Overwatch got an update yesterday. The biggest addition was a new control map on the test server where you can play in traffic. However, a major wave of bans came alongside the update as well, with some players complaining that it seems to have caught previously undetectable cheat programs.
A post on the official Overwatch forums contains statements from dozens of players claiming that they’ve been banned for using illicit hacks. Blizzard has cracked down on thousands of cheaters before, but this round of bans has apparently grab cheaters using programs that boast of their ability to remain untraceable.
“I literally ran the hack one time,” a poster on a major cheat forum wrote. “People told me that the hack is undetected.”
“I’m going to sue Blizzard,” another proposed after learning that they were banned. Good luck with that, I say.
Among these cheats is a program called Highnoon. It contains an aimbot, the ability to disable recoil, and a script for bunnyhopping your way around the battlefield. Users of Highnoon have reported being banned as quickly as a day after using the program. Despite these reports, moderators on the program’s forums assured players that the cheat remains under Blizzard’s radar.
Overjoint is a public aimbot that seems to have been caught as well. Players report testing the bot in the game’s practice range only to receive a swift ban. Other cheaters took precautions to use low settings in the hope of avoiding detection with no luck.
Despite this, banned players don’t seem deterred. Many plan to repurchase the game from different countries at a low price and leap right back into the fray.
Cheaters appear split on exactly how they are being detected. Stinkyjoint, one of the minds behind Overjoint and Highnoon, took to forums suggesting that Blizzard was detecting specific executables upon launching the game.
There’s a few other theories floating about at the moment. Bans based on multiple player reports seem common, and some cheat forum moderators hypothesize that manual bans have been handed out based on suspicious player stats. If anything, it seems like some of the more popular and easily accessible hackers and cheaters are finally getting detected after such widespread use of easily accessible programs.
Except Sombra. She remains at large. Wait. o͟h͟ n͟oͩ͟͟ s͋͟͟h̉͟͟e͟’͖͟͟s͟ h͟a᷊᷃͟͟͟c̰̽͟͟͟k͟e͟d͟ m͟e͟.....
Update—5:45 p.m.: Kotaku has received the following statement from Blizzard:
We take cheating very seriously. “Play nice; play fair” is one of our core values, and cheating undermines the spirit of fair play that all of our games are based on. Though we can’t get into the specifics on these bans, we are constantly working to improve our anti-cheating and anti-hacking measures to make sure Overwatch continues to provide a fun and fair multiplayer experience for our players.
We continually monitor Overwatch for exploitative behavior, as well as take action as needed to preserve the integrity of game, and yesterday’s bans were a part of that ongoing process.