Accusing Players of Cheating: What’s really going on?

Headshot of Ethan Patrick, Head of Amateur Scouting for New Frontier Esports & Entertainment

You wake up in the morning, make your coffee, cook up some bacon and eggs to get a jump start to your day. You head to your 9-5 job, work hard, and have a productive day. You head home, change your clothes, grab a snack and prepare to relax the rest of your night. You turn on your console, hope into a party with your friends and jump into your favorite FPS battle royale and prepare to have a good night. You drop into the map, start to loot, and engage in your first battle.

All of a sudden, you get fried… a little too quick. Your whole team is killed before you can blink your eyes. You see “TTV”, “FBGG”, or another clan tag, and immediately check out the kill cam. That single player that wiped out your squad was jumping around, broke your camera, only hit headshots, and didn’t miss a bullet. You and your squad immediately call the kill cam “sus”, say he or she is cheating, and instantly spam the report button. You and your squad continue to spectate the solo player, run around, cause havoc on the map, wipe out teams, point out all the sus activities said player is doing, and spam the report button some more.

You wait till the end of the game, and during the open mic (depending on the game), you and your squad begin to accuse the person of hacking, cheating, aimbot… the whole nine yards of what they did. You play a few more games, accuse some more people of cheating, and then call it a night. You log off and enjoy the rest of your evening. 

What these players don’t know is that solo person has been working on their skills.

Practicing day in day out trying to refine their craft to get better and better. They spend hours on aim trainers (if on PC) or in private matches, shooting bots, and working on their movement to become the best they can be and improve upon their previous gaming.

These players aren’t cheating. They are just better than you and have put countless hours into the game to be able to play solo squads and wipe your entire team. They break your camera, they don’t miss their headshots, and they know how to use the game’s mechanics to their advantage. For some people, they simply just want to be the best at whatever they do. For others, they’re trying to make a career out of gaming and are willing to put in countless hours to make sure that when they stream, or compete at the highest level in tournaments, they are putting in their best effort and not leaving anything left in the tank. The gaming community called them sweaty or “the sweats” for how hard they play, and the title is well deserved. 

For some time now, casual players have been calling streamers hackers for their gameplay and movement. The bigger the streamer, the more hackusations they receive.

There are even groups or individuals that have made a living by going through streamers’ VODs, picking the most suspect clips, breaking them down, and offering their opinions on why they think said streamers are hacking. Sometimes they are right, but 90% of the time they are wrong and can be very annoying and tiresome to deal with.

Bad Boy Beaman is a notorious individual that loves to accuse streamers both big and small potential hacking. You have to give the man some credit as he has been able to catch, accuse, and convict a lot of streamers of either blatantly hacking or secretly hacking. As much as I don’t want to shed light on this man and his tinfoil hat community, if you have half a brain you are able to distinguish skill from different forms of cheating. You can check out his youtube channel, his subreddit and various media platforms to see his takes on the gaming community hacking. Some are true, but the majority are just a Mr. Miyagi stretch and it’s starting to get ridiculous.

He loves to attack popular Warzone streamer Zlaner (recently signed with OpTiC / Envy) on his gameplay from wallhacks and using a foot pedal, to blatant aimbot with his snappy aim and dead accurate shooting. BBB credibility when it comes to accusing Zlaner and other streamers has come into question since on numerous occasions — he’s been caught manipulating clips and changing the viewer’s perspective and view of the said clip in question.  Don’t get me wrong, for the casual viewer, if you watch Zlaner play for the first time or on a regular basis, you can easily think he is hacking in some way, shape, or form. I know the first time I saw a clip of Zlaner, I was a little suspect. Then I started to watch his streams and was even more suspect.

But then, common sense, logic, and understanding of the game he’s playing came to the realization that the man is just simply… cracked. He’s put a lot of hours into the game, and it’s evident in his gameplay. With the anti-cheat now live all around the world, hopefully, channels like BBB start to decline and relieve some added stress that has been put on streamers for no good reason. Yes, some streamers are cheating, but not all — especially the big ones that are signed to major ORGs or have thousands of subscribers and followers. Also, the anti-cheat isn’t going to catch everything. We all understand that. But it will catch the majority, and over time the anti-cheat will learn and grow and become stronger and better at detecting cheats. 

Streamers being accused of cheating isn’t the worst thing in the world, yet the accusations are completely understandable. For most major FPS titles, the movements and plays of the pros can seem unnatural and sus to the casual players. This can be in connection with their talent, the hours they put into the game, and the fact that they play on high-end PCs that are super powerful — performing at the highest level compared to most consoles on the market. Despite having these high-performance PCs, this difference in play compared to a console shouldn’t be the reason these streamers are being accused of hacking.

There are a number of explanations for the reason why causal players think streamers are cheating:

  • They play on elaborate PCs that have better graphics, frame rates, and monitors
  • On PC, they have the option of a FOV slider (Field of View) that can open up what they see on the screen. It allows them to see more on the screen around them, that they wouldn’t be able to see if they are console. Console has a standard 80 FOV, while PC players on certain FPS games can have up to 120 FOV, which to the casual game, is a whole new world
  • They have the highest quality headsets that give the most clear cut in-game audio that allows to hear footsteps and anything around them that can give them the competitive advantage 
  • Controllers: yes you can play controller on pc. Alot of FPS players do this because of the advantages they gain compared to controller on console. But you can also get controllers that have extra buttons and paddles that can save you from play claw and major finger cramps, popular companies like SCUF and Battle Beaver are two major companies that provide custom controllers for both XBOX and Playstation to give you that competitive advantage in game

It’s no surprise that professional gamers have a competitive advantage over casual gamers, because of the technological disadvantages casual gamers face while playing.

Not everyone can afford to spend hundreds to thousands of dollars on a PC setup that is competitive with streamers and pro gamers. The majority of the casual gamer base is just looking for a way to unwind and have fun, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Legit cheaters are a big problem in gaming, more so during the pandemic than ever, and it’s unfair to everyone playing — especially the streamers and pro gamers that put the time and work into their craft. With hackers running rampant in FPS games, it’s tough on people and they begin to get paranoid as to whether the player who has +3 K/D is cracked out, sniffing a line of GFUEL, or has downloaded a third-party app to give them that extra boost on the map. We hope and pray with the Ricochet Anti-Cheat that it is effective, and there are fewer hackers, which leads to fewer streamers being accused of hacking. 

Whether it be a streamer, a pro player, or just someone that has put a countless amount of hours into the game, doesn’t mean they are hacking.

They are just better than you at the game and care about their performance. If you want to compete and have the hours in the day to do so, just practice. Like anything in life, just practice the best you can and you too can be good at an FPS game.

For example, I am a gamer that had a 0.5 to 0.6 K/D in Warzone when it started. I wasn’t one to toss out hackusations all the time unless it was legit and blatant. Over time, I have played more, jumped into private matches, and improved on my gameplay to get myself better. I don’t play the game for 10-12 hours a day but still put time aside to get better. In the almost 2 years of the game existing, I have been able to improve my K/D to just above a 1 K/D, which to me is a huge improvement. Anyone can do it.

Stop assuming everyone is hacking, they aren’t… you just aren’t good at the game 🙂

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