Valve has banned over 40,000 Dota 2 accounts that were caught cheating over the past couple of weeks. Being one of the most popular free-to-play multiplayer games on Steam, Dota 2 plays host to a huge number of players every single day, and simple statistics imply that there's a huge number of cheaters joining the fray as well, no matter how good anti-cheat solutions might get.
Fighting against cheats and dealing with cheaters themselves has always been an important aspect of Valve's work on Dota 2, which has now entered the 10th year of its long lifecycle. Ban waves aren't necessarily uncommon, then, but it would appear that the game just had one of its biggest cheater purges yet, with tens of thousands of accounts permanently removed from the equation.
As one of the best MOBAs for genre newcomers, Dota 2 is also particularly fruitful for malicious players looking to get easy wins through the use of cheats. According to Valve's latest announcement, however, regular players should be dealing with 40,000 fewer verified cheaters in the future. Over the past couple of weeks, Valve managed to detect a specific third-party cheating software early on. After figuring out the specifics, Valve released a piece of honeypot code that would only be accessed by cheat users, which led to an extremely high level of confidence in this round of cheat detection.
As one of the biggest Steam games of 2022, Dota 2 inevitably attracts a huge number of cheaters, and the reason so many of them got banned in this new ban wave is that all of them relied on the aforementioned third-party cheating utility. Moreover, Valve wanted to use this opportunity to make an example of the affected cheaters and cheat developers, and the message is clear: "If you are running any application that reads data from the Dota client as you're playing games, your account can be permanently banned from playing Dota. This includes professional players, who will be banned from all Valve competitive events."
Dota 2 isn't the only game dealing with a hugely pervasive cheating problem, of course. Very recently, it became obvious that Escape From Tarkov is plagued with cheaters of varying sorts, with community members claiming that the game's official subreddit is "plastered" with videos of them no-clipping and one-shotting players across the map. Whereas Valve is very upfront about its crusade against cheating, Tarkov's developer Battlestate Games is yet to take a similar stance on the matter.
Bungie, however, isn't taking any prisoners in its fight against cheaters. The Destiny 2 developer won arbitration against AimJunkies recently, marking a significant leap forward in its attempts at stifling cheat creators. AimJunkies now needs to pay $4.3 million in fines and legal fees, and Bungie already has its sights set on a different cheat creator. It's possible that this may set the precedent for other companies like Valve to take similar actions in the future.
Dota 2 is available now on PC.
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