Valve has now banned over 90K Steam accounts in an apocalyptical purge that spanned over the past few days. This is all from Valve’s VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) system. VAC is Steam’s proprietary anti-cheat system built into the majority of their first-party games and just a few third-party titles. It works by a complex process of monitoring gameplay data and banning any possibles signs of third-party tools or hack tools. It’s just like Punkbuster which is used in many popular games like the Battlefield series.
Valve’s swinging of the banhammer is nothing new. They come in waves and this time around they found over 60K players that were abusing games. SteamDB shows a data graph that depicts the huge and beautiful spike in user bans as Steam continues the cleansing process.
VAC bans are usually a one-time thing and there’s no way to restore your account back to fully active. Banned players lose a number of account privileges, such as playing on VAC servers, gifting other players, uploading content to the Steam community, voting on Workshop content, and more. They can still buy games, of course.
The biggest hit would be the loss of item trading. Games like CS: GO is one of many games where items fetch top dollar and are protected by VAC. Some items can be worth thousands of dollars. Players who were banned won’t be able to trade their items with other players. Valve will continue to ban hackers so if you have anything of value, don’t get caught or else risk getting slammed with Steam’s giant banhammer. It’s probably not worth it.
You can see some nice graphics depicting the ban here on SteamDB.