Team Fortress 2 players have begun programming bots specifically to hunt down and eliminate other malicious bots being used by cheaters. Valve’s beloved multiplayer shooter has long been plagued by bots of all kinds. Some automatically and feverishly fill the game chat with racist, homophobic, and otherwise inflammatory hate speech, while others implement game-breaking hacks to give their creators an unfair edge in combat, whether by ensuring all of their shots hit their target or by increasing lag in the server to disrupt everyone else’s gameplay experience.
No one likes a cheater. One person hacking a game to win prevents everyone else in the game from having fun. Unfortunately, Team Fortress 2 isn’t the only victim of hackers. Take Fall Guys, for instance, which features a skin based on Team Fortress 2 and is similarly plagued by cheats. Like in Team Fortress 2, players have taken matters into their own hands, in Fall Guys’ case by sabotaging themselves to take out otherwise unbeatable cheaters.
In Team Fortress 2, fans have turned to more high-tech means to weed out cheaters. As reported by Eurogamer, TF2 vigilantes are now creating “elimination bots.” These programs rely on the same unfair and manipulative tech that allows cheaters to ruin the game, but for a much different purpose; elimination bots exist solely to hunt down and destroy cheaters. They’ve been documented ignoring human players entirely and focusing exclusively on illicit hackers and aimbots. In addition to these robotic allies, players have also developed software that can automatically detect a player using bots and call for their removal before the match even begins.
This is an ingenious and quite delightful solution but, unfortunately, it’s not a perfect one. Bots have already been sighted that have been dishonestly labeled as anti-bots, just so they can avoid getting kicked long enough to deploy their cheats. Furthermore, some have complained that even though the anti-bots are benevolent, they still fill team slots that could go to legitimate players. Of course, in an ideal world, all team slots would go to legitimate players, but until Valve is able to curb the bot populations once and for all, players must take the lesser of two evils.
Considering how thoroughly unwelcome cheaters are in just about every online game, it’s surprising how persistent they can be. It’s also disappointing that getting a win is more important to some players than actually playing the game at all. Video games are meant to be fun, but when a hacker rears their head, no one’s having fun. Regardless of how imperfect Team Fortress 2’s “anti-bot bots” are as a prevention method, the motivation behind them is pure. Hopefully someday the gaming world will have no need of them at all.
Read more: screenrant.com