As with almost all hugely popular multiplayer games, Respawn Entertainment have had to struggle with cheaters in the free-to-play team shooter Apex Legends since its launch in February. This has primarily affected the PC version of the game, but with the start of Season 2 bringing ranked play to the game, the company have come up with some ingenious ways of tackling their impact.
In essence, they’re matchmaking cheaters against one another, so that they don’t affect the good and honest souls just trying to survive in the treacherous King’s Canyon, but that’s just one part of their work. They’ve started to use machine learning to analyse behaviours of cheaters so that they can detect and auto-ban them, now require two factor authentication in regions where cheater accounts typically stem from, and are trying to detect spam accounts before they’re used.
Additionally, they’re broadening the scope of what it means to be a cheater, now including those who party up with cheaters, even if you’re not specifically cheating.
However, even with the automation and increase in size of the anti-cheat team within Respawn, they still need the help of players to try and weed out the undesirables. If you encounter a cheater, you’re encouraged to report them here, preferably with video evidence, and Respawn will also allow you to report squadmates, if you’ve been dropped into a team with someone naughty.
Of course, the problem with this is that it could create a breed of super-cheaters, in the vein of the (insincere) suggestion that we should have a version of the Olympics and Tour de France where doping is allowed, or superbugs that the overuse of antibiotics have led to. Should these cheaters break back into the wild, having cut their teeth defeating other cheats, they might be almost unstoppable!
Apex Legends recently kicked off its second season of content, Battle Charge on 2nd July, featuring a new character Wattson, with balance changes and new weapons and bringing major changes to the Kings Canyon map.