PUBG Mobile is celebrating the monumental achievement of amassing 400 million downloads across all available platforms. But not all of those downloads have been by those planning to play by the rules. Cheaters are a real threat to the atmosphere of PUBG Mobile, and Tencent has taken aim at those who indulge in unfair advantages.
A competitive game like PUBG Mobile can’t thrive with those kinds of issues running rampant. Tencent knows that, and it’s constantly fighting back against those who soil the game experience for other players.
The publishing giant recently published a list dishing out the player IDs of exactly 100 accounts found to be “cheating or using an unauthorized 3rd party app to dishonestly assist their game play in a match”. That’s a fancy way of calling them “cheaters”.
But that specific wave of bans was only between May 28 to June 9. In the single 7-day period of June 10-17, 187 more accounts were discovered, judged, and banned for engaging in the very same kind of illicit behavior. Each does only state to include a “partial list” of banned players, so there’s a chance far more accounts were banned than Tencent lets on in its reports.
For their crimes, each account in question has been banned for 10 years – or basically enough time for PUBG Mobile to be usurped by another game or look dated enough to be of little interest to anyone. With the rate at which mobile graphics have evolved over the last 10 years, it’s hard to imagine anything other than current console-level graphics being the standard on portable devices in 2029. If not natively, then through Stadia if Google has its way.
When tweeting out the latest list of bans, Tencent said “Fair gaming remains our focus, and we’re continuing our crackdown on cheaters in PUBG Mobile.” before urging players to “please keep reporting cheaters”. When you’ve had a chicken dinner stolen from you by some no-talent weasel, it’s good to know your reports aren’t falling on deaf ears. The swinging of the ban hammer doesn’t stop cheaters from springing back up again like common garden weeds, but even if just one of those banned players decides not to register another account for the same purpose, there’s at least one less hacking poisoning the game.
The last few weeks haven’t been the only time Tencent has gone on a banning spree, either. In early May, news broke of Aesor, of Team Misfits, had been banned for hacking in public matches. The player was part of the #2 ranking team during the ESL PUBG Mobile Open tournament ahead of the final.
There was a breath of relief to be had when there were no allegations of him hacking during tournament matches, but it begged the question of why such a prominent player felt the need to cheat in public matches in the first place. Either way, it was enough to send ripples around the PUBG Mobile community, ensuring anyone who keeps up with the esports side of things knows that professional players aren’t above the law.