There’s no denying that video game cheaters are problematic. In addition to spoiling other people’s fun, they can jeopardize sensitive user data as they are able to access game APIs. However, some game industry professionals believe that cheaters have some use and can even bring benefits to producers.
Banning cheaters has never been and will never be the best solution to the problem. It’s no use removing a cheater from the game, if soon afterwards he can simply create another account for free and return to activities. Therefore, it is important to know the origin and motivations of these users in order to take the best possible measures.
With that in mind, during the 2022 Game Developers Conference (GDC), Clint Sereday e Nemanja Mulasmajic — both former employees of Riot Games and co-founders of the gaming security company Byfron Technologies — listed the four types of cheaters in games: slot machineyou egocentricyou thirsty to win and the collectors.
In the presentation — shared by ArsTechnica — they explained how each of the cheaters act, what are your motivations e how developers can benefit of the actions of these users. Details about each type of cheater can be found in the following lines:
The slot machine cheaters
The main motivation of slot machine cheaters is money. They are responsible for creating and selling the tools that allow you to change game codes — cheats. Because they care more about profit than their bills, these people don’t mind being banned dozens of times.
Also, because they only think about the prosperity of their business, slot machine cheaters are not usually shaken by punishments of any category, whether temporary or permanent. As long as they’re getting moneythey will continue to develop cheats and hacks of all kinds.
In this case, the best way to remove them is through more effective anti-cheating protectionslike the Vanguard shield, from Valuing. The software, coupled with the TPM 2.0 chip required by Windows 11, allows you to ban the hardware of punished players instead of their accounts. So, the cheater needs to buy new partsif you want to return to the game.
Another option is go to court. Activision, for example, has started suing companies that sell Call of Duty cheats to minimize the problem. The result of this is not known, but it may be effective for the simple fact that generate monetary expenses with lawsuits and buying parts for the cheat developers.
The egocentric cheaters
Self-centered cheaters like to feel superior and smarter than developers. His greatest pleasure is spending days trying to circumvent anti-cheating protections just to show a small—but faithful—community of followers that no barriers are impenetrable to his magnanimous knowledge.
These cheaters are responsible for light the flame of cheating inside other people, as they often brag on social media about how easy it can be to create an aimbot to Call of Duty, for example. On the other hand, cheaters like this can be quite useful for developers, as they study and understand game engineering.
There is no definitive way to deal with self-centered cheaters without hardware protections. Although, you can try to convert them to the other side of the force. Sometimes these people can even be hired by the developers as “independent consultants”, getting paid to explain how they reverse-engineered the code.
In most cases, cheaters deny offers or revert back to cheating months later. According to Sereday and Mulasmajic, these cheaters have inflated ego e are driven by the addiction to cheating the system. Therefore, there are very few examples of “converts” who continue to help production companies to this day.
The cheaters thirsty to win
The most common type of cheater is the thirsty to win: the one who use cheats to stay at the top of the rankings. These users use programs that guarantee undue advantages to see opponents through walls, automatically aim for the head, become invincible, among other possibilities.
For Sereday and Mulasmajic, the cheaters thirsty to win arise from distrust in the producer. Because they are quite competitive, these people tend to get frustrated after losing several matches against cheaters. Over time, they start to believe the game will never get better and seek revenge in the best “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” style.
Although problematic, this group is one of the easiest to be disciplined. Usually, cheaters eager to win only resort to cheats because they see many other users getting away with matches after using illegal software. This perception, however, tends to change as soon as a lesser punishment is appliedas a temporary suspension.
the crook collectors
At the bottom of the dangerousness scale are crooked collectors — who are also often creators of content for the Internet. Despite still using cheats and violating game rules, this group’s main objective is quickly collect all possible items in gamesincluding the rarest.
In League of Legendsfor example, there are people who modify the game’s code to unlock exclusive skins offered only at in-person events years ago. Users often take advantage of this to record videos about that specific look. Due to the rarity of the skin, the content is likely to draw a lot of attention.
Like cheaters thirsty to win, collectors can also be disciplined with minor punishments, according to the founders of Byfron Technologies. In addition to having items unlocked with cheats, these players often purchase other things for real money — and no one wants to lose their account with all the money spent on it, right?
Furthermore, it is possible to deal with the group not only stopping offering exclusive itemsas also making rewards more accessible for all players. I understand that it is necessary to make a profit to keep the game going, but the afraid to be left out (the famous fear of missing out, or FOMO) is one of the motivations of rogue collectors.
For you, reader, how should production companies deal with cheaters? Is there some kind of cheater that the founders of Byfron Technologies forgot to mention? Share your opinions with us at Tecnoblog Community!