the game offline. So basically a game ban is the same, just given by a different system and likely for different (more) reasons and not just for cheating.

  • 8
    "Game bans can be turned into VAC bans if the user in question is being caught by VAC." That's hardly turning one ban into another, that's a new VAC ban overlapping the old single-game one.
    – Mast
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:05
  • 3
    I don't think your comment about VAC bans being based on the game engine is correct. AFAIK, the difference is that VAC bans are bans in the VAC system and will apply to every game that uses VAC. It isn't based on game engine and it's not optional. That is the key difference between game bans and VAC bans. VAC is much larger in scope.
    – Brian R
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:06
  • "The only difference is that a game ban is given by the game developer and not Valve as opposed to a VAC ban." Being a bit pedantic, this is slightly confusing in the case of CS:GO, for example. That is because Valve would be the developer in this case, and thus would still be issuing the ban.
    – JMac
    Commented May 28, 2019 at 18:45

First off, VAC ban in case of some games covers a wide group of games - you get banned in one, you're banned in all. Besides that, VAC ban applies only, and strictly to cheating in the game through modifying the game behavior - using external tools or changing the game code. It's applied automatically through an external tool that analyzes game integrity during gameplay, discovering modification to the game code.

Developer ban AKA game ban only applies to a singular game in which you have cheated, and applies to any notoriously disruptive players - griefing, cheating in competitive games through abuse of in-game mechanics, severe violations of chat etiquette etc. It can be applied manually, or through dedicated tools built into the game.

  • why does anyone still thinks that a VAC ban will span multiple games? They changed it a long time ago. a VAC ban will only ban you from the (online) game you got caught cheating in. And I can (sadly) confirm this with my own experience.
    – Mischa
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 12:21
  • @Mischa support.steampowered.com/…
    – SF.
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 12:33
  • I stand corrected, did not know that. But your first sentence could need a "can" like -> First off, a VAC ban >can< cover a wide group of games Because there ARE games that use VAC that don't ban you in all VAC protected games
    – Mischa
    Commented May 29, 2019 at 12:53

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