How to fix VAC was unable to verify your game session in CS:GO
‘VAC was unable to verify your game session’ is a pretty common error that’s been creating some CS:GO headaches recently. Here are some steps you can take to fix it!
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a fairly polished game. Yes, it can have its issues, but overall Valve has done a pretty great job of making things work as they should. Unfortunately, when things do break, it’s usually the user that’s left high and dry. This specific error happens when someone tries to queue for matchmaking only to be told that the game session cant be verified.
What is VAC?
Valve’s Anti-Cheat software is the tool Steam and Valve use to root out and punish hackers and cheaters. It monitors for forbidden programs, known exploits and hacks, and so on. When an account is found to have made a violation, they receive what is called a VAC ban. These bans prevent the player from playing on VAC-protected servers, and also affect whether a user can trade and sell things on the community servers.
One of the reasons you could see the CSGO VAC was unable to verify your game session errors is that you’ve received a VAC ban. If so, there’s nothing you can do – VAC bans are issued automatically based on detected cheats and changes to game files. There are no appeals, nor are there ways to get unbanned, ever. If your account has a VAC ban and you can’t verify your game session, that’s that.
How to fix the VAC verification error
Assuming you have no VAC ban that prevents you from playing, here are several steps you can take to try and resolve the problem. We recommend you try these in order – most times the ‘Matchmaking Failed – VAC was unable to verify your game session’ error can be resolved with the first few.
- Double-check there is no VAC ban on your profile. If there is one (no matter how old) you won’t be able to play on VAC protected servers or in VAC protected games. If you use family share with a VAC banned account, the same thing can apply.
- Restart your PC – it’s a common solution, but one that works. Restart your PC completely and try again. Sometimes temp files can cause verification problems, and restarting clears them.
- Verify the integrity of your game files – to do this, go to your steam library, find the CS:GO entry and right-click on it. Click on the last option in the menu, ‘Properties’ and then ‘Local Files’ at the top. Then, on the left you’ll find an option that reads ‘Verify integrity of game files’. Click on it and wait for the process to finish, restart your PC and try again.
- Repair your Steam client – Close Steam completely (even out of your system tray in the bottom right corner, by clicking the little steam icon and selecting ‘Exit’). Then press the Windows key and R at the same time to open the Run menu. Copy this text without the square brackets and press enter: [“C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe” /repair] A terminal window will pop up and close again on its own. When that’s done, restart Steam and try again.
- Reinstall CS:GO – If the other steps didn’t help you, you’ll have to completely uninstall the game. Go to the CS:GO entry in your library like in step 3 and click on the ‘Uninstall’ option just above ‘Properties’. Confirm you want to delete the game and then reinstall it when that’s done. Don’t forget to restart your PC when it’s done and then try again – you shouldn’t see the ‘Matchmaking Failed – VAC was unable to verify your game session’ error again!
There are a few other things that can also prompt a ‘Matchmaking Failed – VAC was unable to verify your game session’ error. These will depend on the unique conditions of your computer, and there isn’t any single fix for all of it. If the above steps didn’t resolve your problem, look into things like updating your drivers or your Windows installation, run Steam as an administrator, and whether or not your antivirus protection blocks elements in Steam or CS:GO.
If you’re part of Steam Beta mode, then that too can cause issues – you will want to opt out and try again!
Read next: Best CS GO Crosshair for Headshots