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New Steam gifting restrictions make it harder for cheaters to bounce back after bans

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No more gifting games to cheaters

Valve issued a new measure to curb cheating on Steam, placing restrictions on gifting titles meant to keep banned accounts from getting back in the game. These limitations are listed on the Steam Support page, breaking down how things are changing when it comes to giving games away.

Unlike before, players can no longer store copies of games equipped with anti-cheating software in their inventories. Instead, if a user want to play or gift a title, they must do so immediately. Steam users can’t gift games to other banned users, however, or else they won’t be able to gift that particular game again.

The new restriction went into effect because users often create dummy accounts in order to circumvent bans received from cheating or hacking into popular games, Valve explained.

"When a user is caught cheating, their Steam account is banned from playing multi-player on secured servers," the support team wrote in a post about the gifting limitations. "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."

VAC — the Valve Anti-Cheat System — is used in several multiplayer games, like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and results in a player’s permanent ban if they bend the rules. Game bans are run by individual developers and works similarly to Valve’s own program, allowing third-party software makers to kick out players who are cheating their way through the game.

The restrictions are a step toward curtailing cheats and ensuring that permanently banned accounts stay that way, according to Valve. Some users have criticized the new rules imposed on gifting, however, as someone who gives a friend a game that they then cheat through, unbeknownst to the gift-giver, will then be barred from giving that same game away again.

It’s not a perfect way to stop the issue of cheating on Steam, fans say, but it’s a start.