Fortnite aimbots and cheaters suck, so here's how to deal with them

Fortnite aimbots and cheaters can make an already difficult game basically impossible. It's bad enough when it's you versus 99 other players, but did that headshot come from a Twitch streamer or some filthy hacker using some sort of cheat program? The bad news: Fortnite hackers definitely exist. The good news: You can fight back with a few crucial tips, and make the game a more inviting place for all players.

What do Fortnite aimbots look like?

Aimbot hacks do indeed exist for Fortnite, and some of them are good enough to make even the most novice player aim like Tfue, or even better.

If you've ever lost a game of Fortnite to someone with superhuman aim, you're not alone. You could've just been gunned down by a highly skilled pro player like Turner "Tfue" Tenney—or you could've just fallen victim to an aimbot.

The aimbot like the one above will not only snap a player's aim to an enemy with the click of a button, but it helps them see things through walls, too. The clip is from a YouTube video uploaded in September 2018, when season six of Fortnite began, so it's a bit old, but still indicative of a problem plenty of players still face today. More recently, Fortnite pro and FaZe clan member "Jarvis" was banned from the game for the use of aimbot during casual matches.

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So how does Epic deal with these hackers? Epic Games commented on how their cheat detection works back in January, in a Reddit post.

"We kick and/or ban players and machines based on the game being modified/tampered with, cheat software found running while playing Fortnite, and other ways of cheating," said Epic employee u/DanDaDaDanDan.

Epic Games has been known to fight back against hackers and cheaters. Back in October 2018, it was revealed that Epic is suing YouTuber Golden Modz for advertising and selling cheats. The lawsuit claims copyright infringement.

Obviously, some cheats are caught automatically, and others slip through the cracks. Now, the first line of defense against hackers and cheaters in Fortnite is anti-cheat software called BattlEye, which is required to boot up the game in certain circumstances. There's obviously ways to work around it, though, as hacks wouldn't exist if that weren't the case.

BattlEye is used in a number of popular PC games, like Rainbow Six: Siege, DayZ, H1Z1, and Islands of Nyne. But the anti-cheat software came to the forefront thanks to both the popularity and frequency of cheaters in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds.

Before Fortnite, PUBG was the go-to battle royale game of choice on PC. PUBG actually even uses machine learning to help identify cheaters. Like with most popular games, though, cheating and hacking worked their way in. With PUBG, the hacking problem reached troubling heights, with BattlEye reporting over one million bans in January 2018 alone. It's the kind of number that might make someone a touch worried for Fortnite, given its popularity. 

Will Fortnite hackers ruin your game?

Not really, no. BattlEye has not released any information about Fortnite just yet, but it's an ongoing battle between hack developers and anti-cheat companies. As soon as one hack is tracked and bottlenecked by BattlEye, you can bet another one is being developed to circumvent the system and continue to create an unfair advantage for nefarious players. Even so, we're not seeing an epidemic of aimbot users crowding public games. Malware scams are far more worrisome. 

Players should stay aware of computer viruses masquerading as hacks for something free, like V-Bucks or in-game cosmetics. In July, the developers of a streaming platform called Rainway discovered an adware virus posing as a Fortnite hack. Rainway found the virus and took down the link quickly, but not before it was downloaded 78,000 times. That's just how popular Fortnite is.

Doing a quick search for "Fortnite hack" will return hundreds of links just like the one found above, often in the description boxes of YouTube videos. Free V-Bucks won't come from anywhere but Epic, but the game's incredibly young playerbase doesn't always know that, and some older players are likely fooled just as often. These false fronts can be very convincing.

Fortnite is one of the biggest games in the world right now, so it's due to attract even more activity when it comes to malicious intent. But while some of the links out there are hiding malware or adware, others work for real—until BattlEye catches it.

VIDEO: Tfue monitors and reports an aimbotter. Warning, probably not one for the kids. 

There's a need for new hacks to be created every few weeks, though BattlEye and anti-cheat can only do so much. Some of these hack creators are pretty good at what they do and will almost always find a way around the latest protections.

But it's easy to see why people seek them out. One of the most popular aimbot programs sports a sleek website design and a one-time payment for a lifetime of use. Its site offers numerous videos showing off the hacks in action, enabling wallhacks and an aimbot for easy kills.

User reviews have players saying that they are "completely satisfied! Been using for 18 days now, no bans, and having lots of fun." Another says that "Fortnite Aimbot is amazing. I really like it. And he is very helpful and kind person. Much recommended." Positive user experiences aside, it's all quite troubling.

The program is described as an external cheat that doesn't modify the game's memory, and is still operational as of October 2018. It's also not the only one out there. Hopefully that won't be the case for much longer.

How to report a Fortnite cheater

Fortnite's in-game replay system is really awesome for this sort of thing. It's pretty easy to spot when someone is aimbotting, as their aim will unnaturally snap to or follow other players, even through obstacles. 

Not sure how to report someone in Fortnite for using an aimbot? Here's how:

If you think you were the victim of an aimbot, head into the replay and watch the killcam and then spectate the player that took you down. If they have the tendencies of an aimbotter, report them with all of your might. Have your friends report them. If they were really cheating, either Epic Games or BattlEye will hopefully see what's really happening. But if the results come back negative, maybe it's time for some more practice.