Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s cheating problem has driven vigilante programmers into baiting hackers with fake cheats, often to hilarious effect.
With CSGO’s serious increase in VAC bans, fans know there’s been some real work done by Valve to combat the game’s cheating problem. But the first-person shooter’s cheating issue has turned into a community issue. It isn’t just Valve who’s doing the work anymore, as a few programmers have taken it upon themselves to become the game’s version of vigilante heroes.
With CSGO’s popularity skyrocketing, more potential cheaters enter the game every day. Luckily, some clever programmers in the game’s community have taken action. With some smart programming and a few hundred dollars spent promoting fake cheats, these programmers have taken to publishing cheats that not only get the players banned, but also ruin the cheater’s own games instead of ruining someone else’s.
Earlier this year, the game’s subreddit blew up with the story of a programmer who had released a suite of cheats for CSGO online for free, deliberately causing thousands of players to get banned by Valve for attempting to use them. But that wasn’t enough, as the next step was to actually create and destribute hacks that troll their users.
The cheat’s programmer claims that he spent over $600 on Google ads to promote his bait cheats. The cheats might look like the real deal for those players that download them, but they’re really just a trap. These cheats aren’t just coded to end up getting their users banned, but also dole out a series of ridiculous punishments that include a 50% chance to drop all weapons while spraying, canceling bomb defusals at the last second, and having its users throwing molotovs straight at their own feet.
Our favorite is “DoYouEvenAimBro,” the cheat’s punishment that works like an anti-aimbot by actually pushing a hacker’s crosshair away from enemy players.
Since going free-to-play in 2018, CSGO’s Source engine has been broken time and time again by players looking for an unfair advantage, and CSGO’s recent restrictions surrounding how third-party software interacts with the game shows that Valve is feeling the pressure.
There is a concern that community members entrapping cheaters is ethically suspect when advertisements are used, as those ads may have resulted in seducing players who wouldn’t have otherwise cheated. But the fact that members of the game’s community would feel motivated to do this to begin with shows just how tired players are of dealing with the game’s many cheaters.
In 2018, a Counter-Strike developer walked a conference room full of developer attendees through how Valve planned to use machine learning to combat cheating in CSGO, using the game’s Overwatch system to train a program run by a bunch of NVIDIA 1080s to convict cheaters will 99% accuracy. Players are still waiting for that 99% accuracy number to come through.