Tencent Games has finally unveiled its new PUBG Mobile anti-cheat detection system after a visible increase in bans over the last few weeks. The group has made a point to name and shame lists of cheaters across most of the last year, but those lists have grown exponentially longer over time. But despite the company doing “everything possible to keep cheaters out,” some players are making a point to show how Tencent’s supposed best still isn’t good enough.
In a recent press release, Tencent outlined its new multi-step system used to detect suspected cheaters in real-time, using a combination of methods. These include “game observation techniques” and “dedicated staff” to prove foul play in matches.
As you might expect from any anti-cheat campaign, the name and shame element Tencent uses to prove that action is taken against hackers can also backfire, with banned players often bombarding social media posts to say their accounts were unfairly terminated or that they hadn’t done anything wrong.
A lack of public evidence in these cases can lead to onlookers fearing the possibility of their own accounts being banned through false positives — whether they cheat or not. It’s not new for suspects of any type of crime to scream innocence in the face of solid evidence, but when the evidence isn’t made public, it’s difficult to know whose side to stand on.
Tencent’s new anti-cheat methods come after widespread disappointment in the company’s past efforts to wipe out hackers. It’s a common sight on community gathering spots to see players complain about the sheer volume of cheaters and hackers present in the game whenever a new skin or feature is announced or released.
Players often felt as if Tencent was more focused on earning microtransaction revenue than dealing with the negative player experience hackers and glitches inflicted on the game. Community Manager Ocho refuted this in a post a few months ago. And the ban waves have increased exponentially since the new multi-step method was introduced.
But player satisfaction still seems torn. Tencent boasts that by “combining detection software, observation, and player reporting” it can sometimes “remove cheaters even mid-match” and works “around the clock” to do so.
Yet a YouTuber by the name of RETRIX recently streamed playing with PUBG Mobile hacks for over five hours without being banned. The account credentials needed to report the player were clearly visible for that exact purpose. Said stream was even linked on Reddit numerous times and included several hack-related hashtags to increase visibility — rightfully throwing Tencent’s claims of swift bans into question.
“We want players to know that we are 100% committed to providing a fair gameplay experience for everyone,” said Vincent Wang, General Manager of Tencent Games’ Global Publishing Department. “We take enormous pride in the game we work on every day, and cheaters cheapen all of our work.” He then confirmed hundreds of staff members are “dedicated to this task.”
But if RETRIX’s clearly visible actions aren’t enough to get them banned after five hours, players are right to question whether Tencent’s best is anywhere near good enough.