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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

A one-time dog sledder, pancake flipper, alien wrangler and indie darling, Nat now scours the internet looking for the hottest PC gaming news. Destined to become Scotland's first Battlemech pilot.