Halo Infinite's cheating problem is getting out of hand

Halo Infinite Multiplayer
Halo Infinite Multiplayer (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

The Halo Infinite multiplayer experience is mostly a great one, as the game's snappy gunplay, diverse weapon, vehicle, and equipment sandbox, and well-designed maps all make it one of the best Xbox shooters available. However, there's one big problem with Halo Infinite that threatens to ruin the experience for everyone — the lack of an effective anti-cheat solution. Since the day Halo Infinite's multiplayer launched, PC users making use of hacks have been consistently and continually spotted in matchmaking by countless players. And as time has gone on, many have reported that the rate at which they encounter cheaters is only increasing.

The most common form of hacking that players have reported are aimbots, which significantly affect the flow and outcome of most matches since most kills in Halo come from its headshot-capable precision weapons. Examples of wallhacking, which is a cheat that allows players to see enemy players through pieces of map geometry, have been shared frequently as well. Below are a few examples of the numerous videos of cheaters you can find on social media:

343 Industries' Head of Creative Joe Staten previously stated in late November that "more anti-cheat measures are in the pipeline," but the studio hasn't shared any updates on the matter since. And in the meantime, Halo Infinite's lack of some valuable quality-of-life features makes the cheating epidemic even more difficult to deal with.

Why doesn't Halo Infinite have an in-game reporting system or an option to disable crossplay?

One of these features is an in-game reporting system that would allow players to quickly report cheaters with a few easy in-game button presses. These systems have become very common in most modern shooters due to how effective they are, which is why it's baffling that Microsoft and 343 Industries didn't implement one for Halo Infinite. Since there is no in-game reporting system, players have to use the Halo Support website instead. The process of reporting cheaters this way is awkward and slow, especially since Xbox players have to upload video evidence of cheating to the cloud, download the video on a PC, and then upload the video again when filling out a Halo Support ticket.

Another sorely missed feature is a toggle that would allow Xbox players to disable crossplay with PC players. This wouldn't solve the issue — PC players would still have to deal with the hackers — but it would at least make it so that console players wouldn't be forced to play against cheaters, too. Currently, the only way Xbox players can stay relatively safe from hackers is by playing in the Ranked Arena playlist. Here, you can toggle input-based matchmaking that will only match you with players using a controller. This doesn't always work, however, as some PC cheats are compatible with controllers. Ultimately, the fact that Halo Infinite won't let you disable crossplay is player-hostile and unfair.

Source: Xbox Game Studios (Image credit: Source: Xbox Game Studios)

Between Halo Infinite's current ineffective anti-cheat measures and its lack of features that would help players mitigate the problem, the rising cheating issue seriously threatens Halo Infinite's overall reputation (especially in the competitive space). Regardless of how fun Halo Infinite is to play, people won't want to engage with it if they constantly run into hackers in nearly every match. I personally began to run into cheaters frequently in mid-December, and it's one of the reasons I haven't played much of the game since. (Halo Infinite's lack of content is also a problem.)

It's important to note that Halo Infinite is far from the first game to face these issues; titles like Call of Duty: Warzone, Destiny 2, and Valorant had their own cheating epidemics to deal with, too. However, these games also have one or both of the features discussed above, as well as additional measures (for example, Warzone has a system that matchmakes suspected cheaters with each other). These systems made the wait for a more robust anti-cheat solution significantly more bearable.

If Halo Infinite isn't going to get an anti-cheat upgrade soon, Microsoft and 343 Industries need to implement some of these smaller countermeasures to help stem the tide of hackers. Otherwise, I fear that Halo Infinite's cheating problem is going to get out of hand.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.