Ever since the release of Apex Legends in February, cheaters have run rampantly in King’s Canyon. It became such a problem that Respawn issued several waves of HWID (hardware ID) bans to any known hacker. While this helps to mitigate the dilemma, it does not stop cheaters from finding new ways to circumvent the game’s cheating algorithm, such as the scourge of soft cheating.
There is no arguing against the effort Respawn Entertainment has put forth to stop hackers. Installing Anti-Cheat and banning players’ entire hardware are just some of the attempted fixes. However, the Anti-Cheat software only works to a certain extent.
The way this software works is it scans an Origin account for any noticeable cheat programs. If a player attempts to log into an account with one of these large cheat programs, Anti-Cheat denies them access.
Although, some users have noticed how this software works and found ways around it using smaller hacks, avoiding Anti-Cheat.
To keep it simple, soft cheating is using toned down versions of cheating programs. For example, instead of using a full-on Aimbot that misses without fail, players will use a lessened version where the program will allow them to miss shots. However, this Aimbot will still lock on to an enemy like any other.
The reason why this is so effective is the hack is less noticeable to Anti-Cheat. So when the user is logging in with this program installed, Anti-Cheat doesn’t pick it up.
Reddit user DarthAesder explains soft cheating perfectly in a post. He also brings up another excellent point in regards to why this is such a problem. While these hacks are obvious to a grizzled veteran, some newer players might fail to notice what’s happening. If they’re spectating the cheater and see the Aimbot is missing some shots, they’ll think they got killed by a really good player. This will result in them not reporting the hacker, allowing them to keep on playing.
Unlike previous cheating scandals in Apex Legends, this one is a different animal. Respawn was able to effectively use Anti-Cheat to find the accounts of cheaters in the past. This led to the studio issuing the HWID bans.
However, with soft cheating, Respawn has no idea which accounts are cheating unless they are reported. But as stated above, the nature of soft cheating makes it more difficult to tell if a player is hacking.
Respawn has yet to comment on the new soft cheating craze, but if their past is any indication they will address it soon. In the meantime, unfortunately, this new wave of cheaters will keep wreaking havoc in King’s Canyon.
Joey Carr is a University of North Georgia Journalism graduate. He has 4+ years experience covering Esports and traditional sporting events, including Dreamhack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.