How to catch a hacker in Overwatch
Think your kills can’t be a fluke? The line between pro and hack is a fine one.
Overwatch’s competitive scene is getting bigger and bigger. Several teams have jumped into Blizzard’s FPS and the community has quickly carved out a niche for the game. Proof of this is the Overwatch World Cup at BlizzCon 2016, where more than 50 countries will be represented, but only 16 will qualify for the finals.
But there is a downside to such popularity, and that is the need for people to cheat in order to earn a place at the top. We have seen this with CS:GO in its 15+ year history and Valve’s crackdown on these players. We have yet to see professional Overwatch players with suspended accounts, but Blizzard has already confirmed that they have done some cleaning up for the game.
On PC it’s almost impossible to make hacks go away, you’re always going to find a cheater. Fortunately, with the measures taken by the companies, such as allowing other users to report cheaters, games are slowly being cleansed of cheaters. But how can we identify someone using hacks in Overwatch? There are some very skilled players, but some deaths are borderline impossible. Considering the heroes available and the skills of the players, here are some tips to keep an eye out for cheaters.
Hanzo, Widowmaker or a wall hack?
Have you ever felt like that bullet that landed on your head wasn’t a fluke, that someone was waiting for you to poke your head out? It’s one of the most classic cheats in FPS games, being able to see behind walls to see enemies. Having maximum control of the field offers an abusive advantage, where there is no room for emotion. In the video above you can see how it works on the training field.
Now, this trick is quite easy to hunt down in replays. Hanzo and Widowmaker are two heroes that offer vision through walls, and we can often be in their sights legally without us realising it. Overwatch’s archer also has his ultimate ability that cuts through any surface and out of the map. You simply have to look at the heroes on the opposing team to see if McCree’s Unforgiven has caught you by chance or if someone has their eye on you.
Is it an aimbot? Is it a hacker? No, it’s Superman
In the world of online gaming there have always been players who have wanted to be well accompanied by bots to help them aim. We’ve all, at some point in our games, fallen into the hands of someone whose aimbot’s aiming is slightly off. But it is not easy to find out who the culprit is.
Many professional or amateur players, over the years, have picked up innate skills that are beyond the perception of the average player. For example, when D.Va gets injected out of her mecha, knowing how to follow the character to keep shooting and finish her off, as we can see in the video above.
Blizzard has already spoken about it on the official forums, clarifying that “some players are just really good at first-person shooters”, saying that their moves can seem supernatural. The only way to know if you’re dealing with an aimbot or a good player is to look at the deathcam. Reporting a player who plays well is quite unfair, so check first if he is really aiming or has someone else aiming for him.
Speed hack or track change?
It’s very typical to find someone in multiplayer crossing the map at the speed of Usain Bolt, and you can be sure that they are using tricks. Pro players can optimise their moves better and move faster across the stage, but pressing W harder doesn’t make you move at full speed. CS:GO is one of the great cradles of the speed hack, circling the opponent’s back without taking a bullet.
Usually you use this trick to have a bit of fun with an account that you know is going to end up in the hole, but in Overwatch things changed with Lúcio. His track change combined with the “more volume!”, means that any character can surround us in a couple of seconds without us even knowing it. Not to mention the potential that Lúcio has on his own, going from being a support character to taking the gold in kills.