Cheaters, bans and lying has Team Fortress 2 community falling out with Valve

Cheaters, bans and lying has Team Fortress 2 community falling out with Valve

Valve and the Team Fortress 2 playerbase have locked heads recently due to the software giant banning players for cheating.

As reported by Polygon, the firm axed a number of players for using a cheating script. The issue was first reported by a GitHub user, with Valve reportedly using Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC) to ban anyone with 'catbot' in their name. This is a popular cheating device.

But an engineer at Valve called John McDonald has spoken out saying that this was indeed a rumour spread by actual cheaters to irritate the community.

"The bug report is incorrect," he wrote on a Reddit thread saying the word catbot could get you banned

"VAC will not ban you for simply having catbot in your user name (either your steam profile or on one or more of your Linux accounts).

"The bug report--and I suspect many of the posts in this thread--are a tactic employed by cheaters to try and sow discord and distrust among anticheat systems.

"VAC has many different types of detections and we cannot discuss what they do publicly because doing so makes them less effective. However, one thing I can disclose is that all detections require that the detection occur while a user is actively cheating and connected to a VAC-secured server.

"Linux historically hasn't been a problem for cheating--the base rate of cheating is significantly lower on Linux than it is on Windows. Unfortunately, a "healthy" community of cheaters grew up around catbot on Linux and their impact on TF became large enough that they simply could no longer be ignored. Those banned users are very annoyed that VAC has dropped the hammer on them.

"Kisak moderates many of valve's GitHub bug repositories for us in an attempt to keep the bugs high quality and actionable. The VAC team asked him to close the issue in question and to indicate that GitHub was not an appropriate location to discuss VAC bans. He did so, and we support this action."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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