Fancy using an aimbot on unsuspecting victims to climb your way up Apex Legends' Ranked mode? Too bad, as now you'll be thrown into the seventh circle of hacker hell by Respawn's matchmaking system.
In a developer update post on Reddit, Respawn's detailed how it's been dealing with its cheater problem. Alongside developing auto ban technology to boot out cheaters (similar to the measures PUBG Corp recently discussed), Respawn has been increasing its resources and undertaking "ongoing work to adapt to new cheats". Most amusingly, this includes developing a matchmaking system "that matches detected cheaters and spammers together". How delicious.
Another area of concern seems to be preventing cheaters from creating new accounts to get around bans, with some players in certain regions on "high risk accounts" now requiring two-factor authentication to log in. Respawn also says it's been working on "improving detection that identifies and bans new spam accounts before they are used".
Respawn also seems to have a pretty dire view of people who deliberately party up with cheaters, with the developer saying it considers this "still cheating" and will now investigate "how people party up for matches". So no, you can't be carried to victory by a cheater - you'll have to go back to relying on regular players.
In the comments on the official reddit post, one user also suggested that introducing a way to rotate through a squad when in spectator mode (allowing the player to report the cheater) would be a useful addition. According to one of the Respawn devs, this feature is "coming". In another comment, a dev said that the option to report teammates for cheating will be added to the report list today.
Alongside all the tech developments, Respawn said it still requires manual help in identifying cheaters, and is urging players to continue identifying hackers by reporting them through an anti-cheat form.
"As we've said before, the war against cheaters will be ongoing and remains a high priority for us," Respawn said in the post. "We'd like to thank the players that have been getting involved with helping us squash cheaters over the last week whether it be submitting reports or assisting with the vetting process for suspicious behavior."
Ever since Apex Legends launched in February, Respawn's been having a hard time removing cheaters - a problem exacerbated by the fact it's a free-to-play title and relatively new game. At one point selling cheats became a virtual cottage industry, with Kotaku reporting many cheat-makers were making serious bank off selling hacks. To Respawn's credit, the developer has acknowledged the problem and has banned over 770k accounts (as of May).
Respawn has previously been reluctant to detail its anti-cheat measures - probably to avoid giving cheaters the heads-up - but the developer is clearly feeling confident enough to explain its progress so far. Let's hope these measures nip the problem in the bud.