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Valve restricts Steam trading in a bid to cut down on cheating

Any games that use Valve Anti-Cheat Technology (VAC) can no longer be added to your inventory.


Valve hopes a new set of restrictions on Steam's gifting and trading features will reduce cheating on other bannable offenses on Steam. In a post published to Steam's support forums (via MCV), Valve explains the restrictions: most notably, any games that support Valve Anti-Cheat Technology (VAC) can only be bought for yourself or gifted to other users immediately.

The reason is because some users had a habit of stockpiling VAC-enabled games in their inventories and sending them to their duplicate accounts. That way, if their main account got banned for cheating, they could sign in to a dupe account and play the game (and cheat) again.

"Additionally, if an account has directly gifted a game to other players who have been VAC or permanently Game Banned, then that account will lose the ability to gift that game," according to Valve.

"We’ve taken these steps to ensure the integrity of the multi-player experience for those participating in online gaming communities. We understand that the restrictions on buying to inventory may be inconvenient for some legitimate users, but we believe that these steps will reduce the number of cheaters you’ll play against. And that’s important in having an online gaming experience that’s fair and enjoyable for everyone."

Valve has been doing its best to crack down on cheating and other actions deemed impermissible according to Steam's end-user agreements. Following recent controversy, it issued cease-and-desist letters to CSGO Lotto and other gambling sites that permitted players to bid real money on random weapon skins for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 5, 2016 3:08 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Valve restricts Steam trading in a bid to cut down on cheating

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      August 5, 2016 3:10 PM

      Man, that's so much effort just to cheat. Something I really just do not understand.

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      August 5, 2016 3:59 PM

      I wonder how much cheaters affect the bottom line when you bare in mind that they're buying multiple copies, and are only pissing off people who've already bought the game. Is word of mouth about a game having cheaters so caustic to potential buyers?

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      August 5, 2016 7:53 PM

      Hm, let's see... If I gift a friend a game, and he cheats which I have zero responsibility or control over I'm punished? Get your shit together Valve and just do hardware bans like Blizzard is doing! this is not the way to go. First they screw over trading by making you wait days, links on steam take way more time to open because people are too stupid to figure out scams and phishing... Valve just keep making one bad move after the next.

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      August 5, 2016 8:00 PM

      Not only cheating, the black market for buying/selling games using stolen CC numbers is staggering.

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