10 Creative Ways Video Games Fought Cheaters

Dealing with cheating scum in highly imaginative ways.

team fortress 2

Though modern gaming has tried its damnedest to stamp out cheats, it's been an undeniable part of the medium's DNA since its inception, with players keenly finding ways to circumvent traditional gameplay with or without the developers' help.

And while cheating in a single-player game is basically a victimless "crime," sometimes developers aren't so keen on having their carefully curated gameplay messed with, and especially not where online multiplayer titles are concerned.

And so, following up our two previous articles on the subject, we come to 10 creative ways that video games managed to combat cheating players.

Developers have proven over the decades that they're a smart bunch when it comes to ensnaring and dealing with cheaters, employing outside-the-box thinking and brilliant subterfuge to catch players out.

The methods range from deliciously devious to almost troublingly harsh, but in each case it's clear that a ton of thought and ingenuity went into the schemes, which served as a warning to anybody else who even thought about some ill-gotten gains.

No matter how tempting it might be to cheat, developers are always coming up with spectacularly clever ways to outfox the hackers...

10. Creating "Honeypot" Data Which Only Cheaters Could Read - Dota 2

team fortress 2

Earlier this year, Valve announced that they brought the banhammer down on 40,000 Dota 2 players who had been caught using third-party software to cheat in the hugely popular MOBA game.

And Valve's method for catching them was quite genius indeed. They updated the game with a digital "honeypot" - a segment of data hidden inside the game code which could never be read by regular, honest players not using cheats, but would be read by a player using software to assist them.

This gave Valve absolute certainty that all 40,000 banned players were unambiguously guilty of cheating, while further asserting that they made their methods known to effectively act as a deterrent and assure offending players that they will be caught eventually.

While more ambitious Dota 2 cheaters will likely be looking into ways to circumvent this clever anti-cheat method, it was certainly effective in ridding the game of a large swath of ill-intentioned ne'er-do-wells.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.