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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Hogan

The not-so-hidden threat of closet cheats

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Picture of a video game cheat hiding in the shadows

Rage cheating is usually what comes to mind when reading about or discussing the problem of cheating. It’s cheating to the max - blatant, easy to spot, and spoils the fun for everyone except the cheat. It’s often used by cheaters when they’re losing badly or playing against other cheaters; when the sole intention is winning rather than keeping an account.

Examples include auto headshots, silent aim - where you don’t even need to point the gun anywhere - and of course any cheats that give you the power to fly around!

Due to its obviousness, players using rage cheats are soon detected and quickly banned. It’s often considered more honest and less damaging than more subtle cheat tactics - known as hidden or closet cheating - when the goal is to get an advantage and not get spotted.

Far less detectable, these are much more damaging to gameplay and player experience, not to mention competitive gaming and esports. Whilst you’re unlikely to see a leaderboard player blatantly cheating, you might see (or rather not see) them closet cheating.

As one player says in a recent Reddit thread “I think people can agree that closet cheaters are the most dangerous breed of cheaters. They are hard to ban, and hard to spot. They blur the lines between a good player, and a cheater”.

But so what? Both ‘schools’ of cheating have been around for years, so why are we talking about this now? After all, nearly every cheat being sold claims to be undetected. Well, it’s because there seems to be even bigger demand for closet and hidden cheating than before.

Our unique database has detected a 500% increase over the last 12 months in ads for cheats referencing ‘Steamproof’ features allowing cheaters to hide their menus/user interface.

And, on the demand side, terms relating to ‘legit’ cheats are increasing more than those for ‘rage’ cheats across Discord channels.

Graph comparing searches for rage vs close cheats

As one of many cheaters on ElitePVPERS puts it, ‘Hey guys, I would like to know in your opinion or facts what are the best legit cheats for closet players. I want a good cheat to closet with good (sic)’.

Reasons for this trend include better anti-cheat and the increase in player bans which force players to opt for more hidden or closet cheats - as well as things like hardware spoofers, as we’ve reported previously. Then there is the increasing threat for streamers of being exposed as a cheat on YouTube and Twitch, as gaming communities get better at spotting the telltale traits.

And where there's demand, there’s opportunity. Developers are increasingly providing cheats that allow players to dial up or down the features, according to how hidden they want to be.

Example of different features that come with video game cheats

As well as being harder to spot in-game, closet cheats and their vendors can be harder to find and monitor in the ecosystem around games. Often promoted and sold through Private Communities on the likes of Discord and Telegram, rather than ’traditional’ websites and marketplaces, they can be hard for security teams to keep a handle on.

This is why specialized monitoring and intelligence are so important in keeping a step ahead of the cheats, and where Intorqa is uniquely able to help.

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