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Rocket League is getting additional anti-cheat functionality

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In a move that could cause issues for Linux desktop and Steam Deck gamers, Rocket League is going to introduce new anti-cheat measures. Something people argued with me on Twitter some time ago that wouldn't happen — I was right again.

Rocket League originally had Native Linux support and the development studio Psyonix was acquired by Epic Games back in 2019. Then in early 2020 they ended support for Linux and macOS, and later that year it became an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC. Thanks to how far Wine and Proton have come though as Windows compatibility layers, it actually continued running nicely on Linux desktop and Steam Deck. That might change though.

The problem is that Rocket League has recently seen a surge of AI bots being put into online games, so that people can cheat. An issue highlighted by Wired, where high-level players were seeing odd behaviour with players that had seemingly "superhuman skill". It's a growing problem, that developer Psyonix is now addressing.

In a statement on Reddit, they said:

For the last several weeks, the introduction of third-party bots to online matches – in Competitive Playlists, especially – has understandably been a very active topic among the Rocket League community.

Earlier today, we took action against a number of accounts running bots in Rocket League. This banwave should cover the vast majority of accounts that have used bots since they first appeared in online matches towards the end of 2022, and we will continue to monitor for bots and take appropriate action against any players/accounts using them. Furthermore, to help us address bots in future matches, we have added a “Cheating” report reason back into the game. You can find this in game on the report reason list in the Report/Block menu.

Finally, we are taking steps to introduce additional anti-cheat functionality into Rocket League. This is in progress with the engineering teams, and we’ll share more on this once we’re closer to implementation.

While we have been quiet on the subject during this time, we have been actively investigating these bots since they first appeared late last year. We strive to be active participants when it comes to community conversations about our game, but we are always going to be more deliberate on issues related to game security and competitive integrity, withholding comments until we are ready to take action.

There is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to using bots in online play. This is considered both cheating and matchmaking abuse, and it violates the Rocket League Terms of Use as well as the Code of Conduct. Also, if you are interested in working with Psyonix directly on anything bot-related, you can reach out to us here on Reddit, on Discord, or Twitter. Thanks, everyone.

Anti-cheat is a repeating problem for Linux desktop and Steam Deck gamers, often blocking out games entirely from working. Hopefully this won't be a repeat of previous issues but it's worth highlighting for any readers who enjoy playing Rocket League.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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x_wing Jan 23, 2023
Time to add a captcha before every match I guess...
Mohandevir Jan 23, 2023
Surprise! Surprise!

*End of sarcasm*

Smells like EAC to me... Will they enable proton? That's what they could do. Atm, they don't have anti-cheat measures... Unless Proton support crashes the game, enabling it with EAC can't be worst than statu quo...
mr-victory Jan 23, 2023
Quoting: MohandevirSmells like EAC to me...
While Psyonix is owned by Epic, Epic does not necessarily influence decisions of Psyonix so we may see a solution other than EAC.
Linas Jan 23, 2023
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Quoting: mr-victory
Quoting: MohandevirSmells like EAC to me...
While Psyonix is owned by Epic, Epic does not necessarily influence decisions of Psyonix so we may see a solution other than EAC.
Oh come on, they pulled from Steam, did that blueprint/lootbox thing, killed Linux support, and completely rewrote the game, all immediately after being acquired by Epic.
mr-victory Jan 23, 2023
Quoting: GuestDidn't Epic deliberately make devs remove Proton support for Fall Guys, or is that a different situation?
Fall Guys never natively supported Linux, (not to be confused with RL) FG stopped working when devs added EAC. At the time EAC was added, EAC had no Proton integration so devs had no choice. https://github.com/ValveSoftware/Proton/issues/4123#issuecomment-692699553
At a later time devs added EAC Linux supported and FG started working again.

Last edited by mr-victory on 23 January 2023 at 2:57 pm UTC
mr-victory Jan 23, 2023
Quoting: Linasthey pulled from Steam, did that blueprint/lootbox thing, killed Linux support
These are related to revenue so Epic may be interested in touching these parts instead of how anticheat is handled.
Schattenspiegel Jan 23, 2023
Must be users of that pesky Windows subsystem for Linux - better rewrite the client to only run on Apple products.
Salvatos Jan 23, 2023
I remember having to fake Korean social security numbers to sign up for Korean MMOs back in the day. I wonder how long we have left until we need our identities verified to join online games because of bots and AI.
lectrode Jan 23, 2023
As someone with more than 3400 hours in this game (and well over a grand in in-game purchases), I really hope they don't break it on Linux. Of all the various games that family and friends have preferences for, this is the game that everyone (from my 60-yr-old dad, to my kid sister) has enjoyed since shortly after its release.

Just to describe how much my elderly dad plays this: not only is he currently at tier ~155 in the Rocket Pass (as of yesterday), he also uses Bakkesmod for training, tracking his mmr, and saving replays. He plays daily, whether or not I'm available to join him, and even tunes in to official RLCS (more than I do, in fact).
lectrode Jan 23, 2023
Quoting: x_wingTime to add a captcha before every match I guess...

Or, more reasonably, detect "super human" input on the server side. Specifically: multiple sequential frame-perfect joystick toggles and button presses - things that would be impossible for humans to do due to how perfect/fast the inputs are. Tapping boost every frame at 60fps isn't humanly possible with a normal input device.

Or something along those lines. I'd expect that they were able to identify unique patterns, which allowed them to ban all the bot accounts. They should be able to detect those server-side and not risk breaking the client for the rest of us.
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