- "Nothing stokes my ire like a cheater. Deception, duplicity, murder -- these are merely tools in a toolbox one can use to ensure a job done well. But cheating? I cannot even wrap my head around the point of it. Wouldn't you know you had cheated? How on Earth could you maintain crisp certainty of your superiority to all others? And if you're unable to do that, what's the point of anything?"
- ―The Administrator
Hacking is a term that describes the use of third-party programs in order to alter a game and gain an unfair advantage. Valve has a strict policy against hacking and will ban detected hackers with the Valve Anti-Cheat system, also known as VAC. Most hacks take one of the following forms:
- Engine hooks, which piggyback the client and report false information to the server.
- Game information interception, which record or report game data that should be hidden from the player.
- Engine exploits, which alter the game to the player's advantage.
Hackers can be reported to Valve by pressing the F7 key in-game and sending an abuse report. Even though VAC automatically bans players over time, this notifies Valve of new hacks and all reports are read.