Cheating is a term that describes the use of third-party programs or materials in order to gain an unfair advantage. Valve has a strict policy against cheating and will ban detected cheats with the Valve Anti-Cheat system, also known as VAC.
Players can be reported in game via the scoreboard or by pressing escape and clicking the report button.
Most take the form of:
- Engine hooks, which "hook" parts of the source engine and use them for their cheat.
- Material cheats, use custom materials to lower the opacity of walls or make players easier to see.
- 1 Common Cheats
- 1.1 Aimbot
- 1.2 Silent Aim
- 1.3 Backtrack
- 1.4 Fake Latency/Ping
- 1.5 Triggerbots
- 1.6 Bunny Hop/Bhop
- 1.7 Autostrafer
- 1.8 TauntSlide
- 1.9 Walkbot
- 1.10 Name Stealer
- 1.11 Anti-Votekick
- 1.12 Chatspam
- 1.13 Killsay
- 1.14 ESP
- 1.15 Speed Hack
- 1.16 Spinbot/Anti-Aim
- 1.17 Fakelag
- 1.18 Airstuck
- 1.19 Sequence Freezing/Remove Cond
- 1.20 No Spread
- 1.21 Critical Hacks
- 1.22 Achievement Cheats
Automatically aim at an enemy for the player. This can be customized to ignore Spies and have "legit" features such as smoothing. Some cheats have "Projectile" Aimbot which predicts where a player will be and aims ahead to hit them.
Hides the "locking on" caused by aimbots from the cheater. "Perfect" Silent Aim used to hide it from them and spectators but it has been silently fixed in July 23, 2015 Patch. Silent Aim still works for projectile based weapons. Silent Aim can be spotted if the player is flicking for 1 tick and "returns" to the position their cursor was before.
Abuses Source Engine's lag compensation to "send people back in time". Cheats can backtrack up to ~12 ticks on 64 tick servers and ~25 on 128 tick servers. Cheaters using backtrack are obvious if killed after walking behind cover.
Fakes your ping to the server letting players backtrack a whole second. This is the most obvious due to the huge difference in location.
Triggerbots automatically perform an action and are harder to spot.
- Auto-Backstab, backstabs when it is possible to.
- Auto-Detonate, detonates stickies when a player walks near them.
- Auto-Airblast, reflect projectiles perfectly.
- Original Triggerbot, shoots when a player is under the crosshair.
Automatically jumps when you land giving you increased speed, this has been fixed in Team Fortress 2 to only give a very small boost.
Automatically strafes when you turn your mouse or strafes where you look. When combined with bunnyhop it is very easy to gain distance as Scout or reduce the issue of heavy's speed.
Originally a bug that would allow player actions when taunting if you taunted right before you fell off something. Cheaters exploited TF2 so they could tauntslide whenever they taunted. This was fixed in a TF2 update but is still partially possible. When using moving taunts you can turn instantly without a delay.
A bot that can perform actions without user input. Commonly used to assist cheaters or cause mayhem.
Unlike regular bots, walkbots are different because of how they are presented. For instance, regular bots are able to freely roam around a specific map, while walkbots must have a set path that is created by the host.
These bots will usually walk on a predefined path and aimbot at the location set. Unlike regular bots, walkbots do not detect Sentry Guns, and will usually walk straight into their line of sight, allowing for a well-hidden Engineer to easily deal with them.
- Following a player
- Healing and ubering players
- Locking down a location with aimbot
Steals the names of players to get them kicked and avoid kicks yourself. This was partially fixed by name changes being impossible after a votekick has been started on you once, and is also not very reliable in Casual Mode because of the waiting limit on changing names.
Cheaters could type 'retry' in the Developer Console right before a votekick would go through, making the vote useless. Fixed in a TF2 update.
Spams messages in chat, normally advertising the cheat. Some abuse newlines to "clear" chat and make only their messages visible.
Says a message when a player is killed, normally insulting them with the victim's name.
ESP stands for Extra Sensory Perception. ESP is considered anything that gives extra information visually.
- Showing Enemy Positions
- Showing Enemy Health
- Showing Enemy Uber
Caused by cheats sending a lot of usercmds at once. Fixed across the Source Engine games by limiting the number of usercmds accepted at a time. Setting sv_maxusrcmdprocessticks to 0 on your server will allow it to work again.
Commonly used to counter other cheaters. Modifies the viewangles sent to the server. If a player's pitch is greater than 158 or less than -203 fake angles appear. Their head will not be where their hitboxes are. It is also possible to abuse bSendPacket to fake your yaw. To you they may be looking forward, but in reality they could actually be looking to the left.
Abuses bSendPacket so the server doesn't update your position for a maximum of ~15 ticks. To others it looks like they are "lagging", but their ping will be relatively low and from their view the game looks fine.
Causes a player to appear to float in mid-air. Could be used with Pyro's Phlogistinator to have infinite ÜberCharge if one activated it and spammed taunts. Originally worked for infinite Bonk! Atomic Punch/ÜberCharge. A Medic could start healing someone then airstuck to continually heal someone no matter how far they were away. Partially fixed by forcing players to drop to the ground if no new usercmds were received in ~3 seconds.
Sequence Freezing/Remove Cond
Abused the netchannel to skip sequences. Nearly all conditions could be removed such as fire/bleed. Fixed in a TF2 update.
Other side effects included:
- Skipping Taunts (Phlog included giving uber protection)
- Removing Stuns
- Duping Infinite Healthpacks
- Duping Infinite Ammo Packs
- Instantly Capturing Points
- Firing All Your Stickies at Once
- Instant Revving as Heavy
- Abusing Healthpacks to give infinite overheal.
Predicts or changes the seed of a weapon to remove/reduce weapon spread. Fixed silently in the same update as Silent Aim. Still works with projectile inaccuracy. (Ex: Beggar's Bazooka deviation or Bow charge inaccuracy)
Originally cheats could get 100% crits by setting the tickcount to when they would get crits. This has been fixed but it's still possible to "store" crits by filling up the crit bucket and sending crit requests to get crits on demand as long as you have it filled. This can be abused to get nearly 100% crits on melee weapons. For a short period it was discovered that weapons with "No Random Crits" can still crit (0.015% chance). This was abused to get nearly constant crits on these weapons until it was promptly fixed.
Some community hosted servers have a plugin which is able to unlock all achievements in-game with a special command. This can also be achieved by using third-party software.