Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Games That Were Ruined By Too Many Cheaters

In the early days of gaming, cheats were harmless fun that spiced up a game. If you were tired of going through the same levels in Goldeneye 007, you could turn on some cheats to unlock all weapons, give yourself unlimited ammo, and transform James Bond into a bobbleheaded nightmare with Donkey Kong arms. However, with the advent of multiplayer titles where gamers compete against opponents for glory — and sometimes for fame and prizes — cheating in video games has taken on a whole new, malicious meaning.

Instead of using cheats to pummel AI opponents in Warcraft 3, gamers now use them to gain unfair advantages against their fellow opponents. These can include wallhacks that provide x-ray vision, aimbots that automatically hone in on enemy skulls, and speed hacks that turn players into Sonic the Hedgehog. While some games are relatively free of cheaters, others are so inundated with hackers that you will be lucky to go a single multiplayer session without encountering at least one (or 20) cheaters.

If you play — or plan to play — any of the games on this list, be warned. These are titles that have been ruined by too many cheaters.

Call of Duty: Warzone

What do you get when you place a first-person shooter and battle royale in a blender? Call of Duty: Warzone. The game has attracted well over 50 million players, but popularity is a double-edged sword. The more fans attracted to the game, the more cheaters try to ruin the fun.

Cheaters steamrolled Warzone ever since it launched, and no matter what Activision did, the company was always playing catch up. A month after Warzone launched, Activision had already banned 70 thousand cheater accounts, but that wasn't enough. Audience patience wore thin as complaints poured in with frightening regularity. Casual and professional gamers voiced their rage on Twitter, and Activision tried anti-cheat protocols as radical as politely asking players to not use aimbots and wallhacks. Nothing worked, at least initially.

In May of 2020, Activision began another anti-cheat tactic: shadowbans. Instead of loudly announcing whether or not an account was banned, shadowbans let cheaters log into the game and start searching for matches, only to be hit with unending "searching for match" screens. This subterfuge has gone a long way, as cheater forums (yes, those exist) are drowning in the tears of hackers who cannot play the game anymore thanks to shadowbans.


Fortnite has a low barrier of entry but a high skill ceiling. The title mixes third-person shooter combat with on-the-fly building mechanics. With enough resources, players can construct ramshackle wooden monoliths that scoff at gravity, then jump off the side and snipe would-be pursuers. It's a lot to take in and even more to master, and many players use the maligned shortcut of cheating.

Cheaters in Fortnite might be some of the most shameless on the internet. These gamers don't just limit themselves to griefing casual players — some are even guilty of cheating during tournaments. Epic Games has tried every trick in the book to stop cheating, even going so far as to sue them, yet not even wading through a court battle is enough to dissuade some gamers from hacking. Some gamers even falsely claim to have cheated or have been banned for cheating just to farm some clout.

Cheating is such a problem in Fortnite that neither fans nor legit players give ex-cheaters the benefit of the doubt. You get caught cheating once, you can bet all your Slurp Juice audiences and fellow participants will boo you during tournaments and cheer when you lose. Once that target is painted on your back, it is never washing off.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

The new guy on the block, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout came out of nowhere and seemingly stole the battle royale crown from the reigning champions. However, since the game isn't an FPS, cheaters had to think outside the box. They couldn't use wallhacks, aimbots, and other common battle royale cheats. Still, hackers powered on and made the game a cheater's paradise, much to the annoyance of Fall Guys' players and developers.

Cheaters have implemented a truckload of hacks designed to circumvent Fall Guys' Takeshi's Castle-styled obstacles. They have programmed ways to hover indefinitely and teleport to the finish line, and subreddits are full of angry players. To combat the problem, Mediatonic created a cheater-only island where they could shuffle off guilty players to cheat amongst themselves and let legit gamers play in peace. Out of sight, out of mind. However, the plan had one fatal flaw: Mediatonic's anti-cheat detection system wasn't migrating enough hackers to start a match. Moreover, the cheaters got wise to Mediatonic's scheme and circumvented it by teaming up with friends. So, the island was shut down, but the developers didn't throw in the towel.

Halfway through Fall Guys' first season, the developers launched the "Big Yeetus and the Anti-Cheatus" update that introduced, among other things, a new anti-cheat system developed with Epic Games' help. Only time will tell if it pans out.

Grand Theft Auto Online

Grand Theft Auto is all about stepping into the shoes of criminals, pulling off heists, and escaping police who are simultaneously trigger-happy and criminally negligent. Cheats are nothing new to the franchise and have sat shotgun since day one. However, cheats are harmless in a single-player game. In multiplayer-focused titles such as GTA Online, hacks are far more annoying — especially since cheaters rarely get a slap on the wrist.

Despite Rockstar claiming the use of mods, cheats, and hacks will result in a suspension, cheaters overrun GTA Online's servers. Some players have taken the law into their own hands and meted out vigilante justice since, in their eyes, Rockstar doesn't care. To add insult to injury, though, Rockstar will gladly patch a glitch that gives players nigh-infinite money — and reset accounts that used the glitch. Meanwhile, more annoying cheats such as the god mode van are still in the game.

The kicker is: Many cheat/mod creators turned cheats into a lucrative business. Some sell mods (and hacked consoles) for one-time fees and others offer subscriptions for their services, complete with customer support. Ironically, cheat creators are generally more benign than actual cheaters, as some create mods to protect players from griefers and their hacks.


PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is one of the most popular battle royale games on the planet. And, with popularity often comes a high number of cheaters. The larger your game's player population, the larger its cheater population. It's statistics 101.

Now, PUBG comes in several different styles, including computer, console, and mobile. Mobile is one of the more densely populated options, and thus spawns cheaters left, right, and center. Within the span of one week in August, over 2 million accounts were banned from PUBG Mobile for hacking. And to demonstrate they were vehemently anti-hacker, PUBG Corp. teamed up with Tencent to arrest cheat developers — in China.

PUBG's cheating problem isn't all bad news, however. In an ironic turn of events, some coders have taken advantage of the game's rampant cheating to develop troll cheats. These hacks lure unscrupulous players in with lavish insta-win promises, only to install trojans that sabotage the victims' game sessions and upload the resulting self-owns onto YouTube.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

Ideally, when a cheater is banned from a game, they have to spend $60 for a new copy. But what happens when a video game is infested with cheaters right before it goes free-to-play? Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a case study in the ensuing chaos.

When CS:GO used a pay-to-play model, cheating was a major problem, but in December of 2018, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive went free-to-play. That was the sounding of the dinner bell for hackers. One month later, Valve banned a record-holding 600,000 accounts, most of which were for CS:GO cheating violations. Plus, these were VAC bans, which prevent accounts from playing all multiplayer games on Steam. Some anti-cheat vigilantes also joined in the cause. For example, a coder by the name of 2Eggs developed a deep-learning AI to root out cheaters, which resulted in a whopping 15,000 bans as of May 2020.

While cheaters can make gamers rage quit, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's cheaters have been a source of levity thanks to fake hacks. If someone downloads the wrong cheats, they will infect their computer with a trojan that plays musical chairs with their game client. No matter the result, though, they always lose — and the consequences are posted on YouTube.

Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is a fairly popular MMO, but even it isn't immune to the not-so-invisible hand of hackers. The game has a thriving PvP community, which is prime real estate for cheating. You would think Bungie does everything in its power to stop cheaters, but its loyal fanbase is far from convinced.

Apparently, rumor has it Destiny 2 is anti-cheat system free. Bungie would like gamers to believe that isn't true, but most players don't trust that claim. After all, the Destiny 2 security team does not hand out VAC bans, even though cheating increased by 50 percent during 2020. The Trials PvP event in particular was egregiously swallowed by wallhacks, aimbots, and lag switching.

Not only has cheating marred Destiny 2's PvP field, but these hacks spread paranoia that pours salt in the already festering wound. Will players encounter a cheater, and if so, how will they cheat? Will they rain down infinite Nova Bombs? Fire sniper rifles like machine guns? Paranoia is neither unreasonable nor unjustified in Destiny 2.


Many gamers adopt a video game as early as possible. Audiences often pre-order titles to start playing on release day and get a leg up on the competition. And yes, this includes cheaters. Sometimes, hackers are so early to the party they ruin the experience for others before a game launches.

Valorant is the first title developed by Riot Games in over ten years that doesn't have anything to do with League of Legends. In 2020, Riot held a beta to see if Valorant was ready for the big time. However, cheaters used the beta as an opportunity to do what they do best: cheat. Hacking was rampant in beta Valorant, as participants noticed hacks such as aimbotting in their pre-launch matches. Professional gamers, including dev1ce, encountered numerous cheaters, some of whom were brazen enough to proudly admit their wrongdoings. And, cheaters reigned supreme in Valorant even after the game exited beta, or so gamers such as Ninja claim.

However, the influx of cheaters is not due to ignorance on Riot's part. According to some metrics, over half of Valorant's cheaters weren't reported before they were banned. To help combat the situation, though, Riot hired the anti-cheat vigilante GamerDoc, who now works with the company's dedicated anti-hacker task force.