I was playing Call of Duty the other day with my wife on the map “Detroit”, and I noticed that an enemy was trying to jump and boost in ways that didn’t make any sense. I stopped and watched him to see what the hell he was up to, and then it dawned on me… this guy was trying to cheat.

Cheating in games is nothing new. We have the Konami code referenced above, we know about “wall hacks”, we know about aim bots, and we know we have PunkBuster to stop people from doing the aforementioned things. What I want to discuss is not single player cheats (which I totally support for fun of gaming in general) but cheating in a multiplayer space. Let’s talk about the types of hacks, what is being done, and why someone would think they need a bot to play a game.

In my opinion, games played against other human players need to be fair. If I get rekt because I’m playing like a putz then I want it to be that reason, and not because someone is using an aim bot. Generally in online gaming there are two major modes of cheating. The first is normally a manipulation of the game’s code or “glitch” in the game that allows the player to do something they aren’t supposed to do. My experience on Advanced Warfare’s “Detroit” are a prime example of a glitch. The player on the opposing team was trying to boost jump onto a roof that he is not allowed to use, and then rain fire from this roof top. Normally you get an out of bounds message and you’ll die if you continue to stay in the area longer than ten seconds. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen on this particular rooftop, and the cheater can get away with it. Breaking the game like this does nothing except make teammates leave, and then the general point of the game is lost. There is also a similar exploit on a map where a player can sit inside a pillar and dominate everyone. It is especially annoying if they put a sentry gun turret in there…ugh.

Moving on, the next method of cheating the use of software that gives the player an unfair advantage. The most widely known in online shooters is the wall hack and aim bot. Wall hacks usually let players see others through the walls (hence the name), and aim bots will track players through the geometry of the levels to score headshots 100% of the time. With these “hacks” you can’t always tell who is cheating, because a savvy cheater will allow themselves to get killed every so often to make it seem as if they aren’t cheating. These bots mentioned are more for the PC space, but the hacking of COD lobbies has been happening since the Modern Warfare 2 days. Moon gravity, 10,000x XP, aim bots… you name it it’s gonna be there. There are even professional players who have been banned because of cheating for profit, so no one is really safe.

In order to combat these filthy cheaters, the community and devs have banded together to stop this annoying habit by creating software outside and built into games to stop people from said cheating. PunkBuster is a popular anti-cheat measure that was developed back in 2000 when the devs said that it was up to gaming community to deal with cheaters. The idea behind PB is that the software would report your gaming antics to a central set of servers, and would block people who were using cheats from connecting to PB protected servers. It was in 2002 that PunkBuster first saw it’s software built directly into the game Return to Castle Wolfenstein. In addition to PunkBuster for PC, games like Call of Duty have built in reporting software to have users manually send a message to the developers if they suspect someone of cheating.

So, cheating. We talked about different cheats, we talked about systems in place to stop it, but I just want to know why? Private matches with your friends is one thing, but to go into a multiplayer space to prove that you’re better than others (when in reality you are only that good due to your cheats) just doesn’t seem like fun for me. I mentioned it earlier, but let’s talk about single player cheats. The Konami code, the infinite ammo, THE FLYING CAR IN A SANDBOX GAME.

Now that’s the fun stuff right there. I just will never understand the point of cheating in a multiplayer space though. I mean, we referenced the cheating for profit aspect with the CS: GO players, but in general I’ll never get it. Instead, I’ll just take my 1.29 KD and be happy that I got it without the use of cheats/hacks, thank you very much.

This is a community contribution by user PhantomShadowz. Check him out on Twitch. If you’d like to contribute to Multitoad, learn how to get your work featured on our front page. Both articles and videos are welcome.

2 Responses

  1. John
    John "Jagyooar" Lusky

    The way I understand the cheater’s mentality is that there are several different ways that people find joy out of playing games (achievers, explorers, killers, etc.). Some people may still get a thrill out of being unbeatable in an online multiplayer game because to them, it’s simulating the feeling of being an elite player on an unbeatable streak. At the end of the day, it could either be bored kids or some very sad individuals. It’s nice to see that the punishment for being caught cheating online has been pretty severe from what I’ve observed.

  2. Luke
    Luke "Yogzula" VanTrieste

    The problem is that it’s only as severe as getting banned and as simple as buying another copy of the game. There’s not any better solution at present unfortunately. Cheaters are absolute scum that ruin the gameplay experience for everyone else.

    How much of a fuss was made over a football team slightly deflating balls? It was nation wide. Now imagine a football team had mechanical engineered footballs that would home in on a receivers hands so they could catch it all of the time. Imagine that was common. The whole sport would just be garbage for it and nobody would want to play it or take it seriously anymore. That’s what has happened to online games. It’s not small, subtle cheating. It’s blatant rampant cheating that happens all of the time.

    That’s part of the reason I love the always online model that we’re just now beginning to see emerge. It’s going to combat cheating more effectively. Valve should just add a clause into their TOS that if you’re caught cheating in any game on steam that you’ll have to pay fines and may be subject to public execution via getting suffocated between gaben newell’s asscheeks.


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