A new cheat software for first-person shooters boasts console compatibility and machine learning, a rare and troubling development for honest gamers.
A Twitter account dedicated to raising awareness of cheating mods in video games recently posted a video exposing one of the industry’s latest. While these mods have most often been confined to PC gaming, this latest hack is one of the few that works on consoles. This means that simply turning off crossplay in games like Overwatch and Call of Duty: Warzone may not be enough to ensure a cheater-free experience for much longer. It’s a disappointing reminder that while the majority of gamers would prefer to play video games normally and lose with their dignity intact, the world of cheating is still alive and well.
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Unfortunately, the blame cannot solely be placed on those who create these mods; there is most likely more that developers could be doing to develop anti-cheats. In fact, one of the most recurring criticisms of Warzone is that due to its status as a free-to-play game, developers Raven Software and Infinity Ward should be going above and beyond to combat hackers. This is because unlike games like Overwatch, there is virtually nothing preventing Warzone hackers from making new accounts as soon as their old ones are banned. It’s a problem in every competitive free-to-play game, but Warzone’s popularity makes it one of the easiest to point a finger at.
On the Anti-Cheat Police Department’s Twitter account, the poster describes the cheat in question as “the next generation of cheating now available on console,” specifying that while it’s not unheard of, “it’s becoming more popular and more of a trend.” The video then shows highlights of a hacker playing Black Ops Cold War, adjusting various slides and metrics to illustrate how well the hack can track enemy players. Of course, most players who view their kill cams would be able to tell that a player is using hacks due to the erratic movement, but it’s never a guarantee that the player will be banned for hacking.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present you the next generation of cheating now available on console, and has been for a while but lately its been becoming more popular and more of a trend, consoles are no longer a safe space to play your games legit anymore pic.twitter.com/iEQzPVFf1h
— Anti-Cheat Police Department 🕵️ (@AntiCheatPD) July 5, 2021
According to the Twitter page, the cheat uses “machine learning and sends input to your controller when it sees a valid target.” Essentially, this means that it’s a significantly increased version of the slight aim assist that already exists on console; the difference being that while console aim assist slows down a player’s crosshairs when they pass over an enemy, this cheat would actually attract those crosshairs to enemies from much further away, depending on the sensitivity. In the video, this is seen in practice as the player simply aims down sights and has the computer track enemies as they run by.
While the Anti-Cheat Police Department does great work by making players aware that these cheats exist, the flip side of this is that it risks making prospective cheaters aware of these hacks as well. The same could be argued for writing articles about them. Ultimately, however, honest players deserve to know the state of the playing field before they log in or even purchase a game in which cheaters exist, and while it may not alleviate much of the frustration that one experiences when dying to a hacker, at least players will not be surprised that it happens. Ideally, developers themselves will learn about this new software and be on the lookout for any suspicious activity. Perhaps then these games will develop more accurate anti-cheating software that helps minimize–or better yet, eradicate–the problem.
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