Blizzard Explains How it Fights Cheating in StarCraft II

No one likes a cheater, especially when it comes to multiplayer games online. Sure, you can cheat all you want in single-player mode, but once you jump online, it's best you keep that nasty habit to yourself or else suffer the mighty swing of the banhammer.

As with most game publishers, Blizzard doesn't take cheating lightly. The company recently jumped on to remind customers to play nicely. Blizzard also chose to use this space to explain how the company detects and roots out evil cheating individuals.

"Blizzard Entertainment has always taken active measures to combat cheating in our games, and that's of particular importance for a highly competitive game like StarCraft II," reads the latest post. "If a StarCraft II player is found to be cheating or using hacks or modifications in any form, then that player can be permanently banned from the game, as outlined in our end user license agreement. This means that the player will be permanently unable to log in to to play StarCraft II with his or her account."

Cheating is discovered and reported in a number of ways. First up is the in-game reporting system, which is accessed in the offending player's drop-down menu (More, Report Player, Cheating). Here gamers provide a description of what the offending player is doing, and why it aroused the reporting player's suspicion.

"Another effective way of reporting is to simply send us a replay of the game in which you played against a suspected cheater," the post states. "You can do this by e-mailing and either attaching, or providing a URL link to, a replay file. The replay will then be investigated by our hacks team."

Blizzard also uses software methods to detect the use of hacking programs. Although Blizzard can't go into details, the company reports that players caught cheating with these tools are usually taken out by the banhammer in one large swoop, which bans players in waves.

"This is done so as to not tip off program developers regarding our detection methods, as well as to maximize the return on our detection efforts," the post reads. "Ban waves are issued in contrast to the other methods mentioned above, where bans are issued on an individual, account-by-account basis."

Why is Blizzard posting this warning? Is the company detecting a heavy dose of cheating? We'll probably never know, but the company ends the post thanking players for "constantly practicing and promoting a healthy competitive environment."

The full post can be read here.

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  • StarBound
    Might be focusing StarCraft 2 multiplayer but single player cheating was fun in the original starcraft. I guess now instead of "power overwhelming" there will be a $2 button.
  • f-14
    don't know don't care, i have banhammered anything activision or blizzard from my computer.
    hackers have private servers in every game anyways.
  • damric
    Yeah. Blizzard hasn't given a crap about cheating in Diablo II since day one. What's it been almost 15 years now and that game is as full of cheaters as ever.