As with any multiplayer game, once it gets popular there's going to be cheating - and surprise hit Among Us is no exception. As the game has exploded over the past few months, more and more hacks have been developed - including invisibility hacks, insta-kills, speed hacks and other unsavoury methods to ruin a game. Then there's always cheating the old-fashioned way, such as communicating with friends over Discord.
But all this has had unexpected consequences for some players, who over the past few weeks have found themselves accused of hacking - bringing the social deduction game to a whole new level.
One of the hacks developed for Among Us is the "always imposter" mod, which allows players to assume the coveted role for every game they play. It seems this one has caused some confusion when players have legitimately beaten the odds to become an imposter several games in a row, with fellow players deeming it suspicious enough to be hacking.
In the comments to the above Reddit post, a number of players reported similar stories: they had been fortunate enough to land the imposter role several times, only to face accusations from fellow players that they were hacking (and in some cases finding themselves being vote-kicked from the game). For some players, all it took was an exceptionally good round as an imposter to get themselves booted out.
So i just won 1 game in among us and someone accusing me hacking the game coz i kill 5 ppl in a round lmao 😭😭😭😭😭 they kept telling the host to kick me im wheezing 😭 salty much😭— ミサ🌹 (@windfuI) October 15, 2020
In some cases, the accusations do come as a result of hacking, but with an innocent player caught up in the process. Several players have reported incidents where their characters were taken over by hackers, who controlled both their in-game actions and chat - and found themselves taking the blame. "I was playing Among Us with the InnerSloth Discord server when suddenly I lost control of my character," Reddit user InterestingMedia2 said. "My character proceeded to kill four people including my imposter friend and everyone got mad.
"Nobody even gave me a chance to explain myself and they started shouting on voice chat. The worst part? My character was typing on the in game chat claiming I did it and taunting them."
Judging by player reports on Reddit, it seems overzealous hosts can be a problem in public lobbies, with players kicked simply for winning, refusing to wear a certain hat, or not standing in line. To be fair, they were warned.
As for the hacking problem, developer InnerSloth is trying to fix the situation - despite Among Us currently being at a point where making changes could result in bugs or game-breaking issues.
"We're rushing to get an account system in place so we can have better moderation and reporting systems built around that," programmer and business lead Forest Willard told Kotaku. "Also getting help with making the servers better at detecting and blocking hacks. And investigating client-side hack prevention as well. I'm sort of scrambling to get all the right people in place, but I'm attacking it from multiple angles so it can get better in many ways hopefully all at once."
Hacking and accusations of hacking are common to many multiplayer games, of course, but it seems particularly funny that Among Us has now developed another layer of social deduction, in which people try to root out actual hackers and have them kicked. The atmosphere of the game is one of suspicion, too, which makes me wonder whether players are being particularly vigilant when it comes to searching for hackers. Maybe this is all just the game's hard mode.