Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds launching new anti-cheat tech next week

Sure, you can expect a stag & hen weekend to get rowdy when 100 hungover top lads are dropped onto an island brimming with guns, but cheating just isn’t cool. There’s a fine line between banter and being an arse, Gary. In their ongoing battle to keep Gary and his cheaty mates out of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, the developers have been working on new anti-cheat tech of their own. Following a stretch in testing, this should hit the main servers next week. The devs say they are planning to make it less strict about blocking non-cheaty software which hooks innocently into the game – but ReShade is definitely banned.

Plunkbat initially relied on third-party anti-cheat software BattlEye–which in December boasted of having banned 1.5 million players–but developers PUBG Corp have set up a team dedicated to fighting cheats and work on their own cheatbuster too. In today’s dev update post, the devs say their new anti-cheat solution “will complement the systems that have been developed and implemented already.” They add that “Its main focus for now is blocking unauthorized programs but it will be further developed to broaden the scope of its abilities.”

Maybe they could make the anti-cheat phone a cheater’s parents to tell them their child is naughty. Perhaps make a little water sprayer pop out of the cheater’s keyboard and spray their face while shouting “No! Bad!” Just some suggestions.

The devs explain that their tech is looking for programs which “hook into our game and transform game files”, which also means that “programs that are not used to gain an unfair advantage can also be blocked if they behave like cheats.” They are checking over programs which have been blocked on the test servers and will unblock harmless ones “as quickly as possible”. ReShade will not be one of them.

ReShade is fairly common tool which applies post-processing effects to games, which can be handy for things such as making Fallout 4 more colourful but is a grey area in multiplayer games. While some Plunkbat players use it fancy the game up to their particular tastes, others have grumbled about ReShade being able to tweak sharpness and colours to make enemy players more visible. Perhaps the final straw was cheaters figuring out how to use ReShade to create a zoom effect – a big advantage in a game where scopes are a rare item. A community manager has posted that they’ll block ReShade on purpose, so away that goes.

It sounds like players who have deleted map files to skip the map they dislike might be out of luck too, as the post says “If you tamper with the game files, your game access may be blocked, especially if you delete, modify or manipulate in any way the files affecting any of the game systems and mechanics.” Aye, that wouldn’t be a surprise. An official map select option is coming, the devs have said, but we still don’t know when.

One surprising casualty of the cheat crackdown is Steam Family Sharing. This feature of Steam, which is intended to let people share games from their library with family and friends, supposedly has “a number of vulnerabilities that are being exploited.” To stomp bad behaviour, the devs say, it must be disabled. I’d be fascinated to learn what the problem with that is but, alas, they don’t explain.

Not all anti-cheat solutions are in-game. A report in January said that the future operators of Plunkbat in China, Tencent, called in the rozzers to arrest 120 people on suspicion of developing cheats. Sicking The Man on cheaters isn’t uncommon with big games but dang, that’s a lot of busts.

19 Comments

  1. Spinkick says:

    regarding the family sharing thing, from what I hear, whats going on is that banned cheaters are getting refunds for the game and then sharing it to another “friend” on their list, which is actually their new steam account. Then they just keep playing with just a slightly red ass but no other real damage to them.

    • DarkCypher says:

      So I’m not sure I follow you on this. I thought that when you family share out an account, any cheating done while shared is still tied to your account. Or is that just Steam VAC games?

      Second, if they get a refund for the game how are they able to share it afterward?

      • Donkeyfumbler says:

        Third, a pubg account is different to a steam account – anyone family sharing pubg will be using the same single pubg account.

        • Spinkick says:

          Sorry guys, not sure, I know it had something to do with people getting banned and sharing it off to other accounts or something like that.

  2. Hunchback says:

    Stop posting about PUBG and post about Squad

    It feels like 50% of your posts are about POBG :|

    • Rituro says:

      PUBG? POBG? I’m unfamiliar. RPS does cover quite a bit of Plunkbat, though.

    • Kinger says:

      Please, keep posting about PUBG. :)

    • Traipse says:

      Yes, why do they post so often about PUBG? It’s not like it’s the single most popular multiplayer game of all time… oh, wait, it is.

      • Hunchback says:

        More so than WoW or HS or DOTA or CS:GO ? I highly doubt it.

        Also, since when is RPS IGN?
        -Hey, PUBG have fixed a minor bug on some map!
        -Breaking news, PUBG now has a new weapon!
        -PUBG is gonna probably add some new features in the future!
        -PUBG PUBG omg PUBG!!one

        :|

        • VitalMoss says:

          WoW is supposedly peaking at around 1 Million active players,
          DoTA is peaking at around 700,000,
          Hearthstone supposedly has 70 Mil, but that’s accounts, not sure the active player base, since it’s not on steam,
          And CS:GO is peaking around 690,000

          PUBG has a peak player # at around 3 Million. So yeah, it’s one of the biggest MP games of 2017-2018. Suck it up, Squad is a smaller game that doesn’t cater to the mainstream. Follow their devblog if you want a constant stream of news from them.

          That being said, PUBG is a game that requires some vigilance with their patches. Things change, and suddenly you’re playing a new Meta. The same could be said for other competitive MP games, but obviously (This one is the biggest).

      • ColonelFlanders says:

        Except for League of Legends, Hearthstone and Minecraft. By a not insignificant margin.

    • Railway Rifle says:

      Squad, the makers of Kerbal Space Program?

  3. Donkeyfumbler says:

    Strange how they are unwilling to say just how family sharing is being abused by cheaters, especially as, even when sharing, you are still using a single pubg account (that presumably they can easily ban if anyone playing with that account is cheating).

    An alternative explanation of course is that they want more money and banning family sharing will get them more sales (not a lot more compared to what they have already made, but hey, money is money).

  4. Massenstein says:

    Sad to hear about the family share thing. I probably wouldn’t have bought the game if I couldn’t play on wife’s account through family share first.

    And I wish I’d known about deleting map files before. Trying to find a game in the good old Erangel is becoming frustrating minigame of load, back to main menu, load again, back to main menu… Miramar was fun chance for a while but mostly it just reminded me how much better the original map is.

  5. Railway Rifle says:

    IT’S NOT PLUNKBAT!!!! IMPOTENT RAGE!!!

    (I didn’t see any of those comments here, so I thought fix that.)

  6. abcd1230000 says:

    Just wondering if Shxx Hole actually consulted the deactivate Family Share thing with their lawyer,because sounds like they are banning someone who wish to share his/her property with his/her friends and families have been banned illegally, as long as the law doesn’t prevent one share his/her property to someone else, how dare Shxx Hole do it, don’t talk about TC when we bought the game, in front of laws Shxx Hole/Steam’s TC is no different to piece of SHxT.
    Also the deleted map thing, Shxx Hole develop both the game and the game server. However for the game part, when Shxt Hole sell it to a consumer and as soon as consumer bought the game and installed it on their computer, then Shxx Hole does not have any rights to manage nor control what the owner do to his/her game, apart from the copyright matters. What Shxx Hole left is the game servers’ ownership and management right, nothing more nothing less, and under Constitution and Privacy Act at least in Australia, Shxx Hole does not have the right to monitor and manage consumers’ behavior on their end.If they wanna get rid off cheaters/tricks like delete map files, the only legit way is to combat it at the game server not consumers’ PC.
    I can have anything installed on my computer, I don’t care Shxx Hole and its anti-cheat system like it or not, if they ban me without any proper evidence to prove that I have cheated in the game, I’m sorry they are in breach of laws.
    Is like I can have a gun, a real M416 with 400 5.56mm bullets and I got all the gears to go with the gun, at my house, I have the capacity to go out at anytime to shoot many many people and I have that in my mind all the time, but as long as I do not proceed with my mind, like draw up a plan or act like a A-hole, then no one is able to touch me at all.
    So Shxx Hole really need to make their mind up, they just been stupid.

    • virgopunk says:

      “Is like I can have a gun, a real M416 with 400 5.56mm bullets and I got all the gears to go with the gun, at my house, I have the capacity to go out at anytime to shoot many many people and I have that in my mind all the time, but as long as I do not proceed with my mind, like draw up a plan or act like a A-hole, then no one is able to touch me at all.”

      Look out! Genius coming through!

  7. elgbein says:

    Wait! Does this mean we can’t have family sharing enabled at all? Or can the feature be disabled for single games?

    …if not, my Plunkbat time is over. I’m sharing my Steam library with two kids.

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