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News video games 28 February 2023, 12:05

Cheaters Ruin Escape from Tarkov; Players Fed Up

Escape from Tarkov players are fed up with cheaters and are abandoning the game in favor of CS:GO, among others. A YouTube video showing the scale of the problem was the straw that broke the camel's back.

The problem of cheaters in the online shooter Escape from Tarkov is as old as the game itself. It exists since it was made available in beta version in 2017, but instead of decreasing - it keeps escalating. Some say there are more cheaters now than ever before.

A YouTube user nicknamed g0at decided to show the scale of the phenomenon. Deciding that the end justifies the means, he decided to use cheats himself, specifically ESP (Extra-Sensory Perception), with which - thanks to "super-senses" - he saw the position of other players on the map, their health, stats, equipment or the direction in which they were looking.

The experiment drew an alarming, though not necessarily surprising, conclusion:

"About 60% of my raids involved cheaters. One night I ran into them in five raids in a row," declared g0at

Interestingly, during 125 matches, the youtuber said he did not encounter cheaters who would fly around the map (literally), be invulnerable to damage (in exchange for a strange stance), move at significantly increased speed or use an aimbot. In addition, they were much more likely to be encountered at night. Thus, it can be concluded that the cheaters in Escape from Tarkov are extremely cautious.

How did he do it?

Initially, g0at tried various ploys, such as exposing himself in a non-obvious, difficult position, which, however, would enable other players to take a clear shot. The honest ones would be unlikely to spot it, while the ESP-using cheaters would be highlighted in red.

However, this solution was not 100% effective, as it did not removed players with really very good skills and an accurate eye from the equation. So the Youtuber decided to use a specific move, known in the hacking community as wiggle. It resembles rocking from side to side and (generally) communicates the sender's peaceful intentions.

The trick was to perform it by looking at players he shouldn't be able to see without using cheats. Of course, it also worked the other way. So if someone responded with the same move, it meant that - like g0at - he was using ESP.

"It is worth mentioning that the Internet user invited another youtuber to the test, who preferred to remain anonymous. Interestingly, he was more concerned about the reaction of the cheat makers than the game's devs.

A community divided

Advertising of cheats

It might have seemed that gamers would appreciate g0at's efforts and the truth he brought to light. Many of them actually did. Nevertheless a large part of the community treated the Internet user's material as an advertisement for cheats. However, many people note that the problem is so big and old that even if a few players decide to start using cheats after seeing the video, it won't make that much of a difference.

The exodus to CS:GO

Some claim that such a large number of cheaters in Escape from Tarkov - which, as I pointed out above, has been a problem for a very long time - has contributed to the massive return of players to CS:GO, noted recently on Steam. Suffice it to say that yesterday saw a new record - the shooter from Valve was launched simultaneously on the accounts of 1,355,797 users of the platform.

Cheaters Ruin Escape from Tarkov; Players Fed Up - picture #1
Not bad is an understatement. Source: SteamDB.

One thing is certain - the cheaters are being pointed out as the main reason by people who abandon Escape from Tarkov (although they are not the only one).

Gamers vs. streamers

It is worth adding that Internet users who stream the game are quite critical of g0at's video - much more so than "ordinary" players (you can find a sample video below). They accuse him, among other things, of an inappropriate, immoral way of acquiring data and resent the fact that his video was not deleted by - or rather: at the suggestion of - Battlestate Games, the makers of Escape from Tarkov. After all, this was to be the fate of all videos demonstrating cheats - regardless of their subject matter.

The community began wondered about this divergence of opinions between players and streamers. Some Internet users came to the to wonder whether the difference in the reception of g0at's material is due to the fact that the former simply appreciate the truth, while the latter fear an outflow of viewers, which will also translate into a lower number of people watching Escape from Tarkov streams.

It is worth mentioning that a lot of hatred began to appear in discussions about the problem in question. Some of the posts were deleted by the game's automated and/or human moderation of subreddit, which did not please the community. Moderators assured that they will do their best to keep the discussion going, as they themselves play Escape from Tarkov and they care about fairness in the game. They stipulated however, that they will make sure that the discussions are civilized.

What do the developers have to say about it?

Battlestate Games not only (apparently) failed to take steps to have g0at's video removed, but in addition commented on the situation in question on Reddit. The developers stated that they have been dealing with cheaters for a long time, and yet people keep accusing them of passivity.

  • The developers assure that they are currently banning several thousand cheaters a day, usually shortly after they start using cheats.
  • An anti-cheat system called Battleye, which protects Escape from Tarkov, is said to be updated regularly - it reportedly received four patches in the last week alone.
  • Unfortunately, cheats are also being upgraded on a regular basis.
  • The developers intend to start working on new automated methods of detecting cheaters. These are expected to improve both the quality and speed of response.
  • The ticketing system is also being continuously improved.

The community seems to doubt these assurances - which, it is worth adding, look very similar every time the cheater problem escalates. "They are actively working to improve security, just as I strive to be a millionaire," wrote wallywot in a critical thread, which has far more "upvotes" than the developers' post.

Battlestate Games is a Russian studio. The company was originally founded in St. Petersburg. The developers have moved their headquarters to London, although some of the team members continue to operate from Russia.

Hubert Sledziewski

Hubert Sledziewski

Has been writing professionally since 2016. He joined five years later - although he has known the service since he had access to the internet - to combine his love for words and games. Deals mainly with news and journalism. A sociologist by education, a gamer by passion. He started his gaming adventure at the age of four - with a Pegasus. Currently, prefers PC and demanding RPGs, but does not shy away from consoles or other genres. When he's not playing or writing, he enjoys reading, watching series (less often movies) and Premier League matches, listening to heavy music, and also walking the dog. Almost uncritically loves the work of Stephen King. Does not abandon plans to follow in his footsteps. However, he keeps his first "literary achievements" locked away deep in a drawer.


Escape from Tarkov

Escape from Tarkov