One Shot, One Kill, No Skill: Why One Gamer Paid To Cheat

One Shot, One Kill, No Skill: Why One Gamer Paid To Cheat

The tale of how a man from Canada became a person who pays a monthly fee to cheat at video games is like many stories about good people who slide towards the more nefarious extremes of life. There was hurt. There was frustration. And then there was the temptation to step inside from the unabating drizzle of life, to take shelter and experience some glee. The glee, of course, would cost him. It would cost him money and friends, but maybe it was worth it.

The man from Canada goes by the online name Johnb32xq. In the eyes of some, he is what’s wrong with online multiplayer gaming. Some might brand him a scourge — maybe even a bad person — but that’s the common reaction to situations like these, when good people cross lines that other good people don’t.

The man from Canada doesn’t seem like such a bad person. He just pays to cheat at video games.

John lives on a 200-acre farm somewhere in Canada. He has a day job and loves to play video games. He bought Battlefield 3 at launch last year and played it on the PC. Then some things happened, and soon enough, John became the kind of gamer who has an arsenal of cheats at his disposal. Each was a hack that he paid for. One lets him saunter into a multiplayer match in Battlefield 3 and automatically kill the next person he sees. If he’s feeling particularly destructive, John flicks on a hack called “Mass Murder” and strolls through a Battlefield battlefield while every opposing player just drops dead. One button press and the text notices indicating the death of each opposing player scrolls in like the next line of movie credits. These hacks John uses require no skill other than the discretion not to be caught by the people who make Battlefield. His opponents stand no chance.

Paid cheaters like John are the steroid users of video games, with two caveats.

“Technically hacking does ruin games,” John recently told me. “I do feel bad for doing it, ‘cause I know regular legit gamers — which I once was — just want to have fun and play the game with their friends. I basically go into servers and hack, because it’s like releasing anger with my job. I get bitched at and get stressed out.”

Cheating is John’s anger outlet, one he’s willing to pay up to $25 a month to keep using. His situation is the reverse of most video game scare stories. Video games have not compelled him to misbehave in the real world. A shooter video game didn’t turn him into a hellion in real life. On the contrary, the real world, he says, is what has caused him to be a cheating terror in the video games he plays.

Paying cheaters like John are the steroid users of video games, with two caveats: 1) nothing they do appears to be illegal; 2) nothing they do appears to require the skill that, say, still must be present to enable even the most chemically enhanced baseball player to swat a 150km/h fastball over an outfield wall.

Paying cheaters certainly violate what some would say is the spirit of the game. They certainly spoil what other players might have thought was a fair competition contested among players of Battlefield, or Call of Duty, or any other competitive PC game.

A hacker uses cheats in Battlefield 3 in this clip that was uploaded to YouTube a few weeks before F3 was officially released.

But, certainly, paying cheaters are also gamers, members of a growing tribe of humanity who want to win so badly in, say, Words with Friends that they will peek at dictionaries to help them defeat their best friends. Some people study YouTube clips to learn how to breach invisible walls in Call of Duty. Gamers break rules to gain advantages and even one of the Mt Rushmore heads of this field, Sims creator Will Wright, says that the best way to play games — the way he plays — is to subvert the game’s proper rules.

John is on the extreme end of a spectrum, because his tactics are so lethal, so outside of what the game’s creators intended, so far beyond what rival players can defend against and, oh yeah, he paid some hackers to have them. John pays to be able to kill your character instantly in Battlefield. He’s surely crossed some line, though it’s anyone’s guess just where that line must be.


John from Canada is one of an unknown number of customers of a service called Artificial Aiming, a mirthful band of entrepreneurial cheaters who hack popular and unpopular games alike. Their star hacker is someone named HelioS, a mysterious figure who is regularly outfoxing or being outfoxed by the makers of games such as Battlefield.

There are rival providers of paid cheats too, including Project 7 and the surprisingly slick The latter claims to be “The #1 rated hack website in the world”. Launching the website triggers a video of an attractive blonde welcoming you to the site and boasting that the four-year-old site has more than 300,000 members; the website’s Twitter account, however, has fewer than 900 folllowers.


Artificial Aiming offers cheats for lots of games, from Battlefield 2 to six different Call of Duty games to Mass Effect 3 (40 games in all, plus cheats for Duke Nukem Forever which are, for some reason, labelled as free; a “master package” to use all the cheats for all the games runs $US20/week or $US50/month). The cheats are provided through a separate computer program that runs in concert with the game. It essentially gives you superpowers, and unless you’re bitten by a radioactive spider, superpowers aren’t for free.

A couple dozen cheats have recently been available for Battlefield 3. The cheats tweak the game’s frame-rate or radar and are said to be undetectable by the anti-cheating service Punk Buster. The meatiest part of a $US25/month Level 3 Battlefield 3 cheat subscription from Artificial Aiming is the aimbot, which will more or less do your shooting for you. Here’s a breakdown:

Aimbot :

  • Uberdamage (only one bullet is needed to kill a player instantly)
  • Auto Spot (spot everyone on the map, automatic. You’ll get the spotbonus for every kill your team makes)
  • Massmurder (kill everybody with a single button)
  • NoSpread
  • No Recoil
  • No Breathing
  • Visibility Checks
  • Soldier Aimbot
  • Vehicle Aimbot (All land vehicles, Chopper gunner and Helo transport machine gunner Aimbot for air vehicles)
  • Aim Styles (Off, When firing, Full auto)
  • Targeting Styles (Closest Target, Closest to crosshair, Highest Threat, Lowest Health, etc.)
  • SlowAim (Off, On) (+ Configurable slow aim speed)
  • AimAngle (Off, On) (+ Configurable autoaim rotation angle)
  • AutoFire (Off, On)
  • FriendlyFire (Off, On)

Anyone who wants to buy cheats has to expect them to work only some of the time, as game developers do their damnedest to block them and hackers then have to try to work around the barricades. A forum administrator on Artificial Aiming noted this past Friday that “Our BF3 sales are disabled at this moment due to security issues. So we cant deliver you a cheat at this moment.”

This kind of business riles the people who are in the business of making games. The profiteering cheat-makers tend to infuriate.

“It used to be that hackers did it because it was fun and they want to show that they can,” Karl Magnus-Troesddson, the director of the massive Swedish studio DICE told me a few months ago. DICE are the makers of Battlefield and have been battling hackers and cheaters for years. “It’s about big money today. They want to make money off of these cheats. That’s what pisses me off the most. They’re not just ruining the game for others; they’re actually making a profit off of it. That hurts both my gamer heart but also my dev heart, I have to say.”

The folks a Artificial Aiming laugh at this kind of thing. Online, they seem as jolly a band of hackers and cheaters as there is, cackling on message boards about how they disrupt games, rejoicing when, in one instance, Artificial Aiming hackers used cheats to snag the virtual dogtags of Battlefield developers. Top Artificial Aiming personnel as well as top people at other cheating groups brushed off repeated requests by Kotaku to tell their story, to explain why they cheat and size up just how big a business it is for them to mess with games like Battlefield 3. One of their ringleaders, an AA administrator who goes by the name Haruhi, recently posted a link to a Forbes article entitled “Cheating is Good for You“. This is what he pulled from the article:

Psychologists have found that when playing games, if players aren’t allowed to punish others they suspect of cheating, the game community falls apart. People will even pay money out of their own pocket to punish cheaters. So figuring out ways to keep the larger community involved in dealing with cheaters can keep the group engaged in ways that “regular” game play might never allow for.

He supplied his own addendum: “Fact: Cheating is good for you!”

If there is profit in it for the cheat enablers, that presumably makes it all the sweeter.

All is not fair, however, even for the cheat profiteers. In January, several Artificial Aiming administrators and VIP users tried to distance themselves from a new non-AA hack that was being used to get honest Battlefield players banned from the game.


John from Canada used to hate hackers. All of his stats in Battlefield used to be legit, the simple tally of how good he was at a popular first-person shooter. He was part of an online gaming clan who vowed to play together. But work got in the way for John and he couldn’t play as much as he wanted to. You have to play a popular first-person shooter a lot to be competitive in it; distractions that kept him from the game would hold him back.

“One day I got pissed and fed up with one of the guys in the clan cause he didn’t have a job and just grinded the game 24/7 and gained 10-15 levels above us,” John remembered. “I wasn’t the best player in BF3. So, one of the other clan members said to me in a different teamspeak [that] he used to hack APB: Reloaded, and I’m like, ‘Really??’ He sent me the link. I looked at the site, and I made an account. I saw the hacks and I’m like, damn that’s a lotta hacks for games, so I was like, ‘I’ll give it a go.’ I bought a one week subscription to the master package, which gave me access to all the games’ hacks.”

That was John’s first injection of Artificial Aiming’s product. He suddenly had 42 hacks at his command. He loved it.

“I see a guy, press my key, instantly snap on, killed him, then snapped to a few other guys and killed them. I’m like, ‘I love this hack.'”

The first time he used a paid cheat, he loaded up the hacks and a copy of Battlefield 3, jumped to his favourite multiplayer map at the time, Metro, and configured an “aimbot” cheat to his Alt key.

“I was running around the map. I see a guy, press my key, instantly snap on, killed him, then snapped to a few other guys and killed them. I’m like, ‘I love this hack.’

His clan noticed that his scores were suddenly a lot better and they figured out what was going on. He was angry about being caught, hopped onto his team’s server and killed his teammates 13-0. They banned him.

“It took a few days to sink in as I realised what I had done to the gaming clan I had been with for four or five years,” he said. “I felt like utter crap. I actually cried for about five minutes, wishing I could go back in time. But you can’t, so, basically I sucked it up from there.”

John cheated some more.

“I bought a one-month BF3 Level 3 sub, which gave me access to everything: autofire, no spread, no recoil, etc.”

He kept using the hacks. He kept enraging other players. “I just laughed at them,” he said. “Three to four months down the road, the hack team scripted uberdamage which basically makes anything a one shot kill and extends max range. On any game mode, I can run around with a G17 and one-shot kill them.

“Then, a month later Mass Murder came out. This option completely destroyed the game. Key-bind it to a button and [no matter what] you’re holding in your hand, you press the button and it will kill almost everyone on the enemy team.”

He made a video out of that one and thanks master-hacker HelioS for that mother of all cheats.

EA has banned John’s account three times, but he has continued to play, hopping from legitimate accounts to pirated ones.

He says he bought Battlefield 3 legitimately twice. He also bought the game’s first downloadable expansion, Back To Karkand. The proceeds for those sales flowed back to Battlefield‘s publisher EA and its Swedish development studio, DICE, where Karl Magnus works.

He’s also bought pirated keys to access Battlefield from Russian hackers sites. He estimates he has spent about $US100 on pirated keys and spent about $US120-$150 on cheats from Artificial Aiming.


In early March, when it had become clear that cheaters were targeting Battlefield 3, Karl Magnus wanted me to know just how hard DICE was pushing back. “It has been a problem,” he said, “as it is in all shooters. We have a separate team that works in DICE that deals with cheating. The best way to battle cheating is to just look at the stats and ban people and get them out of there.”

The anti-cheating team at DICE looks for people who pad their stats through glitches that haven’t been patched out of the game. “Those are things that are easy to fix,” Magnus said. “The hacks, where people aimbot and these kinds of things that are using a third-party cheat are usually a bit a harder, because it’s usually an overlay using DirectX on top of that. We can’t patch that out of the game. From that perspective it’s easier to just look at the stats and say, ok, if they have a kill-death ratio of this or whatever the algorithm has been set up, that’s probably a cheater. Let’s look into that, and then we do mass-bans continuously.”

The Battlefield studio director described the fight against cheaters as “an ongoing arms race”, one that would never end.

Magnus would rather not ban someone, if possible. The first time they think they’ve found a cheater? “We usually start by stats-wiping them. If we see a repeat felony or whatever you want to call it, we ban them… if we want to be really mean, we can ban them not just from Battlefield but from all EA games, but, I mean, that’s very harsh. We try to keep it within the franchise.”

He described the fight against cheaters as “an ongoing arms race”, one that would never end. The cheaters find a way to hack the game. DICE applies a fix. The cheaters find a new exploit.

In late March, with cheat services like Artificial Aiming making money selling stat-boosting cheats to gamers like John from Canada, DICE started selling perks — “shortcuts” — that level Battlefield players up. DICE isn’t selling cheats but, rather, offering the kind of quick levelling-up of player rank that unlocks better gear for players who don’t have time to play to earn those levels:

Today, we are also offering 10 different shortcut items for sale for Battlefield 3 on PS3. If you’re new to the game, this is the perfect way to gain some ground on the veterans online. Or if you’d love to get some more air time in the jets but want to equip those AA missiles straight away, this is for you.

The 10 shortcut items are available now from the PlayStation Store and the in-game store and include these:

  • Kit Shortcut Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items unique to the four playable classes
  • Vehicle Shortcut Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items for all vehicles
  • The Ultimate Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items from all other available shortcut packs

The shortcuts cost $US7-$10. A full bundle costs $US40.

These official paid perks may have enabled John from Canada to keep pace with that member of his clan who kept playing Battlefield while John worked. It wouldn’t have made John a better Battlefield player, but it would have made him a better-armed one. Who’s to say that wouldn’t have kept him from becoming an Artificial Aiming customer? When DICE began offering these paid booster packs, Artificial Aiming administrator Haruhi cackled at what he saw as apparent DICE hypocrisy: “EA Games is legalizing Cheats for BF3,” he proclaimed.

John from Canada says he has been trying to quit using hacked cheats.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked an EA rep what had become of the arms race Magnus had described. Artificial Aiming and their numerous rivals continued to make new and more efficient cheats for Battlefield and other games. Their Mass Effect 3 aimbot is one of their newest products. They kept selling them to people like John from Canada. DICE kept banning players and issuing new services and paid downloadable content to Battlefield gamers, trying to get Battlefield gamers to send money DICE’s way instead of to third-party cheat services. The EA rep was unable to get an update from Magnus but provided the kind of less impassioned statement you get from a corporation that wants to convince gamers its product is safe-rather than the kind of heated words one gets from a creator who is tired of people profiting off of vandalizing his game. “We continually monitor the Battlefield 3 community to make sure everyone is having the best possible Battlefield experience. We have a dedicated team at DICE tracking cheaters/hackers.”

John from Canada says he has been trying to quit using hacked cheats. He sounds like he is tired of being banned, of having to re-start his Battlefield 3 playing again and again. But he’s still using Artificial Aiming. The temptation to cheat is strong.

He’s still not allowed in his old clan, but does play games with a few clan members who don’t mind that he hacks. They play Test Drive Unlimited 2 together. He also played Farming Simulator 2011, which is something less than escape for him. He lives on a farm.

“Gamers say hackers have no lives or they are gay or they have small dicks,” he said. “Honestly, all the guys I play with in Battlefield 3 who also run AA have normal lives and raise families, have wives etc.. I’m 21. I live on a 200-acre farm. I help my dad whenever he needs it. I work a full-time job. I hang out with my friends. I play paintball. I’m living a normal life, and I’m a gamer. I hack, ‘cause I find it fun, sometimes. And it just gets me away from shit and stuff which can happen in our everyday lives.”


  • Kinda sad and i think it comes down to that he thinks he’s failing at life and so goes into bf3 to destroy people to make himself feel better. He has deeper problems other than being a douche online.

      • exactly. its the trolling of the gaming world.
        It also spells out quite clearly that achievements in any sort of game are worthless.

  • This article is pure bs, what he is doing is wrong, doesn’t matter what spin you put on it. I paid to play a game that everyone can enjoy, not just some righteous dick.

    • Agreed – if you want to just cause destruction without any threat to your player character…. just play a single player game and use cheats. There is no point in griefing other players.

      The fact of the matter is that it’s not that he wants ‘no challenge’, it’s that he wants to ruin the game for others.

      What a f-wit

      • I agree…I use to play CS and COD online all the time and was quiet good at it. Then I got a job after uni and found I had no time to be competitive in online games, so instead of doing what this guy did I started playing single player games…I still play multiplayer games when Im with my friends who are all in the same situation as me which makes it more fun and less frustrating.

        No need to be a d**k, it just seems immature..

      • Precisely. I let off steam in single player games this way sometimes. Who doesn’t like to switch on god mode in Skyrim and go around killing everyone in Whiterun? 😛
        But multiplayer is a different beast. It turns your desire for virtual violence into a desire for ruining the day of a bunch of people that just want to play a game.

      • I’m afraid griefing other players is the point.

        You see, some people, when things aren’t going well for them like to cheer themselves up by making other peoples lives worse then theirs rather then trying to improve their own.
        These people are a$$holes but there is very little that can be done about them as they are generally too stupid to realies they only end up hurting themselves more as people don’t’ react well to them.

  • What spin? Did you not read the obvious disapproval? The author has done a great job of capturing a cheater mind without crucifying his/her source. A great article.

    That said, i think john is an ass. And the people selling cheats for money are straight up thieves. They should be ip tracked and arrested for theft and damage to product reputation, pure and simple. It damages sales when people cheat. I haven’t played cod in a long time because cheats are infuriating.

    It’s funny to think that developing all this requires so much effort and skill, which might be better applied somewhere else.

  • This is like having a button that kills a random person in the world and mashing it because you feel your day was stressful.

    • It’s not really though is it?

      While online cheating is annoying as hell, comparing it actually killing some one is a bit daft.

  • BF3 is full of these types but I can say with confidence most people are not much better. When tact lights could blind other players at 20 meters it was all people would use, IRNV turned players into neon lamps and nullified flashlight blinding so everyone abused that. The M26 Mass heavy barrel exploit became standard until it was patched out. I refrained from using this crap, I’m satisfied without using broken mechanics but most players will flock to it as long as it’s legal. This guy is just a step further in the level of stat worship, egos based on KDR and score per minute that ensure players meta game at the expense of others.

  • While it’s great that this piece is well researched, it seems to me that regardless of the intentions of the author it turned out to be a massive advert for Artificial Aiming and other cheat sites. I have been playing games for years and this is the first I have heard of these sites. I have known that bot and hack services existed but they don’t usually get a full page spread on the sites I frequent.

    A pity party and an advertising article are not what hacking services and their users deserve.

    • Exactly, I cringed when I read this sentence “…brushed off repeated requests by Kotaku to tell their story…”

      ummm I know its good game journalism but….I’m glad you didnt get to write more stories on this.

  • Seems to me that if John simply can’t play without cheats, he’s not really a gamer. He’s not playing the game here, he’s just literally pressing an “I win” button. He’s not deriving his satisfaction from winning because he’s not winning himself. He’s deriving satisfaction from taking gameplay away from the other players. That makes him nothing more than a griefer.

  • Let them have their aimbots. Make a match where the cheaters are on a team on their own and it’s the rest of you vs them.

    Mass murder is just plain stupid. there is ZERO skill in that.

    • Max Payne 3 actually does that.

      I’m sure some of the caught cheaters then go and buy new accounts/steal CD keys anyway, but it would be really interesting if you could figure out how many get tempted stay and wallow in their own filth with their similarly emotionally-retarded kind.

  • I hate multiplay games for this fact alone, that the developers can’t stop the cheaters.I love single-play missions. I like playing the computer because it plays by the rules. It might not be as imaginative as a human but at least I don’t have to worry about the computer buying a auto-aim script.

    Yet developer greed and desire to destroy the second gaming market are making the online component of a game to be the primary part whilst delegating the single-play at best to a training campaign.

    Its really unfair and just pushes me to pirate games rather then waste money on a package that is compromised and a ripoff. Like what the fuck, Mass Effect 3 war room map was online. What was the point of accruing a massive fleet when it had nothing to do with the single play campaign. Yet when of course you play online portion of the game you find it polluted with cheaters. fuck that.

  • Maybe we should all just use hacks? Wait no 99% of us aren’t a bunch of dick heads.

    Please keep spending money on hacks and copies of games, I hope you have financial issues in the future enjoy your shitty life 🙂

  • I find it strange that DICE with it’s latest upgrade, Premuim Service. It has added the fuction ‘reset stats’, it would seem to me that this reset aids hackers a lot more than before.

    I do think this article should be here but it should have not used actual names of web sites that sell these hacks. Very poor in that regard indeed Giz, it basically says “go here to pay for hacks” which only encourages many to try and see the hacks.

    • I’d imagine they have an ‘overall stats’ sheet that they use for this sort of thing. Even if you take cheating out of the equation they’d still want to hold onto the stats because they offer insight into the way the game is played. That and I’m guessing it’d break other players stats if you could actually purge your data from the records.

    • What I don’t understand is why they can’t intercept the information sent from the client to the server to determine what is valid and what is not. Surely the data packets contain information such as weapon type, weapon stats, aim angle etc. and they can somehow determine whether the kill was valid or not.

      That way they could detect cheaters, unless there is a lot of noise that prevents them from doing this. Even though there may be false positives from time to time, they could then do some statistical analysis on these trends to detect who is hacking and who is not.

  • This is purely an evolution of all the dashboarders who rage quit to maintain thier “high” K/D ratios, and then brag that they are “all that” when they are just cheaters. These people are the type to go to sites like the one advertised in this article…..and with the amount of times dashboarding happens there is certainly an industry for criminals who are attracted to this. Its one of the reasons i traded in all my FPS like COD and Battlefield 3 because its beyond childish, its boring. And so are all modern FPS.

    I actually think this is a good idea, let all the cheaters buy these cheats and destroy the addiction the community at large have of boring, same-old, FPS games on the market and get back to new IP’s and innovation.

    People who cant own thier hours of sucking at a game and earn thier way up the leaderboard by improving themselves are just pathetic and need to grow up and get another hobby and stop ruiing it for everyone else who enjoy working for thier successes.

  • “I basically go into servers and hack, because it’s like releasing anger with my job.”
    So causing other people anguish makes him feel better? That’s called “psychopathy”.
    Someone needs to see a shrink before they start torturing pets to make themselves feel better.

  • John is weak.

    He succumbed to something he knew was wrong and made excuses for why he continues to do it, because it makes him feel better and doesn’t care how it makes anyone else feel. Perfect example of one being selfish.

    I can’t really see it as anything other than the fact, that he is not a good person.

    (MARK) Is it possible to ask, if we can have the bullet points of what the AA subscription offers removed? By having them in the article, you are literally advertising the Artificial Aiming service. Why advertise that?

    Stephen makes a good point though, when he mentions Helios’ reaction to EA trying to counter-act the hackers with booster packs. Read between the lines and you can see publishers are MAKING MONEY from this underground cheating industry, in a number of ways. Mostly:
    – legit booster packs to counter-act gamer’s urge to cheat
    – banning users but not chasing the individuals, allowing the hacker to buy extra copies of their game
    As John has mentioned. He’s spent almost $200 on BF3 hacking by not just the AA sub but buying copies of the game!

    But there is another way EA want to make money as well. They are seeing this and saying, “how can WE get that money, instead of the hacker groups?”

    Gamers have displayed they are willing to spending large amounts of money to win. So publishers are trying to re-direct that revenue stream in their direction, instead of the hackers. And they won’t curtail these hacking groups until they come up with a solid alternative. Keeping the revenue stream open is in their favour, even if they’re not getting that revenue (yet).

    In short; publishers will not stop hacks, even though we want them to.

  • Gaining enjoyment from the grief of others – that’s the cheater’s way of life. John might as well start drowning kittens and scratching people’s cars, because his philosophy is obviously “if I can get away with it, why not do it? Look at all those people hating me, I love it!”.

  • great article, very interesting.

    still doesn’t justify hacking in any way, why this “john” guy does it just baffles me, because he seems from the article to be quite aware of what exactly he is doing, but wont change. i’d say he has a serious problem if ruining other peoples games gives him so much pleasure, and he also pays for this pleasure? sounds like i’m describing a drug addict…

  • He’s griefing and harassing others because he’s being griefed and harassed at work. Wouldn’t it be ironic if it turned out he’d been griefing his bosses on one big infinite loop of douchebaggery?

  • I basically log into bf3 even though I rarely have time to shit, I still log on and still get MVP more often than not… If I see hackers or people that camp stupid spots for long periods of time, I will go for a knife kill to embarrass them (gets em real mad to).
    If the hackers continue doing it, I leave server there are many more out there.I will also admit that the cheating system has caught alot of people the past week I’ve been playing.

    • MVP isn’t really an achievement in the game.

      Basically anyone playing Assault well should get it by default. Since medkits are a constant influx of points. And you get just as many point for reviving someone as killing someone. Which means it is rather easy to sit in a choke point and roll in points.

  • wow, that really doesn’t seem that fun.. it would take any enjoyment of actually doing anything in the game out of it
    yeah there’s matches where you get owned and ones where you are on fire and give it back.
    If there was no skill/risk/need to play the objective it would make it a pretty hollow experience.
    .. and he claims to have spent about $400 on it.

    Guess it puts cribbing about BF3 premium in perspective

  • To get enjoyment he has to make others unhappy. Sociopath in the making? lol. Maybe thats extreme but its still a little fucked in the head.

  • Taking out his frustrations on other players cause he feels shit, by making other players feel like shit
    How anyone older than 12 (who isn’t a dick) gets enjoyment out of destroying other peoples enjoyment with the press of a button blows my mind
    John sounds like a douchebag

  • Some analogies:
    “Hi. I like to go into cinemas and scream throughout the movie. I know it annoys other people, but it really helps me cope with my personal stress, and that is more important than anything else. I also like to fart in full elevators and upend tables at BBQs for the same reason.”

    I don’t care what John’s back story is, what he’s doing is total jerk behaviour.

  • John’s full of shit, I say. His first excuse is that cheating makes him feel better about what he cops at work, but later in the article he talks about how he had a sook about another player who got to spend more time playing and leveling up than John did, which seems like the real catalyst for John’s decent.

    Also, someone who gets angry when they get caught cheating is NOT a good person. John sounds like a dickhead to me.

  • Who actually cares?

    John must get banned alot. He gets like what? a minute of “hilarious” griefing done if an admin is online then he get’s banned, forever, and has to go to another server where he’ll get banned, again, forever. If he wants to go back to those servers he gets to shell out more money and then guess what? banned, quite easily, again.

    He’s not developing skills, he’s not developing friendships ; he’s having a public tantrum that nobody gives a shit about and he’s paying for the privilege.

    He wants to be seen as powerful and vilified for his choices : fuck that, give him pity.

  • Oh and don’t besmirch steroid users by comparing them to someone who’s sole qualification for elite “performance” is having the money to spend and no pride. As dishonest as steroid use is at least the users are required to put in tremendous amounts of work in order to gain the benefits of thier cheat.

  • This moron just gets kicks out of taking the fun away from others and pissing them off. He’s nothing more than a bully who takes his own problems out on everyone else. Yes its just a video game but that doesn’t justify anything what so ever. He clearly has many issues and should find a more appropriate method of stress relief. Cheating online is pointless. Sure I can see the fun in using hacks a few times to watch everyone’s reaction, but to do it all the time just to make yourself feel better? Pathetic.

  • Yeah I pretty much don’t play B2/3 much any more because you just end up with hackers vs hackers all the no cheating people just get feed up an don’t play. Sound like the kind of person that would fuck over people in real life if they could get away with it.

  • Haha what a douche canoe. I’ve been stat wiped from BF3 once before because my KDR was too high, and now I finally have someone to blame for that inconvenience.

  • i like how this article isn’t biased, while i do dislike cheating and i find it annoying in battlefield 3, this is a great article, this is mature journalism.

    i have 15 service stars on PS3 with 12000 kills and 3400 deaths, i mainly drive tanks on conquest maps.
    i like playing on the console as it has no server lobby so you still get dumped in standard EA servers with standard map rotations, 90% of PC maps are specific maps on rotation (usually metro) this leaves little variety in gameplay and can become stale and boring, once you’ve shot x people coming up escalators for x time you eventually get bored…

    unfortunately i’m only level 3 on my PC version i just recently built a sandy bridge PC for diablo and bought battlefield soon after, i find it very difficult as most players have dozens of service ranks with all unlocks, i’m forced to remove scopes from sniper rifles and use iron sights to keep my ratio higher than 2.5 – it would be great if DICE included the short-cut pack for the PC version now that the BF3 community has matured into the final unlocks stage, brand-new players buying the short-cut packs would still have difficulty playing without a solid understanding of how to use the equipment effectively.


  • “Work was hard.” “Life is stressful.” “I swear I want to quit.”

    If I was to say that those comments came from an abusive husband you really wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. (Not that I’m comparing cheating with domestic abuse just that the excuses are nothing but lame excuses)

    It’s not surprising at all that he’s a 21 year old. Sounds like he has no idea what a “normal life” is.

  • Question, aren’t these loopholes deliberately created by Developers? If there are a few that aren’t why isn’t it getting patched?

    For the greater good!

    • I think what they’re getting at is that some of the “hacks” connect to the server as though it’s a regular player..imagine that the hack is basically pushing the buttons for you as an example. Nothing you can do about that.

    • It’s not that simple unfortunantly. Basically the game server has to send you raw data in order to work. The game server also has to get all the info about what’s happening on your end from your computer. With a little creativity you can listen in to that like you would a phone call, and with a little more creativity you can swap out what the server and your computer are saying to each other.
      The server tells your game where Player A is, it needs to know in order to display him in the correct location on your screen. If your watching the data coming from the server you can fish out the guys location, then send a fake message back to the server saying that you pulled your trigger while aiming at that location. From the servers point of view you just shot a bullet at exactly the right spot and got him.
      Obviously it’s a lot more complicated. The server and game talk in code and neither one trusts the other, but there’s only so much you can do when players can have multiple programs running on their PC at once. Game engines and networking are also massively complicated so it’s easy to make a tiny little mistake that provides an entry point for the hacker to exploit.

  • A lot of the commenters on this article need to settle down, relax, maybe even grow up a little.

    • Come on, McGarnical, that’s just trying to start an argument in the comments here. You could at least explain why you disagree with everyone instead of just telling everyone to grow up.

      I’d really like to hear your thoughts here because I genuinely can’t find a reason to sympathise with this guy at the moment. And I hope that doesn’t come across as defensive or angry, I’m just curious as to why you seem to support this guy.

      • Sorry it came across that way. I didn’t think I needed to explain myself, as my position was in agreement with the article – the article sets out a point of view quite well and I agreed with it on the previous page.

        My perspective is that I appreciate the tone of the article and the thought that went into it. I have come across many griefers, such as in Halo 2 and it annoyed me so much. I couldn’t understand it. This article went to some effort to explain why one cheater in particular did it and I felt I came to understand why that guy did it and I relaxed a little about cheaters in general. Coming from that perspective, I was surprised to see so many comments that just impatiently said “No, cheaters are scum”. Well they are scum (as far as the local universe of that game is concerned), but the point of this article as I see it is to broaden our minds a little and think beyond the game.

        • But it’s easy to make that immediate ‘impatient’ response because that’s still what this comes across as. Some people have used some rather over-the-top examples (screaming in a cinema, domestic abuse) but the point is still there. This guy is making himself happy by putting down other people and ruining their enjoyment of the game. It’s simply hard to move past that.

          Yes, there may be some reason behind it, but for most people that reason isn’t going to be valid. I took from this article an understanding that he gets stressed out at work and needs and outlet to vent. And that’s fine, everyone needs to vent in some way. The problem here is that he’s taking it out on other people who just want to have fun with a game. And he willingly admits that he knows what he’s doing is wrong. That doesn’t make it okay, that makes it worse.

          I think there’s also the fact that most people simply don’t see the appeal in hacking like this. What fun is there to be had with a game where you press one button and kill everyone instantly? Maybe that’s just me, though. I’ve never been a competitive player in online matches, so I probably don’t understand that desire to win like that.

          It’s an interesting and well thought-out article (ignoring the advertisement-like discussion of the hacking website) and I’ll agree with you that the attempt to broaden horizons about this topic is appreciated. But at the end of the day what this guy is doing is still wrong and that’s going to bug most people.

          • We don’t know how often he does this or whether he still plays regularly, without cheats. Someone else pointed out it was like turning on god mode in a singleplayer game. I agree with that analogy, and when I’ve been really stressed I have put in something fairly easy and just derped about. I personally would never do it in a multiplayer game with a hack, as that would be impacting others. But I’m not John from Canada, and I don’t know what it’s like for him.

          • Fair enough. I can agree with that, although I think that if we’re going to consider it as similar to god mode in a singleplayer game, then he should just use cheats in singleplayer games. Cheating in San Andreas seemed to be very cathartic for my dad, for example…

            And I also agree that some of the responses here such as the one suggesting vandalism are going too far.

          • Careful, civil discussion on the internet is like crossing the streams.
            Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

    • You sound just like someone who hasn’t had their favourite game crapped on by cheating scum. I envy you.

      • I have, and I lost my shit. This article helped me let go of that anger a little and I’m grateful. I’m sorry it hasn’t had that affect for more people.

        • Looks like you are trying to defend the article, while most commenters are angry at hackers in general.

          Two separate things.

          So I’m not sure what exactly you want the commenters to grow up about?

      • A further thought – I have always found people playing within the bounds of the game but using exploits and cheap tactics to be far, far, worse than cheaters. At least with a cheat, you can throw your hands in the air and know there’s nothing you can do about it. But base rapers in Battlefield? Not much you can do about it.

  • So to relieve his anger he will ruin the fun that other people is having to relieve their own anger? Maybe he believes that he’s the only person with a shitty job and feels entitled to take it out on the rest of the world? I don’t see how he or the author of this article can even entertain the notion that he maybe is a good, normal human being. I hope a disgruntled gamer finds his address and “hacks” some of his windows with rocks and notes with empty threats so his father will have a good talking to him. Hopefully, he is one of those old fashioned farmers and won’t think twice about beating his son to a pulp if he deserves it. Then perhaps he’ll understand how truly “fun” is to extract enjoyment from someone else’s grief.

    And thanks a lot for this article and its detailed instructions to become a cheater! Before tomorrow’s dawn a whole new army of mouthbreathers will have joined the cheaters club and the world will have become just a little bit more ugly. Hope you’re getting lots of page hits, mr. journalist!

    • Are you seriously suggesting it would be good for someone to vandalise this guys house and his father to beat him?

      Take a look at the video above. The comments in the feed are like, “LOL, ammo box – wtf”. That doesn’t sound like the people being griefed have had their lives ruined to the point that vigilante retribution is needed.

      • You take a look at this thread of comments or any thread in the internet where cheaters are discussed (others than those where the participants are cheaters.) Don’t you see grief? Don’t you see anger? Don’t you see frustration? At this point, with all your white-knighting of cheating, it’s pretty obvious that you are a cheater yourself so you cannot possible empathize with us. For your kind we are not people but rather a sport: harvesting our frustration, anger and sadness brings a joy to your aberrant lives that few other things do.

        Since you are at the very least being civilized in these comments I’ll spell it for you, so maybe you’ll understand and just maybe feel a bit of remorse: We play games to have a bit of fun, to escape our daily routines, our boring or frustrating jobs or other problems. We eagerly pick up the controller, anticipating the fun and relaxation that we’ll derive from it in the next couple hours. And then, suddenly, we are dead. Before we could do anything and for no reason whatsoever but to provide raucous laughter and high fives to a bunch of socially and ethically-challenged morons. We paid money for this game and we’ve put aside some time to play it and you have no right to take this little joy from us.

        So do I wish for this guy to be beaten up by his parents? You bet! It seems to me that discipline was not sufficiently taught to him in his formative years but perhaps there’s still time. A few days of intense pain may counteract the idea he surely has now acquired by successfully cheating at games -for not other reason than petty pleasure- that the world is a place where he can and he should cheat to get ahead at the expense of others, while laughing at them.

        • I was hoping I wouldn’t have to spell this out – but for the record, I have never cheated in a multiplayer game nor even in a singleplayer game that saves progress. Last time I cheated properly was when I was about 8 years old playing Doom. I always played it with God mode and all weapons. It was only years later that I realised how much better it was when played properly.

          Please look at my other comments to understand where I’m coming from.

          But here’s some more spelling out just in case: I don’t cheat. I hate cheaters. This article made me relax a little about that.

  • Not sure why will wright got a mention.

    His logic is to try and break the game from the inside. To push past the rules in place.

    This is simply hiring someone else to blow the walls up.

    And you mention that the guy hasn’t gone loco because of video games but because of real life. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works for every person who goes crazy. But if John ever loses access to this or other outlets for his anger. If he does snap it will be the very video games he initially sought escape in that cop the blame. Rightful or not.

    The fact that he uses these for anger release is a bad sign in my mind. It sounds like the same sort of thing a drug addict would go through. And when they run out of money and have sold everything they can to get another hit. They resort to robbery to get more money to feed the habit.

    Problem here is that the hit he is after is actively to annoy/frustrate others. Which if escalated could quickly turn into a real world issue.

  • Recently had a hacker join my BF3 match. Dunno why, but I just found it funny watching all the people die (maybe because I didn’t). The thing is, he was vote banned/kicked in an instant, so not much harm done there.

    I see no justification for cheating, not to mention it’s boring.

  • why do you guys hate mods so much? cuz you hate someone ruined a game with a mod? try one and say its that bad. i dont mod but i have and its enjoyable cuz it dosent take skill to kill. you can get a bunch and laugh then go back to regualr play.

  • The Man from Canada…
    “…Paying cheaters certainly violate what some would say is the spirit of the game. They certainly spoil what other players might have thought was a fair competition contested among players of Battlefield, or Call of Duty, or any other competitive PC game.”
    I have a story to tell, I’ll keep it real short.
    My son bought me Medal of Honor Tier 1 in 2010 not knowing I did not have a powerful enough PC to run it. The Summer of 2011 I bought the parts and built my own PC to run this game (and then some). I played MOH and got punted and banned a lot because of my complaining about all the cheating; even those running servers with PBBans and GCCStream, these clans had their own CUSTOM cheat that would bypass their own “cheat shields” resulting on one shot head shot kills, sometimes through walls and solid objects, but if I complained, I got punted.
    Fast forward to MOH Warfighter, I paid $69.99 months in advance so I could get the SEAL sniper and .50 cal rifle…whoopie… you can’t go prone and everywhere you go on any map, you can never quite get enough cover to snipe. Again, cheats abound, I could not rank up much, could not get the guns/goodies we all want, but I didn’t complain. Ironically, if I did well, I would get accused of cheating and get punted. Fast forward to BF3, paid a lot of money for that game, and again, I can be hiding in the the most remote part of the map, not making a noise, not showing myself, and they will hunt me down and kill me. I’ve gone through battles where I got ONE kill and died dozens of times.

    What this article doesn’t discuss (like the proverbial 600 pound gorilla in the corner) is that with each of these games: MOH Tier 1, MOH Warfighter, and BF3, BEFORE the game went live in multiplayer, there were players with thousands of kills already…who are unbeatable, never miss, and know exactly where you are. My fave is the Cobra gunship that shoots one, JUST ONE, round, headshot killshot from the air… you KNOW he’s got a cheat BEFORE the game is released.

    The 600 pound gorilla is the fact that I and many others have spent hundreds of dollars buying computing power and these games only to have to compete against unbeatable players using multiplayer hacks. Someone or somebody (bodies) at EA releases their code way in advance of these games’ multiplayer mode noes live, whoever is doing this is getting paid a LOT of money so that hacking companies/individuals can develop hacks BEFORE the game is released. Look what’s happening with BF4! Why would I want to pay $59.99 for that game knowing that at minute one when multiplayer goes live there will be players already ranked up to colonel level, all the weps, one shot headshot kills, and just to stick it to ya, they did it with bolt action rifle! I played one game where only bolt action rifle was allowed and one guy had over 178 kills while most everyone else had 30 or less.

    “Oh, he’s just a good player! Quit your whining!” says the pale skinned overweight Moutain Dew drinking pimple faced teenager still growing pubes. It makes me sick, to spend all this money, only to never be able to rank up much or get all the goodies because cheaters are so prolific that literally nothing can be done to stop them.

    Here’s a big BIG suggestion to EA and their contemporaries:
    Offer to allow players (re; CUSTOMERS) the option to buy the game with NO RANKS and all the weapons, so that everyone is on a level playing field, AND, no points, take away the incentive other than the joy of gaming.
    Then again, the fact that we receive any enjoyment from a video game is only incidental … the game maker making money is the primary reason these games exist at all.

  • As it stands now I no longer play nor will I ever play MOH Tier 1 or MOH Warfighter ever again, what’s the use? BF3? I still play but I’m on the verge of stopping, its become a waste of time, you can’t win, you can’t rank up, you can’t do anything because of all the cheats. And BF4? I won’t bother buying it, why? Just so I can get frustrated knowing that on day one, minute one, second one, when the game goes live, there will be players worldwide who already have a million points, all the ranks and guns and goodies and all you end up doing is dying over and over and over.

  • Bahahaha! AA’s cheats suck. Not only are they overpriced compared to other competing cheating services, but by just using them you are asking to be banned.

    You’re better off coding your own in Visual Basic. Don’t forget a PBSS spoofer!

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