Anyone ever cheat on an online game?

I have played a lot of online games over the years and there have always been accusations of cheaters. In my experience cheating is vastly over reported, but there is some out there.

Is there anyone on this board who has ever used a cheat such as an aimbot, or a wallhack when playing an online game and is willing to admit it? If so, I’d be interested to know what was your motivation and whether you actually paid money for the hack. But I predict this thread will drop like a stone.

I haven’t done it myself (Xbox Live user here), but I have seen evidence of hacking. Specifically hacked gamertags, which obviously doesn’t affect gameplay but does indicate there’s something fishy going on with that user. I’ve heard of modded controllers, and know they exist, but have no personal experience on either end of them.

Also I’ve seen a LOT of players taking advantage of poor coding in the games, such as finding ways to get under the map (COD: WAW was *terrible *in this respect) or inside rocks or whatnot. I would call that cheating - I mean, when you’re getting shot by somebody you literally cannot see, and the killcam shows that they’re someplace you cannot get to them … that’s not just a matter of improving your skill to compete, that ain’t fair.

I do agree with your premise that there’s way, way more accusations of cheating than actual cheating going on. I often get shot by another player when I can’t figure out how they saw me/reacted/pulled the trigger that fast, but I know there can be lag issues involved, for one. Skill issues, for another. Heck, I’m over 45 years old … my reaction times aren’t what they used to be.

But cheating does indeed go on in the online community.

I know it does, but I’ve always wanted to talk to someone who cheats and ask why they do it. I don’t understand what they would get out of the experience.

I once intentionally used a bug to transfer a “non-transferable” item between two of my characters in Everquest. This didn’t give me any real advantage over anyone so much as it saved me the trouble of getting it on Character B while Character A owned an obsolete one. But it was cheating.

Oh, and once I looked at a saved Player-to-Player Civ2 map between sessions with the Reveal Map cheat to see where his cities/units were. I actually feel guiltier about that since that was cheating to someone else’s detriment. We never continued the game anyway but it was still pretty seedy of me.

Nothing as exciting as autotargeting or wall hacks though since I never did the multiplayer FPS thing.

The main map in Ultima Online used to be hosted across several servers. Crossing these invisible lines on the map could do odd things, like stop someone from attacking you and force them to re-target. Used to spend hours exploiting this as a thief.
Although to be fair, the entire player base knew about it, and actually hung around some of these invisible server lines just to watch the shenaniganry.

I’m a game Admin. And most of the time cheaters have a huge deficit in maturity (most of them are teens or very immature adults). This is definitely confirmed to me by their unban requests.

I think that if you were a sociology grad student, you could do some interesting studies of cheaters and griefers, it’s a pretty fascinating subset of gamers (which is itself a pretty interesting subculture). Capt. Z I bet a lot of them say that they weren’t cheating, but that their little brother logged in as them and cheated?

Happens, but that’s more TKers that do that (and anyway, the policy of my server is: No “my brother/dog/zombie relatives did it” is accepted. You’re reponsible for who uses your disks or account).
Usually cheaters will completely deny, like “I dont know how to cheat or find cheating programs”, even though the cheating accusation is the most checked and counterchecked offence, since on most servers (including mine) it’s a permban offense, no appeal. So, they will also usually say it’s a technical glitch, and they werent really cheating. Rarely you have the “I just DLed a minor cheat to see what the fuss was about”. Or I DLed this program but I swear I didnt know it was a cheat".
Most of the times cheaters come off in their Unban requests as thinking the Admins are total gullible fools, I think it reflects well the mindset of most cheaters:
“Others are here to be abused by me”.

As I said, immaturity is definitely something most cheaters seem to have in common.

BTW, adult cheaters are the worst, they will usually be very low profiler, almost no chat from them. But they will always attract and Admin’s attention at some point. And it’s not always their score.

I was a Guide (volunteer in-game support that was the first contact for players with issues, complaints or questions) for EverQuest back in its hey day, and I can assure you that cheating was probably under-reported.

If there’s an exploit, someone will find it and abuse the hell out of it. Some people spend all of their time looking for them or even creating them, and I’ve never understood what satisfaction they garner from playing a game if they can’t play it straight.

I never have, I wouldn’t even know how. Halo 3 gets hacked sometimes and someone told me Halo 2 was hacked all the time. Almost every single game I get into on Team Fortress 2 is hacked. It’s annoying because people are flying around using auto aim and you basically don’t stand a chance.

Just pointing out that I’m an admin on a strictly FPS server (mostly focused on BF games). So, my experience may differ from Everquest types games. Or strategy games (I think it’s an even worse behavior in strategy games).

I played a lot of APB before it went under and by the end the cheating was pretty bad and obvious, I had never seen anything like it. I was playing the day the day the servers went off and it was like the fall of Saigon, people were saying stupid stuff that would have got you permbanned, others were trying to steal every car in the city for a massive bonfire and other people were admitting that they had used cheats; good times. I’m actually looking forward to APB reloaded.

Ah, I wasn’t trying to dispute anything you said. In fact, your observations about the maturity level of the typical cheater are, I think, pretty spot on.

I was merely offering that in my experiences, cheating is rampant and probably actually under-reported. Perhaps over-accused, since many people will immediately cry, “Cheater!” when bested somehow, but under-reported in the sense that it’s pretty prevalent, often in nefarious ways too subtle for most players to catch unless they’re looking for it or are already familiar with the exploit.

I think it’s probably worse in persistent MMOs and the like because there are actual real-world benefits to cheating. At the time of my service EQ was fast forming its own out-of-game economy where in-game items and maxed out characters were fetching hefty prices on eBay (despite Sony’s attempts to clamp down on the practice, stating it unfair that others were benefiting from their intellectual property), and many of the cheaters I busted were those trying to exploit the system to either speed level their characters or else to recover rare items, or both, with the intent of selling them later.

In games and in life, if there’s one lesson I’ve learned it’s to never underestimate human ingenuity when it comes to someone trying to beat the system.

Lol, I didnt think you were doubting my take. Just that FPS will lead to a different style of cheating than strategy or Everquest games.
I can understand a little bit more people cheating on online RPGs, you pay for the hours you put in the game, so wanting to max out on that time isnt surprising to me. Since those games are all about improving your character stats in the first place, there’s definitely more incentive to cheat/glitch on those.

I haven’t played any online FPS games, just MMORPGs. It seems like in games such as WoW, LOTRO, etc. where there is an in-game player economy and tradeable currency, a substantial proportion of the cheaters are gold-farmers who use various “bot” programs and terrain exploits to collect currency without having to do much actual gameplay like fighting enemies or encountering other players. Third-party currency sales are a huge business (people’s accounts routinely get hacked for the same purpose, collecting currency to sell).

I would argue that glitching isn’t cheating. If you put it in the game proper, and you can get to it by playing the game proper, then it’s a legitimate part of the game.

Not that I was ever good enough to pull it off. In fact, I avoid online games because I can often only win by real cheating, but I’m not going to cheat other people.

In Diablo II, cheating is so common that nobody even bothers to deny it, at least in cooperative play. Runs (repeatedly making new games to kill bosses over and over for loot and XP) are usually run by bots of various sorts, with everyone else more or less along for the ride. Less socially sanctioned, but still in practice accepted, is duping, or making copies of valuable items. Few will admit to duping, but everyone knows that when you buy items from others, when they say “guaranteed legit”, at best it means that they’re duping using a method that won’t get caught and the item deleted.

Personally, I’ve never cheated (the closest I’ve come is to rubber-band down the mouse button on one computer in such a way that that character would automatically follow another character), but I have been accused of using map-hacks, thanks to having figured out some of the patterns to the randomly-generated maps. The funniest case was one where one of the other players in a pub game was furious at me for hacking, because he was hacking, too, and he thought for sure that two hackers in the same game would be enough to attract Blizzard’s attention.

I’ve often wondered if cheating would be as socially acceptable (and therefore practiced) if more people knew how it worked. For instance, the duping methods in Diablo II all involve various ways of crashing the game servers. Would people be as tolerant of duped items if they knew that that time that the server crashed just as they were about to nab a difficult quest was because of someone duping?

I don’t know how many people remember or know about America’s Army, a recruitment/propaganda game developed by the U.S. Army, but I wall hacked in it. I was a terrorist/soldier-killing machine! (Each team would see the other team as terrorists and their teammates as soldiers. It was pretty deep.) It was my first time cheating; I did it after being killed repeatedly by a player my team accused of hacking. I’ve also botted in World of Warcraft for several years because I wanted max-level characters without doing the same quests over and over. Also, fishing in WoW was really boring but a simple (from a botting standpoint) way of making lots of gold. I paid for the leveling bot but not the fishing bot or wall hack.

Dr. Crap can I ask what you got out of the experience? Did you consider yourself good at the game? Did it get boring? Did anyone ever call you out on it?

How interesting… would you ever consider doing an “Ask the Game Admin” thread?

More on topic - I have never cheated in an on-line game, but I have been accused of cheating in World of Warcraft. This almost always involves someone who just doesn’t understand some aspect of what’s going on. For example, during a holiday boss encounter I had a character five levels below the level cap tanking the encounter. I was accused of cheating by someone who erroneously thought you had to be at max level to join the encounter. No, you didn’t - MOST people doing the holiday boss thing were at max level but it was not required, you only needed to be within five levels of the maximum. I could understand how someone could get the impression you needed to be at max level for the thing, because that’s almost all you saw, but it wasn’t required. I told him to go ahead and report me if he thought I was using a hack, as I wasn’t and had nothing to fear.

I have reported hacking when I thought I saw it. I’m positive some of it was gold farmers. Some of what I thought were hacks might have been my being mistaken about something in the game (such as the above confusion regarding required levels for an encounter) but it’s not like the folks at Blizzard ever get back to you on this. I report what looks fishy and let them take care of it.

I don’t understand the mindset where you pay a monthly fee to play a game then pay someone else to play it for you… but then, there’s a lot of other stuff people do I don’t understand, either.