Cheaters have been a major issue for Escape From Tarkov players since the game’s release. The developer has responded to every new controversy with the same reassurances that it takes cheating seriously and requests that players report them.
But battling cheaters isn’t a task that Battlestate Games can tackle on its own. Software that lets hackers use HWID spoofing is the root problem, and it’s something other studios are working together to combat.
It’s a cold, hard fact of gaming: wherever there’s a game, someone’s going to figure out how to cheat in it. The developers might be able to keep the cheaters at bay for a while, but there will always be some player who decides they’re not getting enough out of a game and will spend a few bucks to buy EFT hacks that gives them an unfair advantage over their competition. This is why there are so many anti-cheats in the industry and why gamers are constantly looking for new ways to beat them.
This is the problem with Escape From Tarkov: even though developer Battlestate Games claims to ban thousands of cheaters a day, some players are still reporting being cheated in matches. The issue isn’t that people are cheating, but that they’re cheating to the point where it’s ruining the experience for everyone else.
The most common form of cheating in Escape From Tarkov are wallhacks, aimbots, and other “cheaty” tools that let players see the location of other players and give them a way to automatically target them with their weapons. These are the kind of hacks that can be easily bought on the internet for a couple of dollars, and they can completely change the way that you play the game.
Over on the TarkovMemes subreddit, one user who goes by the username Gigabeef shared some pretty mind-blowing statistics about how prevalent cheating is in the game. He claimed that he encounters a cheater every three or four raids, which is a staggering amount for such an immersive multiplayer title. Gigabeef believes that the issue is being exacerbated by cheaters themselves, as they have a vested interest in making the community believe that the game is overrun with hacks. This, in turn, pushes more players toward the mindset of buying a hack to level the playing field.
When Gigabeef talked to Battlestate Games about the issue, he got more of the same sort of responses that we’ve come to expect from the studio: reassurances that the game’s anti-cheat system works and that the team is working to find and remove all the cheats. It’s a formula that’s left some of the game’s biggest fans feeling unconvinced, despite the studio’s best efforts.
If you’ve been playing any multiplayer game for more than a few minutes, chances are you’ve encountered some cheaters. They’re all over the place in competitive games, reducing the fun for legitimate players who spend a lot of time trying to build a good loadout. But it’s particularly galling in hardcore FPS survival games like Escape From Tarkov, where a single encounter with a cheater can wipe out hours’ worth of work and gear.
One YouTuber named g0at recently decided to evaluate the problem of cheaters in Escape From Tarkov for himself. While he doesn’t have administrative access to the game, he did make use of cheat tools that showed him opponent locations through walls and other means. His video reveals that at least 60% of his matches have featured cheaters, though he acknowledges that number could be higher. While some in the community are damning g0at for his blatant advertising of cheats, others applaud him for exposing a plague that seems to be taking over Escape From Tarkov.
Whether it’s using the HWID spoofing software that allows them to hide their in-game character’s identity or an aimbot that allows them to shoot any target with precision, these hackers are essentially stealing from the studio that makes Escape From Tarkov and the millions of people who buy and play the game. It’s a trend that’s been ongoing for years now. Back in 2021, Bungie and Riot teamed up to sue a cheat-enabling company for millions of dollars (opens in new tab).
Battlestate Games has responded to g0at’s video with a pinned Reddit thread, but that response feels more like a tired retread than anything new. The studio continues to promise that it takes the issue seriously and asks fans to report cheaters, but many are starting to feel burned out by the same old tactics. It’s a shame because Escape From Tarkov is a great game with a promising future ahead of it. But if it’s going to be successful, the developer needs to find some new ways to tackle this growing problem.
In Escape From Tarkov, players can collect a number of different weapons and equipment to help them get through the game’s numerous scenarios. However, while some players spend hours honing their skills and refining their tactics to ensure they can progress through the game, others are happy to resort to using third-party software to gain a competitive advantage.
This isn’t something that’s exclusive to EFT, as every extraction shooter can be subject to a number of suspicious players that ruin the experience for those who don’t use cheats. While dying to a suspicious player is something that most FPS players have experienced before, it’s especially frustrating when it happens in EFT where more permanent loadouts are on the line and the experience can be ruined by a single wipe.
As such, Escape From Tarkov fans are not pleased with the state of the game and one YouTuber took matters into his own hands in order to investigate just how prevalent the problem is. g0at, a creator and player who has been playing the game since its early access release, decided to install his own ESP software into the game and jump into a number of raids in order to see just how many cheaters were out there.
He claims that he found cheaters in around 60% of the games that he played. That’s an incredibly high figure that is sure to shock anyone who has invested time in the game and he explains how he discovered them by using a tool called ESP-Detector. This allows him to wiggle while hidden and look towards the player, and if they wiggle back, it’s a confirmation that they are indeed using cheat software in EFT.
As a result, he claims that he is able to find one cheater in every two or three raids that he plays. This is an eye-opening statistic and while he doesn’t claim that he has been able to uncover every single cheater in the game, he says that it shows just how widespread the problem is in the Norvinsk region.
Not everyone is happy with g0at’s approach to exposing cheaters in Escape From Tarkov though, with some accusing him of being nothing more than a blatant advertisement for the software that he uses. Others say that he is doing a good job of exposing a problem that has been plaguing the game for some time now and it’s something that needs to be addressed before things spiral out of control.
An aimbot is a type of game hack that automatically aims a player’s crosshairs at opponents in first-person shooters. This software exploits the game’s hitboxes to detect enemy players, then locks the player’s mouse reticule to the target, making it easier to fire shots. Aimbots are commonly used in games such as PUBG, Valorant, Fortnite, Escape From Tarkov, and other hardcore FPS survival games.
Many players use aimbots to get better at the game and gain a competitive advantage. However, there are also those who abuse the software to dominate other players. This type of cheating is known as toxic game hacking and can lead to players getting banned from the game quickly.
Aimbots can be detected by a player’s teammates and by the game itself. The most common way is by noticing that an opponent’s crosshairs are always locked on the same spot, even when their opponent moves around. This is a sign that the player is using an aimbot and should be reported immediately.
Other methods include examining the player’s kill cam to see if they are firing at their opponents often. Aimbots that are abused often leave a trail of heads through walls and across the map. Some of them even stay on the head of their enemies and never move their reticule away from that spot. This is a clear sign that the player is abusing the tool and should be reported as soon as possible.
Some esports events have gone as far as to ban players who use aimbots, and it’s not hard to understand why. These high-profile competitions usually have a lot of money on the line, and if a competitor is cheating to win, that’s not fair.
While these methods do not catch all hackers, they can help to reduce the amount of toxic game hacking that is happening in online multiplayer games. In addition to this, they can make it much more difficult for players to use these types of cheats in the future.