This Steam user has been VAC banned 42 times and counting

Kenneth Williams • July 9, 02:39

The most-banned account on Stream has 42 Valve Anti-Cheat bans and 30 game bans, and it’s not stopping there.

VAC_MAN is a Steam account dedicated to being banned from as many games as possible. It is the most-banned account on Steam according to VAC Ladder and leads by a margin of 11 bans. The Steam platform does not limit cheaters’ access to new games. The most-banned account on Steam is a perplexing combination of performance art and cheating extremism.

VAC_MAN has been permanently barred from 42 titles protected by VAC. That’s more than one third of the 113 games protected by VAC. Two other Steam accounts share the same number of VAC bans, but VAC_MAN leads the game bans category by 11 permanent game bans. The exact list of games is not available, but it likely includes dozens of titles including Valve’s own Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2.

The nature of the account would suggest that it’s an avid gamer’s side project, but the owner appears to use the profile for casual gaming as well. The owner regularly levels up the account and crafts badges from Steam sales. VAC_MAN has also uploaded more than 22,000 screenshots. While they do not accept friend requests, their Steam biography includes a link to a fan page with over 260 members.

Why does VAC_MAN do this? The goal is clearly to be the most-banned Steam account, but what’s the underlying cause? It could be an odd form of protest against online cheating standards. It might be an insatiable need to have an unfair advantage over other players. Maybe they’re just really bad. Nobody knows except VAC_MAN.

The closest thing to an explanation for such extreme ban-chasing is provided by the VAC_MAN Fan Group page description.

As you can see, the account’s owner is very mysterious. All we know for sure is that they live in Germany and really, really enjoy cheating in online video games.

What does a VAC ban do?

VAC bans prevent a player from entering Valve-protected servers. VAC-banned accounts can still play the game in offline mode or on private servers. Valve Anti-Cheat penalties only apply to the game that triggered them. The penalties for game bans vary, but their consequences do not extend past the game that triggered the ban system, meaning a player can hack in Counter-Strike and immediately move on to Team Fortress 2 or any other game.

In addition to losing protected multiplayer privileges, VAC-banned players have their corresponding Steam inventories locked to their accounts. CSGO cheaters can get their knives and gun skins trapped with no way to play on public servers. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of skins are currently wasting away in inventories across Steam, unable to be traded or shown off.

Players with VAC bans are also unable to share their affected titles through Steam Family Sharing. VAC banned accounts can still share games that they are not banned in. 

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