So you want to play Final Fantasy VIII on Steam, but you don't have the time to actually, you know, play Final Fantasy VIII on Steam. What to do? Two words: Game Booster. We used to call this kind of thing cheating, and in fact even Square Enix refers to it as such, but since it's now "official," why not take advantage?
Hacks! An investigation into aimbot dealers, wallhack users, and the million-dollar business of video game cheating
Zero is a customer service representative for one of the biggest video game cheat providers in the world. To him, at first, I was just another customer. He told me that the site earns approximately $1.25 million a year, which is how it can afford customer service representatives like him to answer questions over TeamSpeak. His estimate is based on the number of paying users online at any given time, the majority of whom, like me, paid for cheats for one game at $10.95 a month. Some pay more for a premium package with cheats for multiple games.
As long as there have been video games, there have been cheaters. For competitive games like Counter-Strike, battling cheaters is an eternal, Sisyphean task. In February, Reddit raised concerns about lines of code in Valve-Anti Cheat (VAC), used for Counter-Strike and dozens of other games on Steam, that looked into users’ DNS cache. In a statement, Gabe Newell admitted that Valve doesn't like talking about VAC because “it creates more opportunities for cheaters to attack the system." But since online surveillance has been a damning issue lately, he made an exception.
Newell explained that there are paid cheat providers that confirm players paid for their product by requiring them to check in with a digital rights management (DRM) server, similar to the way Steam itself has to check in with a server at least once every two weeks. For a limited time, VAC was looking for a partial match to those (non-web) cheat DRM servers in users’ DNS cache.
I knew that cheats existed, but I was shocked that enough people paid for them to warrant DRM. I wanted to find out how the cheating business worked, so I became a cheater myself.
Like every competitive shooter, Battlefield 3 has a problem with hackers and cheats who use exploits and aimbots to boost their stats. Recently the problem seems to have become more serious. The unofficial BF3 blog mentions an instance in which one of DICE's own moderators was uncovered as a hacker. Now a group of hackers are advertising an exploit that allows them to get innocent players banned.
The author of this Reddit post got in touch yesterday with links to hacker forum discussions revealing exploits that would trick Punkbuster into ejecting honest players. A number of threads on the Battlelog forums have been started by players claiming to have been banned from Battlefield 3 games without cause. There are plenty of reports of servers and leaderboards dominated by bots racking up hundreds of kills.
DICE have recently said that they're ramping up anti-cheat measures and have been issuing bans en-masse to cheaters they've been catching, but among Battlefield 3 players there's increasing scepticism over the levels of security offered by anti-cheat program, Punkbuster.
There's nothing quite like accessing the console to remind you that you're a PC gamer. It makes me feel like a man. Except when I press ` accidentally and end up typing something like wwwwdwwwwddwdwdwdwwwdwwwwdws. Now, thanks to the Skyrim Wikia we have a full list of Skyrim console commands, ranging from invincibility to unlimited cash. It's possible to completely break the game, if you're into that kind of thing. Click through for the full list of Skyrim console commands.
If you're the tweaking type, you'll also want to check out our Top 25 Skyrim mods, and our personalised picks of the Steam Workshop.
Or do you like the idea of creating your own mod? Thanks to the Skyrim Creation Kit it's a lot easier than you think. Our Skyrim Creation Kit Video Tutorial is all you need to get started.
Oh, and don't worry if you'd rather sit back and read about someone else's Skyrim adventures. Christopher Livingston's Elder Strolls diary will see you right.
As reported on CVG, Battlefield 3 cheaters are feeling the full force of EA’s banhammer, with “hundreds” of people kicked out for exploiting glitches in the game. A post on the Battlefield’s official Twitter read: “This week we’ve banned hundreds of offending accounts and have stats-wiped accounts for exploiting (such as boosting).”
One glitch apparently allows a player to hide inside an upturned truck and then repair it for a massive amount of points. Players exploiting such glitches will have their stats completely wiped and even face a ban - but it does make you wonder why DICE allowed such a glitch to enter the game in the first place.
A new patch to solve such issues is in the works - but according to the Battlefield Twitter: “There is no ETA. Stay tuned to Batlelog [sic] news and http://blogs.battlefield.ea.com”. It's also said to fix the issue of the flashlights being as bright as the opening of Akira.
Sometimes vanilla isn't enough. Perhaps you've finished the game and grown bored, or maybe it wasn't quite your taste to begin with, but you've reached a point where you need more. That's what mods are for: they're the chocolate sauce of games, making new what was old, and building a more perfect way to play. I've recently discovered the perfect way to play Grand Theft Auto IV, and it involves leaping between islands, playing in first-person, and using a gravity gun. Yes. I've included videos of my shenanigans and instructions on how to get those mods working below.