Escape from Tarkov developer Battlestate Games has taken to Twitter to release a significant list of players banned for cheating in the game, with the public ‘name and shame’ designed to foster a more positive, understanding community. According to Battlestate, Tarkov has become riddled with cheaters lately, discouraging honest players from engaging in fair multiplayer fights. By listing banned cheaters online, it wants the game’s passionate community to know direct action is being taken.
‘We want honest players to see the nicknames of cheaters to know that justice has been served and the cheater who killed them in a raid has been punished and banned,’ Dmitri Ogorodnikov, Battlestate Games spokesperson recently told TechCrunch of the initiative.
Battlestate began the process of revealing banned players in 2019, and has continued to add to its list in the years since. 6,700 fresh cheaters have been listed on newly-released, publicly available documents, with each recently being caught using proprietary tools to gain an unfair advantage on the battlefield.
According to Battlestate, over 4,000 cheaters were flagged in a single weekend in February 2023.
Cheating has become particularly rampant in Escape from Tarkov due to the multiplayer game’s high difficulty. Skirmishes require effective planning and caution, as weapons have limited magazines, and must be deployed effectively. This has attracted many ‘hardcore’ players to the game – but equally, just as many cheaters, who often use mods to take out players before they can react.
Battlestate is currently in the process of cleaning up these messes using BattlEye, an anti-cheat software that identifies when players have modified the game, and bans them automatically. The names of these users are then passed on to Battlestate, and posted publicly online for everyone to see.
Should these users have similar accounts for other online multiplayer games, it’s a clear signal that their presence should be interrogated in these spaces. Frankly, it’s a direct and refreshing way of cleaning up Tarkov‘s online multiplayer community.
While banned players may be happy to continue cheating in ordinary circumstances, being publicly named will likely make them reconsider how they engage with online games. It’s essentially a modern-day ‘tar and feather’ approach – put cheaters on blast, and see how they enjoy the spotlight.
There is hope this harsh response will lead to fewer cheating incidents in Escape from Tarkov going forward – however, the long-term cleanup is likely to be a slower process.