In his video, g0at installed his own set of Tarkov cheats which allowed him to see players through walls, a type of cheat that is generally known across the underground industry as extra-sensory perception (ESP) or wallhacks. G0at now had insight into whether an opposing player appeared to look at him through opaque objects, something that would be exceptionally unlikely without cheats.G0at went a step further, and introduced something called the “wiggle.” When g0at peered at an enemy across the map, one ordinarily blocked by buildings, trees, or obstacles, he rapidly shimmied his character left to right. In some cases, the other player wiggled back. The implication: this player was also using cheats, and could see g0at as well.
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‘Escape From Tarkov’ Roiled By Severe Cheating Accusations
Image: Escape from Tarkov
In the popular extraction shooter Escape from Tarkov, you may never know where that bullet came from. Unlike other shooters like Call of Duty: Warzone, Tarkov does not have killcams, which show who killed you and how from the enemy’s perspective. Instead, you’re left to wonder: how did that player know I was coming? And, were they a cheater?Many more players will now be asking that second question. On Friday, Tarkov YouTuber g0at published their own dive into the cheating world of Tarkov, and claimed that something like 60 percent of matches may contain a cheater. Although certainly not a perfect investigation with perfect data, g0at’s work still provides a snapshot of the cheating problem on a shooter that prides itself on its uncompromising difficulty and need to outsmart your opponents.
“The community cannot solve the issue of cheating in Escape from Tarkov or gaming in general. However, we can be educated consumers and judge the validity of their attempts,” g0at, whose real name is Tim Kyle, told Motherboard in an email. “I don't fault McDonalds if they put up yellow cones and a customer slips and falls. But I will judge them for mopping the entrance without any signage and causing an elderly person to slip and break their hip.”
In all, g0at said that across 125 matches he found what he believed were “obvious” cheaters in 60 percent of the games.Detecting cheaters in competitive games has been a difficult problem for as long as they’ve existed, and one that even the biggest video game companies in the world still don’t have a perfect solution for. G0at’s research method and claim that 60 percent of players are cheating is far from fact, but simply highlighting the cheating issue has caused the Tarkov community to react with despair, anger, and dismay.“I want to love tarkov. It’s right up my alley as far as games go. But, man this sucks,” one member of the Tarkov subreddit wrote. Moderators have removed links to g0at’s video from the Tarkov subreddit. On Monday, g0at uploaded a second video in which he mentioned he is banned from the subreddit.Zavodskoy, a moderator of the Tarkov subreddit, confirmed to Motherboard that moderators have been removing g0at’s video from posts. They said the moderators had since changed that decision. They also said that although g0at is banned from the subreddit, it is because of rule violation around how many times he was allowed to promote his videos, and that he was banned in July 2022. Zavodskoy said g0at has not contacted moderators to be unbanned. G0at disputes this, and told Motherboard he continuously contacted the moderators more than a year ago.
Nikita Buyanov, the COO of Tarkov developer Battlestate Games, posted their own thoughts to the subreddit too.“Your worries and indignations are 100% clear to us. And always have been. Report all these bastards, we will make the game cleaner together,” he wrote. Buyanov said Battlestate bans “several thousand cheaters a day” and that the game’s anti-cheat continues to improve.Cheating is one of the few things that can cause lasting reputational damage to an online, competitive shooter. Cheating was so bad in the first Call of Duty: Warzone that its publisher and developers pushed its new-anti cheat called Ricochet front and center in marketing materials at the time. If players have enough doubt that the fight they just lost was to a cheater, many will simply stop playing.G0at told Motherboard “I hope to show that there is a solution and the game can turn things around.”Update: This piece has been updated to include comment from an Escape from Tarkov subreddit moderator, and more information from g0at on his ban from the subreddit.Subscribe to our cybersecurity podcast, CYBER. Subscribe to our new Twitch channel.