Here’s how to avoid fake VAC bans and knife unboxings in CSGO

By Kenneth Williams


Jun 28, 2021

Reading time: 2 min

CSGO players have discovered a way to disguise their chat messages as game system and admin announcements. 

The issue stems from CSGO’s font system, where phrases are assigned a color based on an initial ASCII code. This system allows users to alter their own messages’ color and appearance. Alternate colors are usually reserved for system messages, so players who don’t know about this exploit could be easily fooled. Devious users can even write fake Valve Anti-cheat ban announcements targeting other players.

Another popular way to abuse the bug is by posting fake unboxing messages. Whenever an active player opens a crate, the contents are revealed to the entire server by a system-generated message.

Now anyone with a little know-how can trick an entire server into thinking they opened a StatTrak Karambit | Lore. One Reddit user even created a generator for custom fake unboxing messages. 

These messages must be sent using the Source engine console, which opens up a command line for adjusting game settings. The console feature is disabled by default, but most experienced CSGO players have some familiarity with it. Players can use the console to chat in multiplayer matches, which can lead to wacky inputs being misrepresented in chat.

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While these user-created messages look very convincing at first glance, there are a few unique traits to look for when determining if they’re real or not. Real VAC bans are presented as red text with no preceding dots. Fake VAC bans will have two telltale dots right before their text. The opposite is true for unboxing. In the image above, both of the top messages are fake, while the bottom two are real.

A similar console-abusing glitch was recently showcased by CSGO YouTuber 3kliksphilip. Players can use console commands to alter the default radio messages, tricking the system into saying some salacious things. It also allows players to spam in-game voice sounds, with the death moan being the most popular choice. Valve has let both bugs slide for a while now, but 3kliksphilip might push Vavlve into finally fixing the problem.