VAC was unable to verify your game session

Mar 15 • 6 min read

There is nothing worse than spending your entire day at school or work, thinking about how you are going to spend the chilliest of nights playing CS:GO with your buddies, and then finally coming home, only to get a message saying that “VAC Was Unable to Verify Your Game Session”.

While this is extremely annoying, don’t worry, because, in this blog, we will tell you exactly how to get rid of this message and join any game that you want. There are actually quite a few possible solutions to this problem, and we will go over all of them. But first, let’s see what exactly unable to verify your game session means and why it occurs.

What is VAC?

In CSGO, VAC stands for Valve Anti Cheat, and it was implemented by Valve to protect its regular users from cheaters who use hacks to gain an unfair advantage during game sessions in Counter-Strike Global Offensive. The system was originally released for some of Valve’s other games, and it was later brought over to Counter-Strike Global Offensive. However, as with most things, the VAC system can fail from time to time and it may display you an error message even if you haven’t cheated in a video game your entire life. In order to fix VAC, you must read further.

How to Fix “VAC Was Unable to Verify Your Game Session” in CS:GO

The “VAC Was Unable to Verify Your Game Session” message usually appears during the matchmaking process, or it can appear as a result of cheating. If you are one of those bad apples we talked about earlier, we kindly suggest that you turn off your “game enhancement” and try to join the server again.

As we said, though, this message can also appear even if you’ve done nothing wrong. Because of that, let’s go over a few possible solutions that could fix VAC for you.

Solution #1 – Restart Your Steam Client

The most common solution to the problem is simply re-logging into Steam, or re-starting the client altogether. It is possible that a change in your operating system framework may cause the VAC system to misbehave, so a simple restart may be all you need to do to get rid of the message.

To restart your Steam client, open up any Steam window, and click “Steam” in the top-left corner. From there, a drop-down menu should appear, and you will need to click on “Exit”. After that, start up Steam again and see if the issue is fixed.

Alternatively, you could also just re-login into your Steam account. To do this, click on your profile name in any Steam window, and select “Log out of account”. This will bring you to the log-in window of Steam, where you need to insert your credentials and log into Steam again.

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This method usually solves the problem, as it resets the complete facilities of the VAC. However, in some instances, the error message may still persist, so here are some alternative ways that you can attempt to solve it.

Solution #2 – Restart Your Computer

If restarting the Steam client didn’t do the trick, restarting your PC altogether is the next most common solution for the VAC error. Since the VAC system uses certain system components in order to function properly, those same components may be used by some other software on the computer such as the anti-virus software, which may cause interference with the VAC system. Thus, simply restarting your PC may get rid of the interference, and allow you to play the game without such an error.

To restart your computer, head over to the windows logo in the bottom-left corner of your screen. From there, click on the power icon, and select “Shut Down” from the drop-down menu that appears. After that, start up your computer again. Alternatively, you can also select “Restart”, which will turn your computer off and then on automatically.

If this also failed to fix the issue, don’t worry, because we have a few more possible solutions that you can follow.

Solution #3 – Verify Integrity of Game Files

This method is often the first recommended one for any kind of problem that you could be facing with a game on Steam. What it does is, it basically makes sure that all game files that are necessary for the game to run correctly are in the game folder, and that there are no corrupt files that may be causing mischief.

The process of verifying the game files is very easy. All you need to do is open up the Steam application, click on the Steam Library option which should be the second one on the top. In your library, right-click on Counter-Strike Global Offensive and select Properties.

This should open up a window that allows you to do plenty of stuff relating to the game. To verify the game files, select Local Files, and find and click ”Verify Integrity of Game Files…”. This process can last some time depending on the size of the game and how fast your computer is, but it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Once the process of verifying the integrity of game files is done, open up CS:GO and check if the error persists.

Solution #4 – Repair the Steam Client

There is also a possibility that the Steam client itself is corrupted, not just some of the game files, so you will need to fix that.

In order to repair the Steam Client, first, open up Command Prompt. There are two ways to do that. The first one is to type “cmd” in the search box and select Command Prompt. The second option is pressing the Windows Key + R simultaneously, which should open up a run dialog box, where you can type in “cmd” to open up Command Prompt.

Once the Command Prompt window appears, copy and paste the following into the windows and press Enter: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\bin\SteamService.exe” /repair. This will run the process that should fix your Steam client. If it doesn’t run successfully, it is possible that Steam is installed in a different directory, so find the exact location where Steam is installed and type it into Command Prompt.

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After that, reboot your device, launch your Steam client, and check if CS GO is now working properly and that you're no longer getting the game session error.

Solution #5 – Update Your Drivers

The VAC error could also appear due to outdated or corrupted drivers, so make sure that all of your drivers, especially the graphics and sound drivers, are all up to date.

To update your drivers, you need to open up the Device Manager. The easiest way to do that is by typing ”Device Manager” into the search box and selecting it from the options that appear. Once Device Manager is open, find the Display Adapters option and double-click on it. Then, right-click on your graphics card and select Update Driver. Unless you already have the latest driver software downloaded on your computer, select Search automatically for updated driver software. Then, Windows will check if your drivers need to be updated and guide you through the process of doing so.

Then, repeat the same process for your Sound drivers, and once all of the necessary drivers have been updated, open the start menu and restart your computer. Open CS GO and hope for the best.

Solution #6 – Disable Your Antivirus Software

Your anti-virus software may also be the culprit that is causing the “VAC Was Unable to Verify Your Game Session” issue. This can happen because it interferes with the processes that the VAC system is running in the background to make sure that your computer is kept safe from a virus attack.

The quickest way to check if the problem occurs due to your antivirus software is to temporarily disable your antivirus, and start CS:GO to see if you still get the same error. Many antivirus apps give you the option to temporarily disable them and then turn them back on whenever you please.  If the problem no longer appears after you disabled the anti-virus, what you want to do is exclude the Steam application from the scanning process of your antivirus.

Each antivirus software has a different process for excluding applications and folders. Some simply have a tab that allows you to choose which apps to exclude, while others require a more difficult process. No matter the case, every single one offers this feature. We would suggest that you find the exact steps by Googling “how to exclude a program in ____”.

Bottom Line

The bottom line on this topic is that you shouldn’t be worried if you get the “VAC Was Unable to Verify Your Game Session” error when trying to play CS:GO. This is a very common problem that many players see, which means that many possible solutions have been presented that have worked successfully in the past.

We hope that if you follow one or more of the solutions that we presented in this blog, you will be quick to get back to playing CS:GO with no interference, and we hope to see you out there on the servers soon. Remember how you fixed the problem this time, as chances are that it will happen again sometime in the future. Luckily, you'll be ready for when this issue occurs once more. The next time “VAC Was Unable to Verify Your Game Session” pops up again, you'll be back to playing CS:GO in no time.