Getting banned when you’re right in the middle of a killstreak is extremely annoying and frustrating. Or just soul-crushing if you’ve been waiting the whole week to play on that particular server with your friends.

Sure, some people deserve to get banned for ruining everyone’s fun, but that doesn’t mean all bans are legitimate.

Sometimes, admins and moderators might be on a power trip, and ban you simply because you’re better at the game than they are. Other times, they might mistakenly think you’re cheating simply because you’re too good at the game. Or the recording they have from your POV glitched and made it seem like you were using an aimbot, triggerbot, or wallhack.

Whichever the case, you end up missing out on all the fun your friends are having just because of a mistake or because of some jealous admin/moderator. Sure, most bans expire after an hour or a few days, but who wants to wait around so long?

So, we hope we can help you rectify that situation with this quick guide. We’ll talk about the most common ways you might get banned from a game, and what you can do to circumvent those bans:

IP Bans

When your device communicates with a gaming server, it does so through your IP address. Without it, the server can’t identify your device and let you connect to it.

Because of that, to go-to type of ban most of the time is an IP ban. Basically, the game blacklists your IP address, so the server won’t accept connections from it anymore. Think of it as a firewall for the gaming server.

What to Do

The answer is obvious – hide your IP address from the gaming server.

That sounds easier said than done, we know, but there’s actually a very simple way to do that: just use a VPN. It’s an online service that encrypts your traffic and hides your IP address.

If you’d like to know how it does that, here’s a quick summary:

  1. You use a VPN app to connect to a VPN server.
  2. The app and the server establish a connection between them. Any data passing through it is encrypted end-to-end.
  3. Whenever you go online, your connection requests will pass through the VPN server.
  4. Because of that, any site or server you communicate with will only see the server’s IP address. They’ll see the connection requests coming from it instead of your device.

So basically, the VPN server acts as a middleman between you and the gaming server. Instead of this path:

Your Device 🡪 ISP Network 🡪 Gaming Server

Your connection will now take this path:

Your Device 🡪 ISP Network 🡪 VPN Server 🡪 Gaming Server

And if your IP gets banned again, the solution is simple – just connect to the next VPN server on the list! If you use a provider with thousands of servers, there’s no way the admins/moderators will be able to keep up with you.

So stop wasting time and unblock yourself with these VPNs. Your friends are counting on you, so don’t let them down!

When you play online games in your browser, they often store cookies (small text files) on your device. That way, the site can recognize you when you come back.

Well, the site can also use them to blacklist your access. As long as those cookies are on your device, you won’t be able to connect to it. And they sometimes have no expiration date, so you’ll be stuck with them for a long time.

What to Do

Simple – just clear your browser’s cookies. Here’s a very helpful guide from NordVPN that shows you what you need to do on the most popular browsers (both on mobile and desktop).

Also, consider playing the game in incognito mode from now on. That way, the site’s cookies shouldn’t be stored on your device.

Account Bans

Some games might ban you based on your account information – like your login credentials (if they’re not encrypted), email address, payment information, and full name. Usually, they use your email address.

Valve’s VAC system lets devs do that, for example.

What to Do

Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is create a new account. Obviously, it shouldn’t contain any information as the banned account.

With paid games, this isn’t really worth it. But if you’re playing a free game that only requires an email address to sign up, it’s a pretty easy solution. Use ProtonMail to create your new email addresses. It’s free and doesn’t require you to validate your new account with a phone number.

Unique Token Bans

Many online games use this method. Basically, they tie a unique token to the CD key or serial number you need to type when starting the game for the first time.

Alternatively, they might link it to specific plug-in applications that are needed to run the game (like Flash, for instance).

What to Do

There are two things to try:

  1. Reinstall the game and use a completely new CD key or serial key.
  2. Uninstall the plugins needed to run the game and reinstall them.

None of That Worked? Try Appealing the Ban

If the game lets you do that, give it a shot. Just remember to be polite. Being rude won’t do you any favors. Ask your friends to vouch for you too if possible.

Oh, and if you were accused of using cheats, the admins/moderators might ask you for proof. That might involve a screenshot of your game’s directory to make sure there are no suspicious files. Or you might have to use specific software to run a scan of your device to prove no cheating-related scripts are present on it.

Ever Needed to Bypass an Unfair Ban?

Why did you get banned, and what did you do to circumvent it? Tell us your story in the comments below.