Cheating allegations catch up with some of Trackmania's fastest drivers

In Trackmania's precision driving gauntlet, records are everything. But following months of investigation, two members of the Trackmania community claim that some of the game's biggest names have been cheating their way to the top.

In a video posted this weekend, Trackmania YouTuber Wirtual has seemingly acquired damning evidence against seven top racers—including massively popular Trackmania streamer Riolu. This cheating supposedly goes back over a decade, spanning multiple Trackmania games.

Wirtual and co-investigator donadigo outlined their full methodology in a blog post. But to summarise, the pair had been using an input-display tool to show the exact key inputs in replays—noticing that some had suspiciously frequent "spikes" of activity. The investigation claims that these spikes come from the replays being recorded using hacked software, with drivers using cheats to run the game at slower game speeds, letting them input at a rate not possible under normal play conditions.

More damning evidence came when another player under investigation, techno, admitted to having cheated his runs in Trackmania using this method. In Discord DMs, techno told Wirtual that he had used game speeds between 40 - 80% to achieve some of his times—specifically, those held by Riolu.

"As more and more [world records] from me got beaten by him and I barely could stand a chance and had a lack of evidence, I tried to beat him with his own methods," techno wrote.

Wirtual has invited Ubisoft Nadeo and Trackmania community site TMX to investigate their findings and take "whatever actions they feel are the most appropriate". But much of the problem seems to stem from the fact that Trackmania's competitive scene is built largely on trust. One need only upload a replay file to set a record, with no video evidence required to see what a player's hands are doing.

It's a practice that makes Trackmania records more accessible, but also more susceptible to meddling. Losing this accessibility would be a shame, and Wirtual hopes tools like the Competition Patch (which tracks what executables are being injected into Trackmania) gain traction going forwards.

"The Competition Patch saves its own metadata about all replays driven by players to detect input injection methods and game speed modification," Wirtual explains. "We believe this is a good middle ground between disallowing replays without live footage and allowing all replays without any proof."

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.