Valorant has so far found and banned over 8,000 cheaters, causing sweet cheater tears to flow

    
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I hate this.

As contentious as Valorant’s Vanguard anti-cheat process has been, it appears to be yielding some results. According to a tweet from anti-cheat pipeline designer Phillip Koskinas, 8,873 cheaters have been punted from the game’s closed beta, or as Koskinas put it, we’ve all been moved to “a Valorant universe where there were 8873 less cheaters.”

This success might not wholly validate the Vanguard process, but it is sweetened by the written reactions of those who have been caught. A number of posts written at an unnamed cheaters forum include some truly delicious whining, with more than a few banned players claiming they were only using cheats in practice mode for a couple of minutes.

“People were banned for using the cheats for 2 minutes in the practice arena,” bemoaned one poster. “I’m pretty sure as long as the cheat was installed, the ban was issued. Do they not have some lenience?”

“GG Riot,” snarled another. “I didn’t even cheat in real games, just 5 mins in practice tool, and I know you’re reading these Phillip Koskinas.”

Reportedly, the complaints about being caught has even caused some of the members of this cheaters forum to roll their eyes. “I respect those who made threads trying to find ways to bypass/spoof through the anti-cheat, but as for everyone else, please, I beg you, please stop,” reads a quoted response. So clearly, if you’re crying foul so loud that other cheaters are annoyed with you, then perhaps things are working as intended. When Vanguard isn’t trying to melt your system, anyway.

Also worth a look this week is a new video from Frankengadget that deep-dives Vanguard and its security.

source: Kotaku

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psytic

Its a deterrent more than anything. Announce they are catching cheaters and your average joe that doesn’t program the hacks may just stop using them. Sure there will be casualties but there’s causalities in any type of conflict. Its like viruses they develop a cure and a new hack / strain pops up but at least this helps deter your average person rather than giving the perception they don’t punish hackers at all. You have to at least make it difficult enough that only the most dedicated will hack.

Community mods don’t work you run into favouritism and vendettas and the sheer amount of people you would need watching games daily you would basically need to make a few hundred thousand people mods and people dealing with the turnover and training every other week as people join and exit the game. Not plausible for a game of this scope.

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flying_dutchman

Meh…. Compared to what the NSA already monitors 24/7 for our internet traffic, cell phone logs, shopping habits, and 1000 other things this is pretty small peanuts.

The sad fact is that we(The average citizen) have already lost the privacy war. People joke about the book 1984, but we’re already at that level of monitoring and that fact that America now has it’s own internal security agency isn’t making me feel all warm and fuzzy, even if you give it a PR appropriate name like “Homeland”.

Crazy conspiracy theories aside.

Considering there are cheats that run at the kernel level to avoid being detected, it’s not super surprising that someone has to run an Anti-cheat at that level to catch them.

To me, d/ling a random hack is 1000% times more dicey than an Anti-cheat. After-all, at least with Riot you know who to sue if things go South on you or China ends up with all your bank account info.

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Bruno Brito

So…fuck it?

Great posture to take.

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XanadoX

Valorant’s anti-cheat is GDPR-compliant (european privacy law)?
Can you ask for the data Riot has collected about you with the anti-cheat program?

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IronSalamander8 .

I play R6 Siege on the side and they actually have game wide announcements about people they are banning (name and shame kind of thing) and also why. It’s rather amusing to be in a mission and see a bunch of names suddenly pop up in the upper right of your screen to do so.

I’m all for keeping cheaters and hackers out of multiplayer games (I don’t care what you do in single player games, we all mess about there from time to time), so I’d give them credit there, but this being Valorant and reading other posts here, I’d not be surprised if there are a lot of false positives. From my understanding, false positives are not unheard of in other games, so I fully expect it here.

No one wants to see some of the crap I’ve seen in games, like playing bosses in a PvP match in GW2, but with how invasive their anti-cheat is anyway, bragging about how many they’ve banned rings rather hollow.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

There are no false positives resulting in bans, regardless of what paranoid people might assume. Valorant’s anticheat works same way as BattlEye and similar cheats by detecting known cheats. If there would be this would already be posted on Reddit with specific example of which program this anticheat falsely marks as cheat and issues bans as a result of that.

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Fenrir Wolf

I’m a little sad that everyone’s become so obsessed with cheaters. It locks Linux players out of so many games. The current gatekeeper of the largest anti-cheating system out there is Epic Games, and its CEO—Tim Sweeney—has a fairly well-known hatred for all things open-source.

I recall when it was okay to just have servers where people agreed not to cheat. I honestly worry that the obsession has come from operant conditioning chamber features where you have to grind, and a “cheater” is someone who “didn’t work for it.”

The idea that you can “cheat” at a single-player video game is even more especially noxious. Video games are a form of entertainment, you should be able to play them however makes you happiest.

In multiplayer environments there need to be agreed upon rules, but anti-cheat systems almost never (this has been proven time and again) stop cheaters. The companies who rely on data from these anti-cheat systems also have a long history of false positives where they’ve banned hundreds of players who didn’t actually do anything at all suspicious. Sometimes players get banned for something as incredibly innocuous as using a VPN.

No, a VPN doesn’t let you cheat.

So what happens is that gamers have to deal with months of cheaters until finally the company has the lone intern they have checking these things out look at the data and ban a bunch of people without even deep-diving to fact-check the veracity of that data.

What we need is moderators. For a few small benefits—you need not even pay them, just give them free skins and titles—you could have moderators who could deal with cheaters immediately. Anti-cheat software is so badly made that 9 times out of 10 it won’t kick a cheater, and 5 times out of 10 it’ll kick someone who wasn’t cheating just because it got suspicious about a completely innocent activity.

I really think we could obsess less about cheaters. At this point it just feels propagandised, it’s buying into what cheap corporations say. It’s cheaper to load in some anti-cheat software to convince people you’re doing something about cheaters after all. And the problem with even worrying about cheaters that much comes from making people obsess over what they’re missing out on due to operant conditioning chamber model features.

I remember better days of multiplayer, where if you cared about cheating you’d just join a moderated server and if you didn’t then you’d just join an unmoderated one.

Basically? I wouldn’t trust that all of these tears are those of “cheaters,” when a non-trivial—perhaps even substantial—number of them won’t be. I mean, I know it’s easy to rally around a call like “we banned the cheaters, yo.” But did they? Do you ever go into a game the day after a mass ban and see an absence of cheating?

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Fenrir Wolf

I just want to make a case here about the kinds of things that can cause one of these badly coded pieces of crap to pull the trigger on reporting a “cheater.”

* Using a VPN? Banned.
* Have a programming suite open in the background whilst playing? Banned.
* Have multiple types of web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, et cetera) open whilst playing? Banned.
* Have a pi-hole or similar gateway level security system that blocks telemetry snooping? Banned.
* Have AutoHotkey or something that hooks into a program open in the background (even if it’s not hooking into the game in question)? Banned.
* Having left Cheat Engine open with a table for an old single player game you’d just finished up in (without it even hooked into any games)? Banned.
* Have “suspicious” drivers installed (like CD-ROM emulators)? Banned.
* Have a legit driver whose signature isn’t in their trusted drivers database? Ba-Ba-Banned Combo!
* Researching a cheat to find out what a cheater did so you can report them while the game is open (so you have a YouTube video or such showing the cheat whilst playing)? ULTRA-BANNED!

The great part is is that these atrocious piles of crap will rarely—if ever—catch even a moderately intelligent script-kiddy.

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Emiliano Lozada

EAC works with native linux ports.

But I do agree due to it breaking Wine/Proton, hopefully a work around can be found within those programs.

Snax
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Snax

I don’t think Easy Anticheat or BattlEye for that matter do a good job at catching cheaters. I’ve played some games that have it – AVA Dog Tag, Black Squad, Ironsight and I’ve seen cheaters in all of them.

They are being used by the most uninterested and lazy developers/publishers for their games just to have an excuse to say “We have anticheat, don’t pester us with your cheater complaints”

It will be nice for Linux if EAC allows games to finally be played, but not a lot of them use EAC and a lot of older Asian MMOs use completely useless stuff like nProtect, XignCode and other crap that’s only a placebo effect. And those tools never worked on Linux, I’ve tried playing games that used this on Linux in 2009, I tried in 2019, and still doesn’t work.

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Emiliano Lozada

I don’t think Easy Anticheat or BattlEye for that matter do a good job at catching cheaters.

Welcome to Anti-Cheats 101. There’s no foolproof way to stop cheaters, hackers, viruses, etc. It’s a constant race of Anti-Cheats trying to keep up while Cheaters keep developing new ways. It’s the same as network security and hacking. It’s there and you need it but saying that it’ll prevent all cheating is an outright lie. Which makes the entire Valorant AC even more baffling.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

What we need is moderators. For a few small benefits—you need not even pay them, just give them free skins and titles—you could have moderators who could deal with cheaters immediately.

How would “moderator” be able to see whether the player uses a wallhack which allows the player to see enemies through walls? Especially if a player does this in a non-obvious way like all smart cheaters who do not want to be noticed and does not constantly track the enemy player through wall and instead does things like looking at other directions the way the non-cheating players do and only reacting to SOME enemy players who are about to pop out into field of view in SOME cases and sometimes just running into different direction instead of engaging them.

How would “moderator” be able to detect an aimbot which cheater customized to behave in specific natural way mimicking good player – no sudden snapping to target, no headshots every time and instead randomly targeting other body parts and where player would occasionally miss to mimic the “very good but not perfect” player?

Where is guarantee that a human “moderator” would stay impartial and objective and not ban someone simply because other player killed the “moderator” in game or the friend of “moderator” even if that player did not use cheats? Or that “moderator” would even care to ban the specific cheater and not let the cheater play because the cheater was a friend of “moderator” or because it amuses the “moderator” to see some player cheating. No human is perfect, same goes for moderators being objective in their behavior.

What if human “moderator” cannot be present in server due to various real life reasons and no replacement is available but players still want to play the game?

((Edited by mod. Please review the commenting code. It’s not necessary to insult people you disagree with.))

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Bruno Brito

I trust those numbers as much as i trust Riot.

Which is to say, i don’t.

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Fenrir Wolf

Basically, yeah. If even a portion of those numbers are true then I’m betting a good many of them are false positives. Most companies don’t talk about how incredibly ineffective anti-cheat systems are, but anyone who’s worked on one will talk your ear off about how useless they are.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

There are no false positives so far, you can check Valorant’s subreddit to confirm this. Valorant’s anticheat so far only works by detecting known cheats when banning users, it does not currently ban people for cheat-like behavior in unknown drivers or programs. There is a possibility that some users shared their access to the game with someone else who cheated and got their account banned this way but this has nothing to do with “false positives”.

Snax
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Snax

The only issues were that some people who had software for overclocking or regulating fan speeds stopped working, but they immediately reported it and RIOT is working on it.

The changes I’ve seen in the past month since CBT started has been more massive than the whole lifespan of other F2P FPS games I’ve played before. If RIOT can be so responsive in just a CBT, I can hardly imagine how much improved and fantastic the game is going to be one year from now.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Yea it is pretty ridiculous what kind of nonsense people come up with to justify their dislike for a game they never intended to play in the first place regardless if it had any anticheat. They do not even WANT to know how many cheaters were banned or how many false positives resulted in a ban (there are none so far), they just want to throw false assumptions around.

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Bruno Brito

They do not even WANT to know how many cheaters

Oh, but i want.

What i don’t want are random numbers. I want PROOF of these cheaters caught and banned.

Because, and that’s on Riot, i don’t have to trust what they say. Only what they do.

Snax
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Snax

I play the game since April 7 and I don’t think I ever encountered a cheater. But that’s not to say that the anticheat isn’t working, I’ve also suspected a few people and reported them, but I never saw blatant cheating in my games.

You don’t have to trust RIOT. The game is fun and it’s probably gonna be the biggest game of 2020 so you’re only missing out, if your opinions on privacy make you feel as good about yourself as if you were actually playing the game and being part of this whole thing, then good for you… otherwise, as I said – you’re missing out.

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Bruno Brito

Having a piece of Riot’s software in my PC means i don’t have to trust them?

Sure.

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Utakata

This is really not saying much. Mass bannings and cheat catchings have been apart of multiplayers as long there’s been active multiplayers. So this isn’t anything new.

Or does it say anything of how effective this program is in comparison to other means. It’s like saying how wonderful Ginko in enabling one’s focus, when a Mars Bar is proven just as effective.

Nor does it address appropriately the valid ad reasonable criticisms and concerns players have with Valorant. It’s doing the opposite really…

…so this is purely propaganda exercise that’s telling players this is doing something with their new found dragnet scheme. /shrug

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Utakata

Edit/Erratum: Nor does it address appropriately the valid and* reasonable criticisms…proper.

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Fenrir Wolf

What do you mean by “active” multiplayers? Do you mean multiplayer games without dedicated servers? If so, then yes. Otherwise, not so much. Mass bannings are actually an incredibly recent fad, the past ten years at most.

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Utakata

Without citation, I cannot verify or confirm your position. So assuming if this the case, then I’ll amend my position to for, “…recent fad, the past ten years at most”. However, as my memory serves me correct, I suspect it’s a lot longer than that.

Either way though, my position on this argument still remains.

Snax
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Snax

Only way you can tell how effective is if you play and see the effects. No developer can really provide enough details to satisfy every person out there with a plentiful answer. There will always be someone skeptic or complaining.

The only thing I can say is my games have been clean for well over a month of playing.

The real test will be when the game becomes available for everyone, only then it will become finally evident how effective the cheating is.

So far it seems to be working fine and considering the only way to get access is to watch streams, the number of potential cheaters subtracted from players that gain access every day is small and it corresponds with the number of banned people. I’d say at the moment the cheat is 90% effective.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Nor does it address appropriately the valid and reasonable criticisms and concerns players have with Valorant.

They already addressed those, though. You might not be aware of it but Valorant developers are actively communicating with players through social media, the website and Reddit and they have already told players why they chose their anticheat to work in specific way as well as responded to players who had discovered bugs with the anticheat and the game, some of which were already fixed.

https://www.reddit.com/user/0xNemi

https://www.reddit.com/user/Pwyff

“https://twitter.com/arkem”

“https://twitter.com/oniram177”

https://beta.playvalorant.com/en-us/news/

They “address” things “appropriately” much more than the developers from Valve who barely communicate about issues with VAC or their games.

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Utakata

Then I await with a high degree of skepticism until I see the positive fruit of their labor then. Thanks for sharing that though.

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Natalyia

If you’re going to cheat in a game where the developer has gone so far as to make a kernel-level driver installed at boot specifically to detect cheats – a step that many people are uneasy enough about to not install the game a all – then I think expecting “leniency” for people who do manage to cheat isn’t very smart of you.

I’ve no sympathy for people who install cheats in competitive online multiplayer games. None. Zip. Zero. Not “just to see what happens” not “just for a couple minutes”. You deserve whatever hits of the banhammer you get.

It is just making the point that this is an arms race that Riot can’t win. Even with a ring-0 anti-cheat driver, thousands of people are successfully running cheats. That Riot can detect them and (eventually) get around to banning them does no good for the matches those cheaters won, or the players that lost to them.

So, just like always, there will be a window of opportunity for any new cheat to affect games, and a patch will be required from Riot to work around that, and the merry-go-round will repeat.

Prevention of cheating on the client isn’t a viable solution, because you have no control over the client hardware or software on a PC.

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Bruno Brito

Pretty much. I don’t think anyone who’s against their implemetation of the anticheat is condoning cheating. I don’t even enter cheating websites because they’re sketchy as fuck.

But me being anti-cheaters doesn’t mean i’m into Riot’s way of being over-zealous with their mediocre shooter.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Prevention of cheating on the client isn’t a viable solution, because you have no control over the client hardware or software on a PC.

It is not perfect but it is still viable. It allows best network performance since you are not doing something such as cloud gaming where the game is rendered on server side and is more sensitive to internet connection quality and it allows the best performance on client PC since anticheating scanner takes very little hardware resources. This allows the best balance, especially if anticheat developers are very proactive at monitoring known forums and Discord communities where free and paid cheats are being distributed.

If there would be a better solution with better balance – developers of popular multiplayer FPS games would be already using it. I do not see any of them using anything else. Do you?

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Natalyia

Well, a quick google search turned up this: https://gameblocks.com/

They list a few minor games like The Division, Battlefield, Battlefront, Rainbow Six. Stuff nobody plays. My own experience is from earlier game generations.

It’s entirely doable. And it’s no more a panacea than a ring 0 driver is. It’s harder to do well. But it doesn’t require extending the vulnerability of the client computer systems by adding another kernel-level driver. Or even having code running at elevated privileges while the game is running.

And while (last I looked anyway) anti-cheat systems don’t have a substantial impact on client performance, the impact isn’t zero. They use memory and CPU bandwidth that otherwise could be devoted to the game itself.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

You understand how FairFight works, yes? It is a statistics-based system, doing things like counting headshot percentage. It is COMPLETELY FLAWED system, this is why no serious game developer other than EA relies upon (even R6:Siege developers also use BattlEye).

Go to any cheater’s forums, you will see how easy it is to combat this useless statistics-based system by adjusting things such as what percentage of heatshots the aimbot is allowed to make or what other body parts it should target instead of head and how often it should do that. Not to mention that players can easily fake a normal behavior if they use things like wallhack by NOT CONSTANTLY TRACKING PLAYER BEHIND THE WALL and doing things like looking at the other random directions until the enemy player is just about to appear from behind the wall or simply moving away and letting some of those enemy players to be killed by other players. These statistics-based anticheats work in one and only case: if a player does not care if the account will be banned and just sets the cheat to do headshots in all cases, and most cheaters do not do that in games which cost money. EVEN THEN it takes a long time for FairFight’s statistics-based system to be triggered. Here is a video of a person spectating a cheater on a server with FairFight enabled, start watching at 2:08 mark:

anti-cheat systems don’t have a substantial impact on client performance, the impact isn’t zero

I never said it is zero, I said the impact is very minimal as long as there are no bugs which cause it to misbehave, which competent developers fix very quickly.

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angrakhan

I guess I feel a little vindication. Nothing due to Valorant or it’s anti-cheat measures. Rather I remember complaining in other games about how prevalent cheating is and being told that I basically need to “git gud” and that if there are cheaters they are few and far between. I wouldn’t call nearly 9k players few and far between. This is why I gave up on competitive shooters on PC years ago. Seems very little has changed.

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Matthäus Wey

“I’m pretty sure as long as the cheat was installed, the ban was issued. Do they not have some lenience?”

Why would you even install a cheat if you don’t intend to use it???

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Fenrir Wolf

It depends on what the “cheat” is. There are generic cheat systems like Cheat Engine that you might be using. I mean, I use Cheat Engine to get x3 experience rates in old JRPGs and the like. Yet for just having Cheat Engine around? BAN’D.