Dear Bungie: Destiny 2 has become a game of cheaters

Wanna see what your fighting today? CHEATERS! Bring a sword.

Editor Jack Bratcher and myself love Bungie’s Destiny games. The sci-fi HALO type settings and locations are instant nostalgia bombs. The raids are often awe-inspiring instances filled with memorable set pieces. The world and lore designs are top notch and keeps players coming back for more. The season pass reward progression is without a doubt one of the best in multiplayer shooters although the armor ornament sets tend to be awkward looking sometimes and nowhere near the $15 sets they are selling in the shop. Other than that the journeys and experiences are worth it. I’m divorced with joint custody so half of my time is me alone and during this pandemic it has saved me from going nuts.

That is until a few months ago.

Recently, Bungie sent a cease and desist letter to a website I will not name in case they make a comeback. This is part of their “anti-cheat” crackdown they are touting which doesn’t appear to be making much progress. If you are a gamer and saw only a fraction of what I have seen it would mortify you.

I’ll keep this one short. If you don’t know what aim bot is it’s pretty simple. Your weapon will automatically aim at the nearest person even if they are behind a wall meaning you can track them without seeing them. You can encounter a dozen or more of these in a weekend.

I should also mention that there are services that people will pay for and that is how some of these cheaters make their money. Whether it be by carrying somebody through a raid or simply through competitive player versus player matches.

Moving on….

Fusion rifles take some time to charge before firing – unless you have a hack that makes it fully automatic with auto targeting. You haven’t lived until one of these cheating kids jumps in the air and obliterates every player within range and sometimes the range is unlimited. Sniper rifle cheats are even scarier. Fully automatic sniper headshots clips are admittedly funny if you’ve watched a video of it but as a player it is maddening. One that it is happening and two that Bungie appears to only be catching them when streamers report them. The rest of us have a little submit button that I am certain goes unnoticed or gets dismissed because I am just some guy.

Wall hacks and teleport cheats are everywhere. A player can go straight through any wall at any time and/or can teleport to the closest opposing player. One of the most extreme cases I’ve seen happens in a mode called Gambit.

In this match type you and three other players kill a bunch of monsters, collect a bunch of drops, and then go deposit those drops. You try to reach 100 deposited before the other team does. When you hit 100 deposits a big monster appears and you have to kill it before the opposing side can summon and kill theirs. Periodically throughout your match one of your teammates can go through a portal to where the opposing players are and vice versa. You have a short amount of time to kill as many of them as you can. If you die before the time runs out you get sent back to your side. In the game I am referring to, a player could appear on our side at will usually with every hack available. I found out later that the method they use to cross over was a wall hack cheat. They go through the bottom of their map and literally fly to ours. This means that the player can stay as long as they want and will likely never die meaning that you will be farmed over and over while his side can take their time winning the game. Sit back and enjoy the emotes taunting you from the cheater.

Gambit isn’t even one of the competitive modes and there are cheaters participating in it. Here is a video that someone else posted of what it looks like to the cheater. This dude has everything.

Yep. You heard that right. The cheater was in the top viewed tier of Twitch streamers while he was doing this. You cannot even imagine how disheartening it is to be playing a fun game and one of these neck beard cheaters shows up.

One of the most blatant hacks cheaters have been using although I’ve seen it only a few times myself is the instant respawn cheat. This means that at the moment they were killed and at the location they were killed they instantly come back to life. In some cases the time limit of a game runs out because of the number of respawns. This is especially horrifying if you are in an elimination match. A mode where you have a small, set number of lives and respawns. You can’t win one of those when one of the opposing players has an unlimited amount of respawns. Technically, allegedly, supposedly Bungie can detect this and bans them but it doesn’t matter because….

Destiny 2 is free to play if you do not want to purchase the downloadable content you don’t have to. Cheaters get banned and then will instantly create a new account, jump back in, and terrorize players. There are clips of cheaters getting banned and somehow jumping right back in the game. Do you want to know what is really scary?

I didn’t see the Bungie tweet but it was paraphrased to me. It was something to the effect that people who bought downloadable content couldn’t be cheaters. The stupidity of that statement is off the charts. Their thought is that no cheater is going to spend money and risk getting banned and losing it all. When you play a game with no real anti-cheat in place you do not have to worry about getting banned.

Speed hacks are another problem. There is a clip out there of two cheaters on opposing sides running around fighting like The Flash and Reverse Flash. They both have a no damage taken hack so you can imagine how long that went.

The perception right now is that the anti-cheat system Bungie has in place is nothing more than watching streamers play and being sent video clips. If that truly is the case more people are going to be leaving this game.

The gold standard for competitive play in Destiny 2 is Trials of Osiris. For winning seven matches without losing you get to go to a special location and get special gear. Imagine being on win number six and coming up against a team of these guys for number 7. Catching them after the fact is not going to give your dedicated players back all of that time spent trying to get that seventh win in a row. Some players take this mode seriously and look forward to when it starts every Friday. If this continues the player numbers will continue to drop.

I am lucky enough to have a platform where my voice can be heard but there are thousands of players with only the option to hit that little report player button and hope that the gods above notice it.

Perhaps the scariest part of all of this is a quote I pulled from a customer support search.

Bungie provides support only through their online forum system. They do not have a support phone number to call or a supporte-mail address to send e-mails to for help.

Think about that. You pay for a product and the only way to get help is to tweet publicly and tag them in it or go on a forum and hope you don’t get bounced around to older posts that only answer 1/10th of your questions. That alone should tell you all you need to know about why cheating is so rampant.

Bungie, I hope you actually find something to fix the large amount of stuff that is broken right now. You let it go for so long that it’s gotten out of control and your game has become a meme for other games that are happy they are no longer the butt of cheating jokes.

My play time is close to one thousand hours since it launched. I have seen a lot of cheaters.

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