Steam Bans

One of the dangers of cheating online is that eventually you'll get caught. When you do get caught the consequences will vary from game to game, and from platform to platform. Cheating in home console games is a dangerous affair that rarely ever ends well for the cheater, oftentimes resulting in the game account and the entire console itself getting barred from using the online network services. This used to happen quite a bit to modded Xbox 360 consoles, and it's starting to happen more frequently with hacked Nintendo Switch units as well. Over on the PC side, Valve is clamping down on hackers and cheaters by enacting massive ban waves on users. The most recent ban wave targeted thousands of gamers over the course of a single week, making it one of the largest bans in history.

The data comes courtesy of a chart over on the Steam Database, which collects user and developer data from Steam's client. In the chart showcasing the last 30 days of service, it indicates that on July 19th, 2018 Valve dropped the ban hammer on 60,000 Steam accounts, banning them in a single day across games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. This ties into an entire week's worth of bans that took place in July, totaling nearly 100,000 within a seven day period, and more than 120,000 for the entire month of July.

This is well over double the number of bans that were administered in the previous month of June, which saw 56,000 users getting hit with the ban hammer. July, so far, doesn't seem to be tracking anywhere near as much as May, though. The spring month saw Valve dropping the hammer on more than 180,000 user accounts, which is one of the highest numbers for total bans in a month administered by Valve. The record holder so far is still August 2017, which saw 185,000 user accounts getting banned throughout the month.

2017 also saw the rise of accounts being banned from games, with hundreds of thousands of accounts being prohibited from participating in certain online multiplayer games due to cheating.

In January of 2018 more than 1.4 million players were banned from select games, and later on, in the spring another 1.4 million players were banned from games. This is actually from bans that occurred in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, where it was reported by PCGamesN that more than 1 million players were banned in PUBG Corporation's title.

For those of you who don't know, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is widely popular in China and garnered tens of millions of players from the region. A portion of them also turned out to be cheaters, and the company had to drop a ban hammer on them.

In the case of Steam, the VAC bans are for players who have also cheated in-game and were either reported or caught by Valve's anti-cheat system. These players will likely see their multiplayer privileges go the way of the dodo unless they create a new Steam account (which some will undoubtedly do).

It definitely shows that Valve most certainly does care about cleaning up cheaters in the community and making Steam a much better place to play than when those pesky individuals were hanging around.

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