The Why’s of Cheating in PUBG & How to Stop It
Cheating in PUBG has become increasingly rampant in the past six months so that most players have this issue on the top of their complaint lists. The question is – how to combat cheaters and stop them from ruining the game for everyone else?
Cheating in online games is nothing new. We had gold farming bots in World of Warcraft and mining bots in EVE Online for over a decade now, and I recall wallhacks going back to the time of the first Call of Duty games. But even though as these did exist in the past, they have never impacted these games to the extent they impact Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds today.
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Wallhacks, Aimbots and ESP
During the first several months of PUBG’s early access, cheating was something we encountered rarely, if at all, but as the game grew massively in its popularity cheating became an everyday occurrence. I have personally encountered cheaters on at least half a dozen occasions, the most apparent one while playing the Erangel map covered by fog. The visibility was almost down to zero, the nerves were blank as the game approached its finale with less than ten remaining players on the military island. I was running through the fog and just crouched behind a rock when someone opened fire on me. All the shots were hitting the rock on the opposite side, and I quickly realized that shots were coming from at least 500m away.There was no way anyone could see me through the dense fog from that distance! The fact that the shots were consistent and would hit me if not for my cover made it clear that I was dealing with a cheater. He couldn’t see the rock, but could see – thanks to the hacks – my silhouette behind it.
Why do people cheat?
I would love to tell you that my superior skills saved the day, but that was not the case. I died a couple of minutes later, without even seeing the cheater. The truth is that an average player stands little to no chance against cheaters. They use wallhacks to see and shoot through the walls. They use aim bots for headshots from ridiculous distances with SMG’s! The ESP hacks allow a cheater to tag and follow players and attack them before they get noticed. One of the cheekier hacks allow players to run faster than a car, the other gives them the bird’s perspective of the battlegrounds. Finally, there are also some that expand the player’s hitbox, so that shots that would usually miss actually hit.
As for why the cheaters, well, cheat, the answers are different. Some want to be number one under any circumstance. Others are trying to earn in-game currencies that can be converted to real money. And some just want to see the world burn.
In theory, cheating should not be possible due to a program called BattlEye which should protect players from nefarious hacks. However, BattlEye is struggling. No matter how many cheaters they ban, it seems that new ones take their place right away.
While PUBG developer BlueHole Inc.avoided the topic of cheating and gave it a wide berth, the player base pushed this problem into the limelight. They also have someone to blame for this sad state of affairs – China.
PUBG Locking China Region?
On December 28, BattlEye announced that they have permanently banned 1.5 m million accounts for cheating. This amounts to 6% of all PUBG accounts! “The vast majority is from China”, they tweeted, prompting a flood of demands from players to region lock China. However, with more than a half of total 27million copies of PUBG being sold in China, it is obvious that this is a very important market and cannot be simply manhandled like that.
It seems that a compromise will be made through the ping exclusion system, which is not as extreme as locking the entire region. Prohibiting those with a high ping to join the games on servers situated on other continents was a common practice for many shooters before, and seems that it will be accepted in this case as well. It only remains to be seen how much impact this will actually have on the cheaters.
Chinese players, in general, condemn cheating, as is Tencent, the gaming giant exclusively responsible for operating PUBG in China. They are also giving their best to alleviate the cheating problem and we just received the news that Tencent has helped Chinese police to uncover an underground cheat-making organization and arrest 120 people! Now, you are probably not aware of this, but cheating in online games in China is a severe crime that carries sentences up to ten years of actual prison time!
Why are there so many cheaters in PUBG?
Have you ever bothered to think about why there are so many cheaters in PUBG? For some it is all about the game; for others, it is all about the money.
The amateur game cheaters are usually comprised of people that strive to be better at the game and people who love trolling other players. I am using the term “amateur” not because they are bad at cheating, but because there is no financial purpose behind their cheating. The cheaters that are attempting to get better in the game and resort to hacks are probably the smallest category among the cheaters in general. A lot of players get frustrated in this game, mostly since it is hard to come on top in matches with 99 other players, so they start using cheats to get better results. This happens quite rare. The second type of cheaters could be described as trolls, people who toy with other players, shooting them through the walls and enjoying the ensuing rages and tantrums via voice chat.
Finally, there are professional cheaters that are playing the game to rack up BP points, buy crates and sell rare loot they get. A decent piece of loot can bring in around 10$, but there are also many similarities, not quite rare drops that go up to 80 or 90$. Of course, there are also some mad items such as the bandana or a cloth mask that easily goes for 1000$! If this may not be the best way to earn a living in USA or Europe, there are many countries in the world where monthly wages are only several hundred dollars. For players from these countries it actually pays off to be playing PUBG all day long to make money on crates. Unfortunately, many of them resort to cheating to maximize their profits.
How can we stop cheating in PUBG?
Sadly, the experience from the gaming industry has shown us that this is impossible. As detection and prevention improve, so do the cheats and hacks – it is a constant battle with a lot of money at stake. It is to be expected that PUBG will have a cheating issue pretty much like any other game, but we are also hoping that this problem will be significantly reduced by constant vigilance, better detection and response systems.
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