TF2 Anti-Cheat Bots Are Protecting Players from Hackers

Published: September 4, 2020 1:00 PM /


TF2 Anti-Cheat bots cover

A new model of TF2 anti-cheat bots as reportedly been created and they're taking a novel approach. These bots are supposedly protecting the players from hackers using the same hacks as the bad guys.

Team Fortress 2 has been around for well over a decade. While it initially started out as a premium product, Valve soon transitioned the title to a free-to-play experience. That's a boon for players who are looking for something fun to do without breaking the bank, but it also brings some problems with it — namely, it's very easy to use hacks and cheats without any consequences.

Valve makes use of its "VAC" anti-cheat program to protect players and many servers have their own solutions to the hacker problem. Now, a new creation is taking a somewhat more novel approach to the problem: bots are using the same hacks and cheats to target hackers (and only hackers).

How do the TF2 Anti-Cheat Bots Work?

"The Extermination Bot Services" targeting TF2 cheaters sounds like a pretty cool idea, but how does it work? Details weren't provided in the tweet that revealed their existence, but clues may lie in similar projects that have been implemented in other games.

As this submission on Reddit notes, the Dark Souls community has created a mod to warn players if a PvP cheater enters their game. The technical solution there is a little easier to pull off as it only has to determine whether an incoming PvP player has impossible stats on their character.

In this case, it's likely that the same sort of anti-cheat systems used in many fan-made programs have been integrated into these bots. Should the bots detect a cheater, they'll repeatedly attack him to give the people playing fair a fighting chance.

While the TF2 anti-cheat bots are certainly an interesting way to handle the problem, it'd probably be better to simply ban the people who are cheating by using the same detection tools that the bots have. Either way, the TF2 community will keep working to prevent people from ruining the fun of honest players. If you haven't yet tried this game, you can play Team Fortress 2 for free on Steam.

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A photograph of TechRaptor Senior Writer Robert N. Adams.
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One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I… More about Robert N