Is cheating in Games possible?
It certainly is. In single player games you are able to literally change everything and in online games it is possible to inject code into the game client to achieve some less powerful effects. The use of scripts or bots to automate repetitive tasks is also a possibility for online games.
Is Cheating legal and will I get Banned for doing so?
There is no game police and cheating in online and offline games is completely legal. In online games there is a possibility that you will get banned, if you are either using the cheats in a wrong way or being very obvious about your breaking of the game rules.
Does one have to annoy others when using Cheats?
We believe in “White Hack Game Hacking”, which means that we want to use cheats to have fun in games, progress more easily and use our abilities to help new players or weak players. We want to draw our enjoyment from helping other players, rather than annoying them.
If you are looking for MMO and MMORPG Hacks, then head over to our MMO Section and get the latest hacks and farming bots. For those of you playing Online First Person Shooters and trying to find ESP hacks, aimbots and similar cheats: Our FPS Section will be quite helpful for you. For cheats to use in single player PC games, check out our PC Game Cheats & Trainers Section. Enjoy your stay and have fun cheating.
Why We Cheat
The main reason why we are cheating is the same reason why we play games: To have fun. The other reason is that some games these days are requiring us to spend huge amounts of time farming and grinding for unlocks, gear or currency. We want to have fun with games, not make them our job and that is the second reason why we cheat in PC games.
We Love Games and Do Not Want To Harm Them
While other cheating sites may have differing opinions on this issue: Here on HackerBot.net we are not cheating in order to dominate our fellow players. We are not looking to satisfy some twisted need to dominate and bully others. We are cheating with the good of other players in mind and without harming them or the games we are playing. If we find game breaking bugs, we report them to the developers instead of using them. If you do not agree with our ethics, then you are free to leave the site.
Trust is our Goal
This site is trying to be a trustworthy source of information about a shady topic. Game hacking is and has always been a shady niche in the gaming industry. Cheating in games has been around for thousands of years and that is not a bad thing. We are trying to give people that are looking to cheat in games information that helps them understand the subject and points them into a direction that is of no harm to them or the people around them.
HackerBot.net Past, Present and Future
The site was started by Samuel T. Steiner in early 2013 and at first only focused on a very few MMO games. The site grew quite quickly and began to publish PC game cheating content and Shooter content by the end of 2013. In early 2014 HackerBot.net was acquired by LittleSquid GmbH and continues to grow up to this very day. – In the future we aim to be the undisputed #1 source of information when comes to online game cheating. We aim to be the most trusted player in what is a very shady niche at the best of times. We also aim to popularize cheating without hurting: Cheating in games we love in such a way, as not to hurt the game, its community or developers.
Why is HackerBot.net an Independent Site?
HackerBot.net does not affiliate with any hack or bot developers or cheat providers of any kind. But why is that the case? Wouldn’t we make a lot of money, affiliating with hack/bot developers? – Yes that is correct. If HackerBot was to affiliate with actual providers, the profits would be immense. However, our goal is to be a trusted source of Information and how can we be trusted to provide accurate information, if our income depends on a certain hack seller? We deem it therefore necessary to stay independent in order to provide you with the most value possible.
Official Statement about Aimbots and ESP and other Shooter Hacks/Cheats
While our statements about Aimbots and ESP Hacks in specific articles on this site may vary due to them being written at different points in time, this is our official statement about the use of Aimbots and ESP Hacks in Online Shooters: “If used correctly and with respect for the game and its players, an aimbot/ESP user cannot be differentiated from a skilled player and therefore does not hurt the game any more than he would. (We assume skilled players do not hurt the game.) We currently do everything we can to impress upon our users the importance of respecting the games they play. We want our users to feel like benevolent superheroes that use their Special Abilities for good rather than evil.” Concerning hacks outside of ESP and Aimbots: “We condemn any hacks that are truly game breaking and in their nature hurtful to a game and its community. An example for such a hack would be so called vacuum hacks that allow players to spawn all enemies in front of them and kill them easily. – This kind of hack is in its nature hurtful and even destructive to the game and its community and we urge our members to stay away from this kind of hack.”
Official Statement about the Use of Bots and Hacks/Exploits in MMOs and MMORPGs:
While our statements about Bots and MMO Hacks in specific articles on this site may vary due to them being written at different points in time, this is our official statement about the use of Bots and MMO Hacks in Online Games: “If used correctly, a user running a MMO farming bot will behave not much different from a person that NoLifes a game (plays it with a huge passion). It will do the same quests and tasks that a human would do to farm and hurt the game no more than the human player would, but with less damage to the actual players life (social life, personal hygiene, mental health ect).” Concerning the use of Bots to sell virtual items or currency for a profit: “We do neither condone, nor condemn this kind of operation. On one hand we know that it can potentially hurt the profits of a game developer or publisher, but on the other hand we believe in a free market where supply and demand dictate the price and since the developer has the infinite supply, he will win either way. We will side with whatever an official government court in Switzerland would rule in this case. Also obviously, we do not partake in any RWT operatins.” Concerning the use of hacks and exploits in MMOs and MMORPGs: “Most hacks and exploits found in current MMOs and MMORPGs, do not noticeably harm the game. However, if the hack or exploit is hurting the game, then we condemn it and do not recommend it to our users. For example if a duping exploit ruins a games economy, we will urge our members not to use it as soon as it becomes evident that there will be damage done by using it any further.”
Official Statement about Cheating in Games and Multiplayer Games
While our statements about Cheating in specific articles on this site may vary due to them being written at different points in time, this is our official statement about the use of Cheats in Single and Multiplayer Games: “Cheaters rule the World: The most successful bodybuilders are on steroids. The most successful politicians are liars. All the wealth in the 1st world is built on the dead corpses of 3rd world children. The most powerful nations kill tens of thousands of innocents every month. The most successful companies are buying wells in Africa. The greatest heroes have created the villains they claim to beat themselves. – Everywhere you look: It’s not the legit folks that win, it is the cheaters. Now that does not justify anything, but at least if you cheat in a video game, no children die.” – “If anything, cheaters in games might alert you to the fact that that sweet, sweet #1 spot in the rankings will always belong to the dishonest people and maybe, just maybe you will finally wake up and see the world for what it really is.”
“I do realize that this is a very philosophic approach to explaining cheating. However, it is really the only way I can describe it. – It is doing what man has always done ever since the dawn of time. And if any of you have never cheated, then you are free to cast the first stone, I guess.”
Ever since I started HackerBot.net I have been hearing accusations that the site is not helping the games to protect themselves against cheaters. So I decided to write a whole long article on best practices and how to keep cheaters out of your game effectively that caters to the game developers and publishers only.
Disclaimer: While HackerBot.net does not deem game hacking or botting to be a hurtful to the gaming industry, we will reference to it as a “problem” in this article. Keep in mind that this is meant as a problem in fairness mostly and in some very rare cases a problem of being stuck in the “hacked game niche”. In no way do we believe that game hacks or bots lead to any monetary losses in any online games for reasons that will be explained in depth later in this article.
About the Author of this Article and my Expertise
My name is Samuel and I’m the main administrator of HackerBot.net, a site that specializes in informational content in the game cheating niche. I have been part of many different gaming and game hacking / botting communities for almost 10 years and have seen many games deal with hacking problems and have observed certain constants in the games that were unable to deal with the problems. In my view cheating is a behavior that comes natural to human beings and cannot possibly be eliminated 100%, but can be counteracted. Humans long for power and for attention / respect and they will simply do whatever it takes even in a game. As long as cheating in online games is technically possible, people will do it. However, you are able to control the extent to which it will develop. Also keep in mind that I am no engineer or programmer and if I am referencing technology in this article I am doing so from my experience as a player and not a developers point of view.
1. Supply and Demand – The Golden Rule
If your game is really successful on a global scale, then you will not be able to keep all cheaters at bay. In that case the demand for cheats is simply too high and cheats will be developed simply for monetary reasons. – That’s economics 101. However, what you can always do is to keep free hacks from being developed, since that is something that every game developer can do. The best thing you can hope for is that the only hacks / bots available for your game are paid ones in that case.
2. Fighting a Legal Battle is Useless
In my time working in the game hacking industry I have gotten to know a few of the most prominent distributers of hacks and bots for the most popular shooters and MMOs out there and have heard about the legal attacks they have been subject to in the past and how they protect themselves against it now. The problem about the legal way is not only that you are looking at a huge and expensive international unfair competition process, but that you will not even be able to figure out who is behind a certain domain name if the hack or bot distributers know what they are doing. And even if you win a case against them, they will simply restructure their organization and sell from a bunch of different domains and relocate to a country where you have no legal means of attacking them. The hackers you want to sue could literally be your neighbors, run their operation on a domain name held by a friend in the Arab Emirates and you would never be able to prove that they are the one operating the site without breaking laws yourself. Therefore I would not recommend that you try and fight a legal battle against these organizations- The best thing you can hope for is to win one process and then they will adapt and you won’t be able to sue them a 2nd time.
3. The Problem about Free Hacks and Hacking Communities liking your Game
Important: This mostly applies to shooters and games that can be client-side hacked (DLL-Injection), since there are only very few free and community-developed game bots. There are a few very huge, established and old hacking communities for games out there that have a considerable user base and the potential to make your game a literal hacking fest. If one of these communities likes your game and how easy it is to get hacks working, they will create free hacks for it which will lead to a huge change in you userbase: Not only will more hackers from these huge communities start playing and cheating in your game, but hacks will become very easily available to other users of your game. – I have seen this spiral out of control in many games. The wide use of hacks will make hacks widely known, which will lead to more people searching for hacks and finding them and so on. I have seen games that had a player base of 50% or more cheaters. There were literally spambots advertising free hacks in that game. Did that hurt the game? No not really, since everyone used hacks the developers still profited all the same, but in some cases it might and that is what I want to talk about.
So how the free hacks in the hacking communities come into being is the following: There are a few people out there that can program hacks and are looking for attention and respect online. So if there is a huge demand for certain hacks of a hacking site, they will try and provide that and in return get the respect they are looking for. Granted, some of them are probably getting paid, but most really do it for the community and the status they gain from doing it. It can be compared to the many Crackers and Warez Groups that are cracking PC software: It’s about honor, respect, showing of skill and a bit of attention. – This is just my psychological assessment of a phenomenon I don’t fully understand though. Also the hacks programmers I know personally, really enjoy coming up with the stuff. So I guess fun is in that mix as well.
Game Blacklisting Free Hacks: 1-4% Cheaters depending on many factors.
Game Blacklisting Free Hacks + Banning Reported Hackers: .75-3% Cheaters.
Game ignoring Free Hacks: up to 75% Cheaters if picked up by Hacking Communities.
These numbers are my personal experience. I could illustrate how I came up with it, but it would take multiple paragraphs. As you see the “pay wall” will hold back 95% of all cheaters. Implementing automated server-side statistic-analyzing anti-cheat will probably reduce the numbers one moce more, leading to a game with below 2% cheaters.
4. So how do you keep hacking communities from jumping on your game?
While there is certainly no surefire way of doing it, releasing your game with some kind of anti-cheat software is certainly vital! The first few months after releasing your online game will decide if a hacking community will grow around it or not. So rushing your game and implementing anti-cheat later is a really bad idea. Ideally you would start with a client-side anti-cheat and blacklist hacks as they get released on the most popular hacking sites out there. – THIS IS VITAL AT THE START!
If you do not actively blacklist and ban people using these free hacks at the start, the community will grow fast and the increased demand will inspire people to provide more free hacks. – If you ban every single hack ASAP in the first months, the word won’t spread as fast, people will realize that you are countering their cheating attempts and the demand will not grow. – Therefore, there will not be as much attention to be gained from releasing free hacks and people won’t be as likely to do it.
Game hacking communities will always release free hacks as long as there is fun, respect and attention to be had from it. However, if your game is not attractive enough, the hack creator might just create hacks for a game that offers him more attention. – So try to be one of the less attractive games for hackers and you should be fine. However, if your game is very popular, you automatically are very high on the list and might have to dissuade harder. – In that case make sure you blacklist any hack code on your client-side anti-cheat within 24h after release and people will realize that it is useless to even invest the time.
Updating your game often and screwing with the parts of the code that hackers exploit to get their hacks and bots working (mostly coordinates in one or another way) will also make the development of hacks, and especially free ones, harder. Find a method that does not cause you too much extra work and a lot of work for them.
5A. Server-Side Anti-Cheating Measures for Shooters
While client-side anti-cheating software like PunkBuster can only detect hacks that you are able to get your hands on and blacklist code from, server-side anti-cheating measures are a lot more flexible. You can identify hackers by their statistics instead of injected code and since it is mostly the obvious hackers that do not even care about keeping their stats normal, you will be able to ban exactly the people that are causing the most trouble. (Even from a game hacker point of view I approve of that, since these people are using hacks the wrong way.) Statistics to watch for are mostly the player’s accuracy and k/d ratio. If a player constantly gets 30+% more accuracy than other players with the same weapon and gets a lot of kills, they are probably hacking. Now obviously using this kind of method will also flush out a few normal players with the hackers sadly, so I would recommend setting very specific requirements for permanent bans. An example would be: If a player gets over 60% accuracy with X kind of weapon and a k/d of over 4 while firing at least 80 shots in 3 consecutive games, ban the account. (This is an example that I personally think would work in the F2P FPS Warface for assault rifles.) ssking a hacker (or employee) to play your game while using hacks and recording the stats to formulate these rules might be advisable, since the ideal ban conditions are different for every game.
The most accurate way of banning players would be to analyze their aiming movements, since most aimbots aim instantly or very fast and navigate the crosshairs using vector-like movements. However, to my knowledge the software is not developed enough to allow for this kind of analysis and sine aimbots are often only activated for seconds at a time it would still be ineffective if it existed. Also if you are using statistics to ban users, it might be advisable to give them a way to contact you and beg you to reinstate the account, since there will be rare cases where you ban a legit player. And as you know a happy customer will tell 3 people about the happy experience, an angry gamer will tell 700 people.
5B. Server-Side Anti-Cheating Measures for MMOs and MMORPGs
For MMOs and MMORPGs I would recommend to implement some kind or server-side monitoring and flagging system as well. In a 3D game world I would recommend that you record every players movements and make it possible for your game moderators to display a players movements on a map to see suspicious bot paths quickly. The value that is most important to monitor in my mind is the time online: If a player is playing 18+h every day then flag the account and have a game moderator check his movements and behavior. Most accounts that are online and playing for 16+h every day on a very constant basis are bots. The number depends on the game and the stability of your servers as well, so for some games it might be 12h, for others 18h and so on. And that is also why you should record players paths: After flagging accounts that are playing for suspiciously long periods of time, you can easily check their pathing and see if there is a pattern. Bots usually run programmed routes and are not able to explore on their own, so if you record 2h of their movement, you will see a pattern with most bots. Very advanced bots will change up their farming paths every x rotations and seem more random, but if you change the scope of your observation to 12h again you will be able to see a clear pattern. Obviously this is something that cannot really be done fully automatic and a human will have to check the paths of a character for a few seconds to make a ban decision. I guess it would be possible to create an algorithm to detect bot pathig as well, but again I am no programmer. Bots will usually walk from waypoint to waypoint, farming mobs and nodes along the way. However, the position of mobs and nodes that changes will obstruct the path and make the path seem more random, so automatic detection might be difficult. I can personally see no better way than tu use the playtime to flag and human eyes to detect and ban at this time when it comes to counteracting bots in MMOs and MMORPGs.
6. Process Important Values on the Server from the Start – The Hacked Game Niche
Server-side processing might be expensive, but it is also vital to keeping hackers at bay and dissuade hacking communities from jumping on your game. A common pattern I see in games that hacking communities have been creating free hacks for on a consistent basis is that all or at least most of these games started out not only having almost no cheating protection, but also processing values such as health, ammo, items and ingame currency (money) on the client side. – Obviously this will make your game a breeding ground for cheaters. A game that allows you to get a God Mode and Unlimited Money in a multiplayer environment? - That is literally what most hack users crave: Power! Almost every time I saw a game do this, it became instantly popular among hackers. – In most cases that led to a huge part of the player base being hacker and the game literally depending on the hackers. Most these game where then forced into not fighting hacks, since the hackers mad up most of the games profits. – I guess that is a niche, but is that the niche you want to target with your game?
7. The Monetary and Moral Conflict
If you want to hate cheaters and fight them that is ok, but it is useless to fight human nature. We all have cheated in our lives, broken the rules to get ahead. – If you have never cheated or felt the urge to cheat – then throw the first stone. Hundreds of people looking to use cheats register on my site every day and they are normal people just like you and me. – They just want to have some fun, be good at a game that you created. That just means that they enjoy the experience and progression so much that they want a shortcut. Most of these people are the kind of gamers you might call a “whale” that spent hundreds of dollars on your game. They are usually the kind of player that cares just so much that they don’t care too much about money. If they spend 40$ on a hack for your game, then you can be sure they spent a few dollars in your store. The kind of player that just free to play bots your game and costs you money is not as common as you might think, though they do exist certainly. The average hacker or bot user is not poor and it would certainly cost you money to ban them all, especially in the Free to Play business model. On top of that game hacking in PC, mobile and even consoles is growing fast and the cheater demographic with it. Cheaters are like salt: A few of them might make you more money without harming your game, but if you let it get out of hand then the soup might start tasting bad. This is just to show you the monetary and moral conflict that we are dealing with here.
8. The Natural Solution – The Best Solution
There is a natural barrier that keeps hacks from hurting games in my opinion: The Pay wall! – If people have to pay 20$ per month to use a hack, there will never be too many hackers, since only a small percentage of those that wants to hack or bot is also prepared to pay 20$ per month.
So as long as you make sure your game is completely unattractive for free hack providers, you will literally keep 95% of all potential cheaters away from your game.
There are very effective ways of making sure your game does not have to deal with too many hackers, botters and other cheaters that do not require you to hire lawyers, ban a lot of players or even invest a lot of time and effort. Games that can be hacked are a profitable niche, but do you want to be part of it? Free hacks are the greatest issue here and must be counteracted from the start to stop the forming of a hacking community around your game in its roots. There will always be some hackers, but that is normal and cannot be avoided. Consider human nature and that hardcore cheaters are often big spenders as well.
Don’t misunderstand me. Being a game with a lot of free hacks will not hurt you monetarily, but if you make cheaters your main demographic, you will scare off less tech-savvy people. Also if you chose not to fight free hacks, then you are making yourself into a “hacked game” automatically and to then turn around and fight hackers would hurt you. Be aware of this issue. I have seen games lose half their player base and income by implementing an anti-cheat.
Final Idea: Cheaters as a Money-Making Machine
This is something that I noticed with the rise of server-side anti-cheating software: Many cheaters that get banned from Titanfall, BF4 or similar games will actually buy the game again in order to play it again. I have seen literally dozens of posts of a variety of forums that said “the caught me, now I have to buy the game again”. So from a business point of view this might actually be an opportunity to make money.
As I already mentioned. People that are ready to play 20$ per month to cheat are the kind of demographic that will generally be able to spend a lot of money. So having a relatively efficient system to ban hackers might actually even allow you to turn hackers into a profit. Obviously, I have no accurate numbers as to the percentage of banned cheaters rebuying the game, but I guess even if the number is only 50%, that would still be some potential profit.
Combine that with keeping your game at a price of 50-60$ for a year or more and for 1000 banned hackers, you may be making 30.000$. However, it is of course important to GIVE them the OPPORTUNITY to rebuy. Aka ban their serial and not their account or IP.