PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer Bluehole has offered more insight into its plans to tackle cheaters, and shared further details on its new anti-cheat measures - which launched on the game's test servers in a recent update and will go live for all PC players next week.
Speaking in a new Steam Community blog post, Dohyung Lee, Bluehole's head of service management & anti-cheat, reaffirmed the developer's stance on cheating, and explained the measures it's currently taking to prevent it.
"'Play Fair and Respect Other Players' is a principle around which our game is built," said Lee, "To get the full Battle Royale experience, all 100 players must play fair. This is why we have been following the above principle of fair play and respect for others since the first pre-alpha test in July 2016. "
However, as many Battlegrounds players know all too well, Bluehole's principles and the current reality of the game don't exactly align.
To address this discrepancy, the developer has established a dedicated team focussed on combating cheat programs, and an early version of its new internal anti-cheat solution - that is, the one deployed in the recent test server patch - will reach live servers next week. Bluehole says it "is planned to be upgraded steadily after the first implementation".
The new solution is designed to complement already existing anti-cheat measures and will block "different helper programs that alter the graphics or aid in gameplay in some way." Programs that are not used to gain an unfair advantage might also be blocked if they behave like cheats, the developer warns, but it's currently checking data gathered on test servers to identify harmless programs, and will allow their use as quickly as possible.
In addition to its work-in-progress anti-cheat solution, Bluehole is focussing on three other areas: improving its in-game report function, cracking down on player file modification, and making changes to family sharing on Steam.
"We are gradually upgrading our in-game reporting features to effectively review your reports and accurately verify cheat activities," Lee explained, "An internal system is being built as well to allow us to investigate reported content faster and more accurately. If you encounter a player you suspect of cheating, please use the report function."
As for file modification, the developer warns that soon, "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."
Its final current step on the road to a cheat-free nirvana will be to disable family sharing on Steam for Battlegrounds. Originally, the feature had been enabled to allow Battlegrounds players to use their character with other Steam accounts.
"However, we have decided to deactivate this feature because we have identified a number of vulnerabilities that are being exploited," said Lee, "Please understand that we are introducing this measure to fight abuse and ensure a fair environment."
These are just the beginning stages of Bluehole's crackdown on cheating, of course, and it will "continue taking firm measures against the developers, distributors and users of cheats. We promise you that we will do our best every day in our battle for a fair game environment."