Valve has just announced that from now on game developers will be allowed to ban, temporarily or permanently, cheating players who disrupt online multiplayer games.

In their words:

Playing games should be fun. In order to ensure the best possible online multiplayer experience, Valve allows developers to implement their own systems that detect and permanently ban any disruptive players, such as those using cheats.”

The statement makes it so that Steam will now act as a kind of third party to bans – Valve will only apply the bans when called upon by game developers, making them the enforcer but not the decider.

Their Q&A further emphasizes Valve’s desire to be a third party to the bans: for example, if a player feels that they have been unfairly banned they are advised to contact the game developer first, and only to contact Valve if the player feels that the developer is being unreasonable. At that point, Valve would step in if they find that the developer is abusing their banning power, and may take away that right from the developer completely.

The bans also “allow developers to utilize Valve’s banning infrastructure rather than implement their own ban tracking system.” One way this works is that now permanently banned players will have a badge on their profile so that the banned players will know for sure that they have been banned and can take any steps necessary afterwards, and so that other players will have a way of recognizing proven cheaters. (Temporary bans or suspensions will not get badges)

Important to note – these bans, permanent or not, only ban players from using the game’s online capabilities or trading systems. It cannot ban players from Steam completely, nor can it ban players from playing the game offline. It will also only apply to that game specifically, not to all online games.

Also, this ban system only applies to players who use cheats in online multiplayer games. Players who use cheat codes or mods in single player, offline modes should not have to worry about being banned from the game.