Halo Infinite has certainly had an eventful launch. The game released over half a month early, was met with critical acclaim for how damn good it feels, and received massive backlash for its progression system all in the span of a single week. As the dust has settled and players have gotten more comfortable in the game, though, new problems have emerged — chief among them are complaints about in-game cheating. Things have gotten so bad, according to some, that a very vocal portion of the game’s console playerbase is asking for an option to disable crossplay.
As it stands, Halo Infinite has no client-side anti-cheat tools, which are a standard for most online PC games. If you’ve ever played a game with BattlEye, you’ve played a game with client-side anti-cheat. Instead, the game relies on a server-side system that attempts to identify cheaters and boot them from games. This is usually a far less effective way to handle in-game cheating, but is significantly less invasive.
Cheat reports have ranged from wallhacks, to aimbots, and some have even claimed to have seen infinite grenades and ammunition. Speaking from my own experience, I’ve definitely played against some very suspicious snipers, particularly in the game’s Fiesta mode. On my way to completing the five killing sprees required to finish the game’s weekly ultimate challenge, there was at least one instance where a player went on a 19-kill rampage before finally being stopped, despite our own arsenal of power weapons — the nightmarish sound of their rifle still haunts my dreams.
Amid these complaints, and 343’s promise to address cheating, some console players are demanding the ability to disable PC crossplay. Such a feature could effectively split the game’s community — which is basically never a good idea, especially when the community has already acclimated to a mixed playerbase. (Players can already self-segregate by control scheme in the game’s Ranked mode in order to maintain competitive balance, but that does nothing to change what platform an opponent is using.)
Disabling crossplay doesn’t really fix cheating either. Certain types of cheating are PC exclusive, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to cheat on console — modded controllers being the most immediate example. All you end up doing by disabling crossplay is kick the cheating can down the road, and into the unhappy laps of those of us who have no choice but to use crossplay to play with our friends (I play on PC, most of my friends play on console). Isolating your cheaters in a smaller player pool means those who aren’t cheaters, but remain in that pool, will have a significantly worse time.
At the very least, many players are calling for the addition of an in-game reporting system to flag cheaters, as the only current option is using the game’s official support page — which is a much clunkier option than just clicking a few buttons post match.
343 Community Manager John Junyszek says that the team is hard at work on developing sweeping anti-cheat measures which go beyond a “single feature” approach. Given the team’s rapid response to progression woes, including a patch which significantly speeds up battle pass progress by increasing experience gain, some players at least seem hopeful about 343’s ability to respond to this problem.