New machine learning-based cheating may threaten competitive play


Posts: 173   +1
In context: Cheating in video games has always been detrimental to the overall experience. After all, no one likes to be playing PUBG and get one-tapped from the top of a building located a mile away with an M24... using iron sights. These issues are more common in PC, but a machine learning-based cheating suite currently in development promises to plague console players the same way.

Despite being illicit in games, and even illegal in some countries, the cheating industry has developed immensely, creating multi-million dollar businesses. You may think cheating is lame, but the truth is some individuals do not mind spending their money to get the "competitive edge" over their foes.

To further please their customers, cheating organizations have been developing new and more advanced tools using AI and machine learning. With these technologies, cheating tools are becoming more efficient, customizable, and harder to detect, pushing them to a whole new level.

One such example is the new cheating tool reported by Anti-Cheat Police Department, a group focusing on disrupting cheaters, cheat developers and cheat sellers. Unlike most cheat suites which only work on the PC platform, this one is also compatible with Xbox and PlayStation (didn't specify which ones).

Instead of simply using scripts, the reported tool requires a computer with a capture card to detect enemy movement and screen text. After processing the captured image, the cheat suite acts accordingly, sending the necessary inputs to the controller to kill the target. It's worth noting you'll still need to move the character and point it in the right direction.

"This is aim assist but more amplified without you even needing to do anything all you have to do is aim in the general area and the machine will do the work for you," stated the Anti-Cheat Police Department in a separate tweet.

In its current state, the tool will hardly affect competitive console play, mainly because not everyone has a PC with a capture card at hand. However, considering how fast cheating tools are evolving, we could see a more accessible version of the same eventually. That's when things may become really ugly for the competitive console gaming scene.

Masthead credit: Sam Pak

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Posts: 228   +206
I could easily see that tool running on your cell phone, using the camera to bypass a traditional capture card; mount tripod case aim at TV, then go to town, inexpensive cheaters!

If anyone wants t know why I haven't played competitively online in half a decade, pervasive cheaters and Rootkit anti-cheats is part of t!
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Posts: 3,804   +3,916
I never understood the point of cheating. It's one thing to cheat in a single player game, but the thrill of multi-player is beating your opponent using your skill. Cheating takes the thrill away. I remember I was so good at cod4 that I didn't even care about winning anymore, I just ran around and killed people in the most ridiculous way possible and would still get first place.

My most memorable kill was when my friend was doing c4 only and I was doing knife only. We didn't even care about killing the other players. We spent the entire round going after each other and if you got in our way, you died. But the kill was him throwing c4 at me and mid air I knife the c4, it blows up kills both of us but I get the kill. At the moment the only thing he said to me was, "rude..."

That's probably my favorite gaming moment of all time, I'm laughing as I write this.


Posts: 315   +302
Makes you wonder what is the difference between playing single player vs bots, and supposedly multiplayer, but with cheaters. It is just a game, not sure what is the need to win all the time by playing dirty. Takes the fun out of the game.


Posts: 315   +302
This seems like it would be boring even for cheaters. This is basically an AI playing the game for you.
Precisely the point. You play a game to have fun. If you keep winning and not because you are good at the game but because some AI/ BOT is playing for you, I rather they don't waste their time on the game. Might as well spend their time to build some AI/ BOT that they can sell for real money.


Posts: 1,910   +1,108
IMO, the way to beat these guys is with statistics. Should pretty easy to spot the guy who are consistently in the 99th percentile across the board (reaction time, accuracy, distance shots, etc). Then, DON'T ban them, but just divert them all into the same servers together. If cheating and botting is how they get their jollies, let them go to town on each other.

Handle cheaters the same way that Serious Sam BFE handled pirates: an unwinnable scenario. Because if you just ban them, they'll just buy their way back in.