Bungie is the latest online game developer to announce it’ll start monitoring, warning, and even banning Destiny 2 players who use controller-spoofing XIM hardware or similar to cheat. The company told The Verge in February that it was investigating ways to combat cheaters, and now its policy is drawing a clear line on what won’t be allowed. The move comes as other big online games, from Call of Duty to Overwatch, are also adopting methods to try to detect the hardware and either mess with or outright ban players using them.
In its blog post today, Bungie notes that “external aides” are a problem that the community is growing frustrated with — while avoiding actually mentioning the names of the devices to deter spotlighting them.
The devices in question usually include the XIM, Cronus Zen, and ReaSnow S1. The third-party mouse and keyboard interfaces emulate a controller input, enabling users to reap the benefits controllers players have, like aim assist, but with the added precision and movement abilities you could otherwise only get with a keyboard and mouse. They can also execute scripts that enhance aim, fire rapidly, or add other unfair advantages.
Bungie’s post says the devices are “entering their villain arc” while noting that some of the devices can be an accessibility boon and that devices used explicitly as an accessibility aide to play Destiny 2 “where a player could not play otherwise” would not be a violation. However, those using it to reduce recoil, increase aim assist, or mitigate other challenges that aren’t as “the game designers intended” would be a violation.
Bungie embraces the use of external accessibility aids that enable an experience the game designers intended but will take action, including bans, on people who abuse these tools specifically to gain an advantage over other players.
The company didn’t go into great detail on how it’ll detect cheaters using the sometimes undetectable devices. Activision, for example, is using its own Ricochet anti-cheat system to detect infractions and will issue suspensions to users or mess with them by making opponents invincible. Meanwhile, Ubisoft made a system called Mousetrap that has been studying player movements and building a model to detect cheaters. The company will dole out punishments by slowly adding latency to alleged cheaters’ movements.
Bungie said in the blog that it will be “evaluating all gameplay for violations,” covering not just PvP deathmatch-style gameplay but also Destiny 2’s significant cooperative PvE content, since using cheats could affect players and teams participating in World First Races.