Cheating and Hacking in Shooting Games: The Battle for Fair Play

Cheating is rife in the gaming community, with 32% of players admitting to using cheats at least once. What’s more, around 12% of gamers report cheating regularly. Combined, that’s a significant proportion of the playing community. It’s becoming an increasing problem in first-person shooters, especially when it comes to the esports sector. Now that the livelihoods of thousands of esports professionals and millions of dollars in prize money are at stake, hacking and cheating in gaming has never been more of an issue.

There’s a Long History of Hacking in Video Games

Cheat codes came about rather innocently. When the industry was in its infancy, most developers used codes as a way to test titles for bugs before releasing them to the public. However, few developers went to the effort of removing these codes before games hit the shelves.

One of the first notable gaming hacks was the Konami code. Unlike other cheat codes which were specific to individual games, the Konami code could be used to bring up a master list of cheats for all manner of titles released on the NES. For many players during the 1980s, this cheat code proved a godsend. However, it remained a firm fixture of Konami games for decades, appearing in the likes of Silent Hill 3 and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

When the Cheaters Caught Up with the FPS Genre

Cheat codes and hacking aren’t really a concern in games with single-player campaigns. After all, it’s only an individual player who’s beating the system by unlocking a new weapon upgrade or replenishing a health bar to gain an instant advantage. However, things get a little more complicated when we consider multiplayer games.

Hacking really came into its own with the release of the first major multiplayer games. Once campaigns were being played over the internet, it became increasingly difficult for players to determine whether or not they were going toe to toe with a cheater. What’s more, hacking became increasingly sophisticated, with the first-person shooter genre becoming a particular target.

How Hackers Steal the Advantage

One of the most infamous hacks in the FPS genre is the so-called aimbot. With an aimbot enabled, even a relatively inexperienced player can enjoy pinpoint accuracy when setting their signs on a rival player. Another major issue for shooting games is wallhacks. With these hacks deployed, nefarious players can see through solid objects, such as walls, making it easy to sniff out nearby players.

Famous Cheats from the World of Esports

While many of us are probably guilty of using cheat codes at least once, the amount of hacking in the competitive gaming industry is shocking. Back in 2019, Jonathan ‘JonnyK’ Kosmala of Team Kaliber was caught using a wallhack cheat during a qualifying match at the Fortnite World Cup. He was quickly dropped from the Kaliber roster.

CS:GO isn’t immune to cheating episodes. Back in 2020, more than 30 coaches of esports teams were found to be using exploits during competitive matches. By using the bug, coaches were able to enjoy free access to the entire game map. This might not seem like a big deal, but many coaches were found guilty of relaying what they could see to the players themselves. In the end, several individuals were dealt lifetime bans from coaching.

Thankfully, cheating is fairly rare in top-tier of CS:GO and first-person shooter tournaments. Keen to see how your favorite team is getting on? Head to for everything you need to know.