Counter-Strike 2 players face VAC ban for using Radeon GPU feature

Counter-Strike 2 art with a steam logo which is covered by a red circled X.

Counter-Strike 2 art with a steam logo which is covered by a red circled X.

If you’ve got an AMD Radeon 7000-series GPU, you’ll want to lay off playing Counter-Strike 2 for a while. Today, Valve announced that CS2 players who use lag reduction features on their Radeon GPUs will find themselves receiving a VAC ban.

Posted on the official Counter-Strike X account, formerly known as Twitter, Valve states that AMD’s latest driver update has enabled the “Anti-Lag/+” feature for CS2. This feature modifies the game’s code to optimise performance, however as laid out in the tweet, “tampering with CS code will result in a VAC ban”.

Due to AMD's Anti-Lag/+ feature altering the game's engine DLL functions, this naturally causes a VAC ban to trigger when a player uses the feature while playing CS2. Many users are frustrated that AMD have pushed the update out, seemingly without any communication with Valve over the potential issues activating the feature may cause to the game.

The offending GPU driver update, AMD 23.10.1, has been identified as the culprit of activating the lag reduction feature on CS2. If you're in possession of a 7000-series GPU, you'll either want to hold off on updating your drivers for now, or reinstall the previous driver version 23.9.3 if you've already updated to the latest version.

However, if you do find yourself wrongly banned due to playing CS2 with the Anti-Lag/+ feature enabled, Valve have said that once AMD have rolled back their update, affected users will be identified and their bans reversed.

Hopefully, no users will be affected by any lasting consequences resulting from this error.

Somewhat ironically, the latest GPU driver update was pitched as an optimisation for CS2, that would resolve the stuttering issues faced by many users of AMD GPUs. Questions will be asked of AMD regarding the amount of testing that was done on the latest driver update. Releasing a major driver update with such a fundamental and fatal flaw demonstrates a major lapse in judgement on AMD's part.

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