For years, one username has struck a unique kind of fear into the hearts of its opponents in online fighting games: TOOLASSISTED.
TOOLASSISTED is a bot that learns to play as (and against) fighting game characters by recording frame data. It has been the scourge of games like Street Fighter IV and V, rising through the leaderboards and stealing ranks from pro players - many of whom seem to laugh at the experience. Now it has been reconstructed in Tekken 7, and no human's online ranking is safe.
TOOLASSISTED recently started streaming online Tekken 7 matches on Twitch and uploading them to YouTube, where you can see it primarily playing King with near-perfect movement, blocks, and instantaneous grapple punishes. This is just one example of it going up against a pro player:
But what is it actually doing when it says "minus fifteen" or "plus eight"? Well, it's calculating frame advantage and disadvantage. By adding the number of active and recovery frames that a move has and then subtracting it from the blockstun and hitstun values of that move, the program can use this data to refine its execution beyond anything a person is capable of - even while compensating for lag. Here's a more recent (and hilarious) example with Jin:
While TOOLASSISTED definitely qualifies as cheating, the bot isn't just out there to derank skilled players for kicks. It is also used to provide valuable information on the games it plays, including comprehensive frame data, hitboxes and hurtboxes (or spheres, in Tekken's case), and combo breakdowns. This can be an excellent tool for both seasoned pros and players learning to get better, as you can see below.
It may suck for some high-level players to have their rank stolen in a losing battle of man vs. machine, but here's hoping that TOOLASSISTED will be able to keep doing what it's doing and build up that useful info—despite the ever-present danger of it being banned from online play.