All competitive games inevitably attract cheaters and hackers, unscrupulous players using third party methods to gain unfair advantages in matches. Blizzard has been wary of cheats and hacks in Overwatch 2 since its launch and has added the Defense Matrix to weed out cheaters from the game. Clearly, it works.
Recently, it was reported that thousands of players have been banned from Overwatch 2 for cheating, among other things. The Korean server for OW2 has issued 3,486 bans for cheating and use of unauthorized programs while playing the first-person shooter.
The report was shared by @OverwatchNaeri, one of the most reliable OW insiders on Twitter. The user reported that the source of the information is the Korean Overwatch Forums. It seems that more bans are incoming.
Overwatch 2 First Hacker and Cheating Ban Wave 🚨
October 26 2022, #Overwatch2 Korean Servers 3,486 player accounts using programs not authorized by cheating and Blizzard have ban 🚫
The Overwatch 2 ban wave is just the beginning and will ban more hackers and cheaters. 금지! pic.twitter.com/XIttLARwm0
— Naeri X 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) October 26, 2022
According to the statement given by a Blizzard Support Agent on the Overwatch forums, "'Play nice'; 'Play fair' is one of the core values that Blizzard continues to emphasize. As part of our efforts to uphold these values, we always do our best for a fair gaming environment, and have taken necessary measures against hacks and cheating that impede the complete gaming experience of our players."
"Strict measures are taken against players who use hack and cheat programs by continuously strengthening technical solutions and monitoring systems. In addition, to prevent the development and dissemination of fraudulent programs, legal action against fraudulent program developers and distributors is possible," the statement adds.
The OW2 forum published the usernames of the players who were "sanctioned for using disallowed third-party external programs." OW2 implemented a requirement that players need to have a valid mobile number to play the game.
Blizzard hopes that this measure would deter players from using cheats as mobile numbers can only be registered to one Battle.net account. Many gamers have negatively reacted to the mobile number requirement but Blizzard has defended the move saying that it had to be done to promote a positive playing environment.
OW2 was off to a rocky start as the servers experienced a number of DDoS attacks during day one. There have also been issues with account migration and veteran players being locked in the first-time user experience (FTUE) mode.
There were numerous other issues like character balancing and long player queues for the game. Players have also experienced issues with the aim assist for consoles. Both developers and fans of Blizzard games are quite familiar with rocky launches, but things cleared up pretty fast.
There have also been reports of players using cheats and hacks. Some gameplay footage has been shared on Twitter and other social media platforms highlighting the issue of cheating within OW2. According to job listings at Blizzard, the company is planning to develop an anti-cheat system for Overwatch 2.
For now, players should report those gamers that they encounter who are using cheats. Blizzard has since issued an apology for the negative player experience during the first weeks of OW2. The company has given free cosmetic items as a way to make it up to players.
Overwatch 2 is free-to-play on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Switch.