Cheaters never thrive, but they certainly proliferate like cockroaches. On July 4, a video (which Kotaku reviewed but will not disclose) has been posted to YouTube, announcing a new cheat that promises to work on “any” platform, including consoles.
The new cheat program has the typical anti-competitive features like auto-aim, auto-lock, and the ability to detect which weapon a player is using to automatically reduce recoil. The hack is announced with the Call of Duty franchise, but its creator says it will work for any game on any platform and promises it’s undetectable by the developers’ anti-cheat software.
The hack appears to use a sophisticated program, allegedly aided by machine learning, which takes a game video from a console via network streaming or a capture card and transmits it to a nearby computer which then displays the information that the cheater can use.
Cheating is a common problem in multiplayer games. In February, Activision banned more than 60,000 accounts suspected of having cheated Call of Duty: War Zone and pledged to improve its detection capabilities to further combat the threat. Other companies have taken a more innovative approach to the problem, such as People Can Fly’s decision to isolate cheaters within their own matchmaking lobbies in Riders and the HUD of branded players scarlet letter-style.
While cheating mostly takes place on PC, new technologies are also allowing illegal programs like this to proliferate on consoles. Even mobile games have a cheating problem. Last week, PUBG Mobile forbidden a narcotic 3.8 million players for character modification, x-ray vision hacks, and more
Through donations and subscription fees, cheaters can rake in millions of dollars in income to fund lavish lifestyles. In March, the BBC reported that the Chinese authorities dismantled what they called the “biggest cheating ring in the world” which brought in sums of 76 million dollars. Due to the size of its international player base, Tencent PUBG and PUBG Mobile seem to be the main target of cheaters.