In today’s article, we will delve into the topic of aimbots and their potential to forever change the gaming industry. It is a well-known fact that first-person shooter games have a high number of cheaters, despite the advancements in anti-cheat technology. The issue lies in distinguishing between a skilled player and a cheater.
While it may seem easy to assume that a player with near-perfect aim must be using some sort of cheat, there are also extremely talented gamers who can blur the line between human and machine. Additionally, it is easy to modify aimbots to be slightly less than perfect in order to evade simple anti-cheat measures while still providing the user with an unfair advantage. As a result, anti-cheat technology has shifted from analyzing player input to detecting suspicious software activity during gameplay.
How Aimbots Work
Aimbots function by patching data, such as the location of enemy heads, from a system’s memory while the game is running, and using this data to direct the crosshair to specific locations. From an anti-cheat perspective, various measures are taken to detect suspicious activity on a device, such as memory scans and file checks, in an attempt to ban cheaters.
Over the years, both cheats and anti-cheats have been locked in a continuous arms race, utilizing increasingly advanced methods to outsmart one another. However, it seems that cheaters may ultimately come out on top, as a new type of aimbot that is completely undetectable by traditional means has emerged due to the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
How the New Aimbot Works
This new method requires the use of two separate computers. The first, the primary computer, runs the game and is a completely clean system with a legitimate copy of the game installed. However, while running the game, this computer sends a live recording of the gameplay via a capture card to a second computer.
This second computer uses artificial intelligence to analyze the gameplay footage frame-by-frame, identifying which pixels on the screen represent enemies, similar to how self-driving cars work. It then calculates the series of inputs necessary to move the crosshair onto the enemy’s head and sends these inputs back to the gaming computer using a device that can mimic controller or mouse inputs, without accessing any information in memory or interacting with game files in any way.
This is a virtually undetectable cheat because all the cheating software runs on a separate computer from the one running the game. From the anti-cheat’s perspective, it appears as if a highly skilled human player is using a completely clean system. In theory, the anti-cheat could ban anyone using a video capture card, although there are many legitimate reasons for using one. Even if this were to happen, it would not stop this type of cheating for long, as machine learning artificial intelligence will eventually advance to the point where even blurry footage from a webcam physically pointed at the screen will be sufficient for the cheat to work without the need for a capture card.
Check out this video featuring a robot created by an individual named Kamal Carter. This robot is able to move a mouse, and what makes it special is that it is being controlled by artificial intelligence analyzing live video footage of gameplay, similar to what powers the undetectable aimbot cheat. However, it does not need to send inputs through a spoofer, as it can move the mouse itself. It is quite literally an aimbot in the truest sense.
This robot is already capable of some impressive feats, and imagine if it were able to operate using a webcam pointed at the screen instead of a video capture card. This could mean that it could operate without any physical connection to the computer running the game – no capture card, no mouse spoofer, nothing.
If this becomes a reality, it would be game over for anti-cheat as we know it, as there would be no reasonable way to counter it. It would be impossible for a software anti-cheat to find proof of any cheating, as it is occurring on a completely separate and disconnected computer. While this is concerning for the future of competitive gaming, it is also fascinating from a technical perspective and raises many philosophical questions about gaming, artificial intelligence, and existence itself.
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