Valve has updated their game trading rules for the Steam platform in an attempt to crack down on those who feel the need to cheat in VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat Technology) enabled games.
The updated terms mean that players won’t be able to purchase VAC enabled titles and store them in their inventory for trading at a later date.
VAC and Game Ban enabled games can either be bought for your own account, or gifted immediately. They can no longer be saved to your inventory for trading purposes. If you directly gift a game to someone who gets permanently banned, you won’t be able to gift that game again.
In the Blog post, Valve explained the changes
When a user is caught cheating, their Steam account is banned from playing multi-player on secured servers. This creates an incentive for people who cheat to stockpile copies of games on one account and to gift them to low value accounts where they can continue cheating. In response to this problem, Steam no longer allows users to purchase copies of VAC or Game Ban enabled games to their inventory. 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.
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.
While no one likes to play against cheats and Valve is taking steps to ensure you don’t have to, not everyone was happy with the change. Some pointed out that the change means that if they gift a game to someone who then goes on to cheat and get banned, they also receive a punishment in the form of not being able to gift that game again.
The change isn’t ideal and doesn’t cover all scenarios but it is a step to make PC gaming less unpredictable in terms of who you will go up against.