Cheating cheaters and the online video game companies that fight them

How Overwatch, PUBG, and Apex Legends conduct the 'war against cheaters'

    
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I’m so tired of cheaters in video games. Well, I mean, also cheaters at life, but we’re on a video game website, so today, my side-eyes are for those asshats who just keep ruining it for everyone even when they know they’re gonna get caught, like that jerk who was aimbotting so overtly in my husband’s Overwatch game last week that everyone on both teams reported him for wrecking up their competitive match.

As always, online gaming companies say they’re working on fresh new ways to counter the cheaters. For example, in Overwatch’s July update, Blizzard says it’s working on improved cheat detection that will “automatically shut down a much where [it] detect[s] cheating is happening,” thereby ensuring that “nobody on either side of the match is penalized for that match being shut down.” Aside from the cheater himself, of course.

PUBG is likewise talking cheat detection in a new video. It has an entire “anti-cheat unit” of devs, a response team that is constantly on the lookout for cheaters and their latest tactics.

And then there’s the team behind Apex Legends, which over the weekend posted an update on Reddit about its own anti-cheat efforts. “The war against cheaters will be ongoing and remains a high priority for us. There will always be work to do, improvements to make, and new things to adapt to.”

Light ’em up.

Source: Overwatch, Apex, PUBG
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ejester
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ejester

believe it when I see it. all these companies flat out lie about this shit. if they actually cared about cheaters, they’d stop letting them buy endless new accounts…never see anyone talking about that happening though lol.

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Robert Mann

Cheating in a game where there is any interface with others who have not sanctioned said cheating is unacceptable. ‘Cheating’ on a game for fun where nobody else has any reason to care… probably fine. After all, so long as you impact nobody else there’s really minimal harm (outside maybe to yourself). The probably comes in for people who would cheat at a game and then refund. :(

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Jim Bergevin Jr

Out of curiosity, has any cheater come clean on the actual reason why they are cheating a-holes?

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Utakata

Let the waxing of apologia that cheating can never be defeated begin. And in defeating or even dissuading only drives away the competition for the game, and therefor the players. And something about cats holding a summit on the ethical treatment of mice but someone posted for the /upvotes. And other bingo card nonsense that I’ve seen argued in favor of allowing toxicity which can equally be applied to cheating…

…you know, it’s true that neither will be ever expunged from games entirely. And it’s a fools errand to think so. But we and the companies that run our games must persevere to reduce both cheating and it’s toxic bookend at whatever professional cost as long as it’s proven effective. Because in the end, as the writer points out, it sucks the enjoyment and soul from the games we wish to play with integrity.

Not sure what this to do with the topic really, but I thought it’s a good time to vent out the pigtails on this. Sorry. And as you where folks… :(

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Roger Edwards

Word.

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krelx

The answer is going to have to have some sort of accountability, I would think. Having cheaters banned across multiple games because they cheated in one of them would help. Perhaps some sort of trusted(?) ID management organization could be formed, funded by game studios or some such that would vouch for individuals – I prove who I am to this third party, who then validates my “gaming identity” to various online games – but without exposing my actual identity. If you don’t want to participate, that’s fine, but you get matched with others who also are not validated.

Lots of potential problems here of course, just trying to spitball an idea to deal with this.

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Robert Mann

I actually had suggested something in the opposite vein, where the account purchase details would start being checked into an industry database that could then see who was regularly being toxic and/or cheating. Those people could be auto-funneled to servers full of people just like them. Everyone else would be left free to enjoy the better gaming environment.

The detail that has to exist with such things, beyond all the normal concerns with security, is ID theft adjustment. The issue there is that every trolling jerkface will claim it unless there’s a good reason not to. Thus why I also am of the opinion that the ID theft requirements should include working with organizations that are involved in combatting the issue, for the U.S. that would be the FTC which notes “You are legally obligated to tell the truth to the best of your knowledge, and subject to criminal penalties if you don’t.”

And thus where I think it would work, because surely some people would try faking it… and some of those would be caught and made a nice example of through gaming related media, pushing most to think again.

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angrakhan

Aimbotter in Overwatch. Let’s see what’s the usual response I see for that. Something like
“Oh I’ve been playing forever and I’ve never seen anything like that. If there are cheaters they’re few and far between. You probably just suck.”
Or
“Oh I get accused of running an aimbot all the time. You just need to git gud”
Or
“LOL, do you accuse everyone who beats you of using an aimbot, scrub?”

Right?

Ask yourself what is more likely: 99/100 games you play are against pro-level players just killing time playing random games when they could be training for their next pro tournament… or… aimbots/wall hacks are a rampant epidemic-level plague on the PC and people willing to run them also have few qualms to lie about using them?

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ghostlight

A bit tangential to the topic as is my wont. ;) There are a few I suspect of hacking in SWTOR’s Galactic Starfighters, though I’d heard it said that you can be banned from the game for accusing anyone of that. Kind of a shame though, because when you get evenly matched teams in a GSF match it is an incredible gaming experience where the adrenaline really gets going.

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NeoWolf

If someone cheats in a singleplayer thats one thing they only really cheapen the experience for themselves.. but when they do it in multiplayer or MMO games it infuriates me. They cheapen the experience for everyone simply to try and make themselves feel special.. and worse yet they rob other people of the very thing that games are supposed to give us all.. ENTERTAINMENT. And that I cannot and will not tolerate.

Cheaters are the scum of the earth in gaming as far as i’m concerned and to the companies that do anythign about them I doth my cap as they say..you have my respect. But to those who don’t however, to those to whom money is literally all that matters, screw the customers..and their enjoyment. Shame on you, you’ll get not a single dime of my money.

And to the cheaters themselves..the sad, pathetic excuses for sacks of water that they are I say this.. If you have no skill or ability in a game, don’t take the easy road and look for cheats and hacks to make up for your lack of talent you lazy fu**ers.. do what you are supposed to do when you are bad at something. Put in the time and effort and practice and GET BETTER at it.

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IronSalamander8 .

Agreed. I really don’t care what people do in single player games, it’s when it affects the game for others that it really gets irksome. They’re not fun to play against and winning because my team had a cheater is hollow.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I’ve never understood cheaters. Why play a game of skill if you’re going to cheat? Isn’t the point, learning the skill? Isn’t the point of playing to test yourself and your mastery against others?

Apparently not for cheaters. They are sad, pathetic sacks of water.

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Roger Edwards

Why play a game of skill if you’re going to cheat? Isn’t the point, learning the skill?

No. People play games for many reason, some of which you will never understand or comprehend.

Frankly this entire concept about there being a right and wrong way to play a game is nonsense. There usually is an “optimal processes” established by the developers to best allow you to progress, but they are not mandatory. If all you want to do in an MMO is be that Dwarf that jumps around the Auction House in everyone’s peripheral vision, then that’s your jam and good for you.

Now cheating in a multiplayer game that gives you an advantage is clearly not on and should be robustly addressed. But giving yourself infinite gold and resources in a single player game such as Skyrim, so you can build your fancy house just so you can see it, isn’t doing any harm to any one. The player is not contractually or morally bound to crawl over a metaphorical glass covered floor, to attain a goal set and arbitrated over by the morals of other players.

Comments such as “They are sad, pathetic sacks of water” are two dimensional and somewhat judgemental. Ultimately, the first and foremost thing a games publisher wants from a customer, is money. It’s a sliding scale after that with regard to art, entertainment and how a player enjoys their product exactly.

TLDR: There are 7 billion plus people in the world. Many of them will do things different to you and furthermore they don’t care what anyone else thinks :)

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

The other side of that argument is that a lot of those same people are turning around and saying ‘If you don’t like what I’m doing, don’t look at it.’ while purposely effecting others with their actions.

This is a textbook case of that…where cheaters want to play how they want to play, but they are making other players ‘deal’ with their actions.

Yes, people can have many various ways to enjoy their play, but they shouldn’t be allowed to harm others play in that same way, unless it’s mutually agreed upon. (I’m fine with games where players with god-mode go at it for all eternity, the point being that neither can ever ‘win’/’get one over’ on the other. The downside to that, is when a hacker figures out how to shut the other player’s god-mode off, and/or wreak whatever other bits of havoc they can to another player’s computer…which is often where this leads…and to monetary damages in a court of law…)

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laelgon

Apex has had some serious cheater problems lately with the new season. Found myself playing with and against cheaters in multiple matches, and those aren’t the ones trying to be subtle. Players just charging through team after team lasering headshots. Hopefully they get it under control soon. And fix the servers, disconnecting every other match isn’t fun, especially when it hurts your ranking.

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IronSalamander8 .

I can’t stand them either. It’s an unfortunate issue on the PC version of PvZ: GW2 where people are hacking it; playing boss characters, flying around, and other garbage. One of the more well known PC players swapped to Xbox it’s been so prevalent which is so obnoxious as it’s my favorite multiplayer shooter. They’ve been tweeting they’re going to stop it but they need to deal with more rapidly, especially with the new game coming soon.