Community Care Package - June 2022

PUBG: Battlegrounds development team has published yet another Community Care Package blog which summarized their efforts to provide the best gameplay for the community by dealing with cheaters.

Hello players!

We’re back with another Community Care Package and this time we’re going over some anti-cheat updates following our last dev letter.

PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS has seen a lot of changes over the last few months, including the return of original Sanhok, new weapons, Training Mode improvements, and perhaps most importantly, our transition to being free-to-play. The latter of these changes has also been a cause for concern among the playerbase, with many fearing that the influx of players contrasted by barrier to entry would mean more and more cheaters on the Battlegrounds.

Our Anti-Cheat Team has been fighting cheaters and cheat programs harder than ever since the free-to-play transition. Of course, we were also very aware that players were consistently experiencing unfair and illegal methods in-game.

These concerns are what we’d like to cover in today’s Care Package.

Current Status

As mentioned in our previous anti-cheat dev letter, we’ve made steady reinforcements to our proprietary anti-cheat solution “Zakynthos” to deal with cheaters tampering with the vulnerabilities in our client. As a result, we’ve seen no significant change to both Normal and Ranked match metrics as compared to the metrics before our free-to-play transition. In fact, we were able to see some improvements! However, even with these improvements after free-to-play, we know that you expect even more from us.

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To that end, many other anti-cheat reinforcements are continuously being made and we continue to issue permanent bans to more than 200,000 cheat accounts on a monthly basis since free-to-play.

On top of that, we have upcoming plans on how to improve our anti-cheat methods further.

Upcoming Anti-Cheat Plans

  • Account Hacks

A significant number of reported cheaters in Ranked matches were discovered to be hacked accounts (cheaters using other players’ accounts).

During the investigation process, we discovered that merely 2% of new accounts who received permanent bans after free-to-play were Plus accounts; approximately 61% were basic accounts; and approximately 33% were accounts created before the free-to-play shift.

Simply put, since basic accounts do not have access to Ranked matches, a majority of accounts reported to be cheating in Ranked were assumed to be created before free-to-play. It is currently difficult to extract the exact numbers, but it is reasonably presumed the major part of reported accounts were not used by the original account owners, but hacked and used to cheat by cheaters.

Therefore, to lessen further damage, we are working on improving our internal logic to recognize hacked accounts. Additionally, we are considering solutions to immediately block accounts suspected to be hacked. We’ll share updates once notable achievements are made.

Please remember: Your account belongs to you and you only. Check out our PUBG Support page to learn how to protect your account from potential hacks and risks.

  • Penalties on Account Sharing and Creating Multiple Accounts

As stated in the Reminder on Sharing Accounts post, the act of account sharing/rental goes against our Terms of Service. These actions lead up to permanent account bans and various penalties to be reinforced moving forward. We have also strengthened our countermeasures against illegal account rental sites that hand out mass numbers of generated accounts (an easy method to use cheat programs) by logging related account sharing tools and issuing penalties based on the extracted information.

Additionally, since free-to-play, we’ve noticed large quantities of accounts being created on identical hardware within a very short period of time with the accounts’ nicknames following a certain pattern. An average of 2,000 accounts are being generated this way on a daily basis. These created accounts are then distributed to cheaters and are used for cheat program promotions, account rental services and various in-game abuse. Our Anti-Cheat Team has begun their initial countermeasures on these cases since April, and their actions will continue to stretch out further.

  • Improving False Bans

The 1 Day Temporary Bans are issued based on players’ reports and specific in-game data. We are continuing to sustain this ban system as it has proved to have detected many abnormal activities when we thoroughly examine banned accounts and their use of cheat programs during the temporary banned period. However, it is also true that innocent players receive unnecessary penalties due to inaccurate judgments. To alleviate these issues, our Anti-Cheat Team has implemented a new solution this May. We are consistently monitoring this solution’s effects and will continue to update regular improvements to further reduce false bans.

  • Zakynthos Reinforcements

Our proprietary anti-cheat solution Zakynthos is developing even at this moment in time through its machine learning techniques to detect cheat programs better and faster. As there is a limit to reactively countering cheat programs (especially unclear ones) through regular monitoring sessions, it is more important than ever to improve technology-wise.

  • Making it Difficult for Cheat Developers and Cheaters

Fundamentally, to reduce the number of cheaters, we’d need to create an environment where it’s difficult to develop and use cheat programs in the first place. Therefore, the Anti-Cheat Team will further reinforce countermeasures such as permanent account bans and hardware bans and make it hard for cheats that take advantage of in-game vulnerabilities by also adding various defense mechanisms. Our terms and policies will also be reinforced to stomp out the development and use of cheat programs especially in Ranked matches. 

As per usual, we can’t go into detail about many of our tactics, but we do truly wish to share and communicate more frequently with you all, where possible. Sadly, the more in-depth info we give out, the more hints cheat developers and cheaters could pick up, so we continue to be cautious as to what we say.

Just know that every PUBG: BATTLEGROUNDS team shares the same goal: to develop and maintain a fair gameplay experience for all. Our Anti-Cheat Team will relentlessly counter cheaters and do our best to have our reinforced solutions reassure players to enjoy a safer and trustworthy game.