VAC errors are often the bane of a CS:GO players existence. But not to worry, there are a number of options to resolve this. If you encounter a VAC error in CS:GO, it can usually be fixed with one of the following solutions:
- Verify integrity of game files
- Run Steam as administrator
- Run CS:GO as administrator
- Repair Steam library folder
- Toggle offline mode in Steam
- Logout and login to Steam
- Update your drivers
- Check for conflicting third-party software
- Reinstall CS:GO
Resolving VAC errors is required to be able to play on official CS:GO VAC-secured servers which includes competitive matchmaking.
1. Verify integrity of game files
The most common error message you may encounter is “VAC unable to verify game files”. This is usually due to a recent CS:GO update which has failed to apply correctly to your installation files.
This can be easily fixed by right-clicking on CS:GO within the Steam library and selecting “properties”.
Select “Local Files” and click on “Verify integrity of game files”. Steam will then scan your CS:GO installation files for any corrupt or missing files, then download the files it needs to repair the installation.
Restarting Steam after verifying your files is recommended too.
2. Run Steam as administrator
In the event that Steam does not have the relevant Windows system privileges required to access various CS:GO game files, this can be resolved by running Steam as an administrator.
To do this, right-click on Steam (on your desktop, the taskbar or anywhere else you execute Steam from) and select Run as administrator from the drop-down.
3. Run CS:GO as administrator
Navigate to your Steam library installation folder which contains CS:GO. If you can’t find it, copy and paste the path below inside Windows Explorer to open the folder:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common
Right-click on the Steam executable and select Properties. Select the Compatibility tab and check the box next to Run this program as an administrator.
4. Repair Steam library folder
If your Steam library is corrupted, it may prevent the first option of verifying your game files from completing successfully. To repair your Steam library folder:
- Open Steam and select Settings in the top-left corner.
- In the settings window, select the Downloads tab followed by the Steam Library Folders tab.
- Select the three dots (ellipsis) to reveal the Repair Folder option.
- Select Repair Folder.
5. Toggle offline mode in Steam
- Open Steam, select Steam, followed by Go Offline.
- Wait for a few minutes for Offline mode to take affect.
- Select Steam again, followed by Go Online.
- Select Leave Offline Mode.
6. Logout and login to Steam
- Open Steam, select Steam, followed by Sign Out.
- Open Steam again and login as normal using your Steam Guard application.
7. Update your drivers
CS:GO depends on various drivers to run so if just one of those drivers is not behaving as expected, it can cause errors. Updating your drivers may help to eliminate this as a possibility.
To update your drivers:
- Select your Start menu button.
- Select Settings (or search for it if it does not immediately appear).
- Select Windows Update followed by the Check for Updates button.
- Download and Install any of the updates (including those which are optional).
- Restart your computer.
8. Check for conflicting third-party software
Whilst unlikely, it is possible for third-party software installed on your computer to conflict with VAC. Try disabling any third-party software running in the background and review your anti-virus logs to make sure that your anti-virus software is not blocking any Steam or CS:GO components.
9. Reinstall CS:GO
If the above solutions have failed to resolve the VAC error, the nuclear option is to uninstall CS:GO and reinstall it.
To do this, right-click on CS:GO within your Steam library and select “Manage” followed by “Uninstall”. Confirm that you wish to uninstall, then restart your computer.
After your computer has restarted, open the Steam library, select CS:GO and click the blue install button.
Your existing CS:GO config should still exist within your Steam clients app data files.