Cheating is an issue for any online game, but the number of bad actors in Destiny 2 is rising sharply, with a fifty percent increase recorded since January of this year. Bungie noted that the number of players cheating at higher skill levels is also on the rise.
The good news is, Bungie intends to clamp down on the problem, according to their latest This Week at Bungie blog post. The number of players banned is also increasing. Before the Season of the Worthy, Bungie banned around 656 players per week on average. That number has now grown to 2,133 per week.
The company noted that the vast majority of cheating takes place on the PC platform, which allows cheaters to alter active memory in ways that are nearly impossible to do on consoles. These are typically the ways that cheaters can give themselves infinite ammo or energy.
Destiny 2's engineering director, David Aldridge, stated in the post that the nature of how the game works means it faces "unique challenges" in ensuring the game is secure from cheating;
We designed Destiny's model to optimize for the feel and consistency of high-complexity, high-action, high-fidelity PvE experiences while allowing the seamless blending of PvE and PvP. Unfortunately, that model comes with some unique challenges in providing PvP security guarantees. That said, we continue to invest in preventions and detections in this space, leveraging the servers that host and monitor every match. This is a subtle point we've struggled to convey over the years: we do have servers hosting every match, but in our hosting model, those servers don't have complete authority over the game simulation to prevent all of these sorts of attacks naturally. This makes it more difficult (but not impossible) to mitigate these attacks.
Bungie is committed to cracking down on players using wallhacks or aimbots, too. Even players using "lag switching", a technique whereby they intentionally limit the game's bandwidth to induce lag and avoid being hit, will also be banned.
Of course, getting the balance right between identifying players who are likely cheating and not banning legitimate players is a difficult task. Bungie didn't go into specific details on how it would achieve these goals, understandably.
Bungie is also committing to restrict or ban any player who has benefited from cheating in the past, even if they haven't directly cheated themselves. One example would be where players give their account to another person who then levels up on their behalf.
Finally, the company talked about Trials and suggested that they may have "made a mistake" in not putting the feature behind the Season Pass paywall, to prevent cheaters from continually creating new accounts. The solution to this appears to be, potentially, increasing the number of hours required before you can access Trials, with Bungie suggesting that the number of hours required would likely sit at 100 hours of gameplay.
How do you find cheating today in Destiny 2? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.