Cheaters on Steam are given this punishment

It’s a lie to say that cheaters never win. Sometimes, cheaters win. At least in the short term. But on Steam, they’re dishing out long-term punishments that you’ll have to wear as a badge of shame if you’re caught by the VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat). In addition to that, you’ll have to buy a new license for the game, since your old one will be burned when you’re busted.


If you’re caught cheating, you can still use your Steam account and play other games, but everyone will know you were a cheater, and many of them will subscribe to the “Once a cheater, always a cheater” mantra. If you’re doing well in another game, people will reference the fact that you’ve already been caught cheating, and it’ll follow you around, tainting all of your accomplishments, like a pro athlete who is caught using performance enhancing drugs later in their career and ends up tarnishing all of their other accomplishments. It puts an * next to every high score you achieve.

image: reddit

But it doesn’t last forever, it goes away after a set amount of time. So, you don’t have to live with a mistake you made in your early teens once you’re in your twenties. Some players weren’t aware of this badge of shame, so they had been buying games on the same Steam account for years instead of just starting a new one, and they’re happy to hear the tag eventually disappears.

The VAC ban on the game you cheated at remains, and it appears if people use a browser add-on for Enhanced Steam, but people simply viewing your profile from the Steam client will be none the wiser after about 7 years have passed.