Cheating in video games isn't anything new. People have been using codes and other developer provided tools for decades, but in online games, those who wish to have an unethical edge above other players have turned to unofficial tools and cheats that alter the game code to provide various advantages. In PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, even though PUBG Corp. continues to ban thousands of accounts, there's still a rampant cheating issue.
PUBG Corp. partnered with BattleEye for enhanced protection for players and both parties are doing something at least, but the task at hand is monstrous — I'm talking about one of the most popular PC games worldwide. Even Tencent, the Chinese publisher for PUBG in the region managed to aid local authorities in arresting 120 people involved in making cheats for games.
There's also the incentive to continue purchasing copies, driving up the sales further. There are now tradable items in PUBG that can be sold, which invites those who see the profit of selling stuff earned through cheating, outpacing the cost of picking up more copies of PUBG. You can see evidence of this with many of the usernames you come across, built from a random generation of letters. And don't get me started on the "bots" that plague some sessions, simply farming BP to buy more crates.
These are terrifying numbers for legitimate PUBG players and shows just how big of an uphill struggle BattleEye has to keep servers free of cheating. The team at BattleEye are clever souls and remain determined to stay on top of cheating methods, but the sheer number of accounts connected to PUBG make it an unfair battleground for players.
From my own personal experience, it does appear to be largely the Asian player base who cheats most — that's not going by geographic data mind you, but off usernames. Too many times myself and a group of teammates have come across an individual (as it appears to not be an entire squad usually) with some form of Chinese reference who proceeds to cheat. This could well be someone attempting to cause further divisions within the community amidst calls for region lock, but I doubt that.
Not only is it difficult to deal with the connection with those who aren't from your region, which can cause issues with landing shots or being taken down when you're well behind cover — the servers are attempting to try and bridge the gap — there's also the problem with them seemingly being able to see through walls, land every shot and instantly revive their teammates.
We've had numerous encounters where our entire squad was downed in seconds, each of us located in different positions, buildings and covering various angles. Only to see in the spectator mode afterward that a select few have god mode enabled and land shots through walls. As reported by PCPowerPlay, hardware vendors — Dell in this case — know that cheating is rife in the Chinese market and cater to these individuals through marketing. Allegedly, the company was boasting about how many plug-ins (cheats) can be run on the new PCs.
Dell Australia did respond by condoning cheating in any form but it's still an interesting insight into how cheating in video games is seen over in Asia.
There is light at the end of the tunnel as region locks are on the cards for PUBG and should hopefully make some sort of tangible difference. But we need this fix now. PUBG is a tough game, but it's designed to be so. You won't have a 100 percent win rate, ever. It's designed to make you want to win, to become the best and score as many chicken dinners as possible, as are all battle royale titles. Cheating only makes the frustration that much harder to bear.