COD: MW3 – How to Defeat Hackers

On November 8th 2011, Activision Blizzard launched its 8th Call of Duty game: Modern Warfare 3. According to them, it was the most lucrative entertainment launch of all time, with over 6,5 million copies sold in one day.

We can certainly assume that the majority of it was for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, but even if that would be over 90% of sales, 6,5 M copies in one day still means a lot of people playing MW3 on their PC.

PC Players online on November 15th 2011, around noon (EST)

PC gamers have the advantage of a generally smoother gameplay, a customizable experience and largely superior graphics, however there is a major downside to it: hackers.

Most of us, gamers, enjoy playing our games legitimately. We either don’t really care, and want to have a blast, or we fight our way to better skills. However, some people have no respect for themselves and other players. They can’t stand playing by the rules, and they don’t care if they spoil the fun for all of us, real gamers, who paid 60$ (or 60€) for the game. They are hackers.

From day one of a game with such high popularity, you have to expect hacks will be out already. MW3 was no exception. You can buy aimbots, wallhacks and others for around 20 US$ without breaking a sweat.

Some players say that the only thing to do is either stop playing the game or start hacking.

In this article, I will try to show you how to crush hackers, in game, without hacking.

What you will need:

– Balls: Required if you’re to go against all odds, and hope to be successful.

– Skills: Not anyone can do it; it requires some training.

– Discipline: Skills aren’t enough to beat “good” hackers. You will need discipline.

Step 1: Spot a Hacker

Most people who hack are easy to spot. If you watch the in-game KillCam, you will notice them snapping on you very quickly when they kill you. However, sometimes, it’s tricky. Some aimbots don’t snap on enemies; they move more smoothly, to avoid detection. Some other cheats, called wallhacks, will have the hacker see through walls, and they will shoot at you without any assistance. That makes it very difficult to spot in KillCam. One thing you can keep in mind to spot hackers is that the average human reflex speed is at best 200ms, but our eyes can easily notice a 5ms delay. Train your eyes to see the difference between someone who takes 200ms to notice you, then shoot you; and someone who already knows you’re there.

When you can determine that someone has “inhuman reflexes”, there are only two possibilities:

– The enemy knows the map well, and knows to expect people in this, or that spot.

– The enemy is a hacker.

The best way to differentiate the 2 is to use common sense. A player couldn’t possibly shoot corners each time; he wouldn’t have enough bullets. Also, it’s one thing to pull some crazy shots once, on one player, or group of players, but after 10 times… The odds are that the enemy is hacking.

Step 2: Report the Hacker

Remember the hacker’s name, or note it somewhere. After the game is over, find him in Steam, and report him as a hacker. If you’re lucky, he will get his account banned. The more people report him, the better. So take a few minutes and do it!

Step 3: Know your Enemy

To defeat hackers, it’s important to know how hacks work.

Here you can see two already popular hacks. The first one has multiple features and the second is a bit more simple. In the end, both work the same way:

A video game uses (notably) a game engine and a video engine to work.

-The video engine is what you see. Shapes, textures, animations, etc. It is mostly managed by your video card, and it takes a lot of computing power (generating millions of pixel, around 60 times per second). Some hacks will have modified textures or lighting, to help see in the dark for example, or to literally see through walls.

-The game engine is what makes things happen. When you press a button to shoot somebody, the game engine calculates your position, the bullet trajectory, and the position of all other objects is affected by the bullet’s action. If an enemy is calculated to be in the bullet trajectory, then damage is applied to the enemy appropriately. It is mainly managed by your CPU, and takes a relatively small amount of calculation power. The host’s computer does that computing for the most part. Players’ computers then exchange commands with the host’s computer (commands example: move player from XYZ to X’Y’Z’, or player shoots gun from XYZ pointing towards X’Y’Z’). That is the actual reason it doesn’t take too much bandwidth to play most video games.

Most hacks exploit weaknesses in the game engine. As commands are made, and received, they are stored in the RAM memory of the players’ computers. Hacks read, then edit those commands. Sophisticated hacks, like aimbots, will run a video engine mod at the same time you play, and give you visual indications, instead of just clicking blindly. That’s the squares and targets in the above videos.

Now, all that information tells us a few things about hacks in general.

-Most hacks require interception and edition of commands in the RAM memory, practically doubling hackers’ ping; at best. You can expect major lags most times (over 400ms ping).

If the host hacks, the whole server will lag: in that case, you should probably just leave  the server.

If someone who isn’t hosting hacks, he will lag the most: you can use this to your                   advantage, because even if the hacker has tactical advantage over you, you can                 still surprise him.

-Hacks do allow 360° detection and shooting. But as you can see in the videos, most hackers don’t really use that feature. Their small brains are simply overwhelmed by the information thrown at them, so they focus on what they see (forward), most of the time.

 This means most hackers can be effectively attacked from behind, because they                  are too incompetent to look there.

-Most hacks (aimbots) aim for either the head, the neck or the chest; dead centre of it, and hackers are so bad at games that they won’t bother adjusting their fire if it doesn’t work.

You can use cover to your advantage. If only your part of your body sticks out to             the side of cover, and you have a favourable angle, the hacker will shoot at the                 cover, not at you. However, you will be able to shoot at him (since you don’t                       hack).

-Most hacks (especially wallhacks, but aimbots too, to an extent) require the player to interact at some point. Either lock on his enemy, or shoot the gun, or aim (wallhacks). That still implies the 200ms reflex delay.

 If your reflexes are good, you can compete with hackers if you know the map                   very well and their approximate location. Shoot before them, and be lethal,                         because they won’t miss.

-Most hackers don’t really look at the environment; they focus on enemy players.

Claymores, Bouncing Betty, C4 and explosive barrels are your friends. Hackers                    often are too lazy to look for them. If you know the maps, you can deal a lot of                  causalities to cheaters with them.

Step 4: Defeat the Hacker

Now that we know how the game works and how hackers exploit it, we can beat them. If you play alone, it’s harder to be successful, so try to play with your team-mates. Here are a few very effective tips:

Move in teams of 2. Alone, you don’t have backup, and it’s hard to focus on your target. More than 2 will attract too much of the hacker’s attention.

NEVER go face to face with hackers. Unless they are really bad at it, they will beat you. Always flank them, and ultimately aim to be in their back. A hacker is easier to kill from behind than a normal player, because he is too lazy to look there.

Use explosives. As explained above, hackers often don’t look for explosives. If you know a hacker is coming your way, pitch a grenade his way. Odds are he will get killed.

Tactical grenades are worthless. Hackers don’t need to see you to shot you.

Use cover to your advantage. If you are completely exposed, you are done, but if you get even a little bit of solid cover, it might give you a sufficient edge to beat the hacker.

Don’t run, but don’t stall. Running diminishes your reflexes. Don’t do it, unless necessary. I know you’re in a hurry to beat that hacker, but if you run, you will fail. If you stop moving, HE will move in on you, so just keep moving.

Step 5: Enjoy your Victory

Keep in mind that hackers are not unbeatable. They have tons of weaknesses. Also, they are nothing more than below average intelligence humans without balls, nor common sense. If you spot a hacker, and beat him, just remind him of how pathetic he is with a friendly comment such as “That was easy, good game!”, or “I’m bored, let’s change servers”. If you are aggressive with him, he will only enjoy it. Most importantly, don’t forget to report him!

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7 Responses to COD: MW3 – How to Defeat Hackers

  1. Jeremy Tunesi says:

    Very good report. However, the Wii is what I use and they have different hacks. It would be nice to have a related talk for that version. There are thousands of them, and people like me would find that info very useful. We deal with Custom Secondaries Akimbo’ (ex. akimbo + Extended Mags) Killstreak Stacker, Specialist Predator Missile (Not a selectable kill streak for normal Wii players) (Requires hacks) (5 kills with specialist perks), Infinite UAV, Assualt and Support Streaks togheter (ex. AH6 + Pave Low + Stealth Bomber), Aimbot, Damage, You name it.

  2. RAMBO, John J. says:

    I have to admit this. After playing honestly for over 10 years, I finally relented and tried the hacking path for PC. It has come to the point where “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”. COD MW3 is utterly plagued by hackers, and they have ruined my multiplayer experience.

    So after a few months of having my ass handed to me in every game, by hackers, I figured I’d check it out and see what it was about. $13.95 PayPal later, I’m all set to hack.

    I fire up the hack.exe and launch the game. I select my Class and join a Server. Instantly, my character is firing into the sky, racking up 3 Quad-Kills in a row, without even moving the mouse.

    Then I Started running the map. Within the first 30 seconds of playing, I was at 15-1 KD ratio and I hadn’t even seen another player yet on my screen. While the multi-kills and their associated game sounds were exhilarating, I was already getting bored with a game I once quite enjoyed. This took no effort at all, and was mind-numbingly boring.

    By the 1 minute mark, my fellow multiplayers were onto me. It was obvious I was hacking. Rightfully so, I recieved a lot of flack from it. But I wanted to play a full round before drawing conclusions just yet.

    Up til the point of buying the hack, I was proud of my COD MW3 Achievements. I enjoyed having to compete against other human beings to complete the task-specific Achievements. Suddenly, I found myself with all sorts of Achievements after ONE Round, and ZERO effort or skill. The Achievements reached using the hack went unnoted and unappreciated by myself- and undoubtedly by my Round-mates.

    After the first Round, as much as I gained in XP, Weapon XP and Achievements, I lost enjoyment of the game as well- using the hack. A brain dead monkey could do this with not even a hint of sweat. I am a lot more intelligent, and have much more skill than a brain dead monkey. I lined myself up for Round 2.

    Selected my Class, joined the Server and gave it another chance. Ranked up 4 times, Weapon Unlocks, Achievements galore. I hadn’t moved an inch in the map. 1 minute in and I’m 17-0. “wow.. This is fun :(…” I thought. Boredom set in instantly- no incentive to do anything on the map- multi kill after multi kill. Yawn. Then, the well-deserved Hate messages started flooding the chat. Players started leaving. I was the most hated player on the Server. Could I blame them? Nope. Not at all.

    Round 3. Disabled the Hack and changed Screenname. 30 seconds into the Round, Killcam shows obvious Hacker time and time again. My score: 2-9. 2 kills, 9 deaths. All of the sudden the challenge is back. Survive. Kills are an added bonus, but survival is the task- survive against skilled players, and survive against the hacks.

    Having played honestly and without cheats or hacks since Soldier of Fortune Version 1, and with only 2 Rounds of hacking in that time- hacking isn’t worth it. If you really enjoy the challenges that are available in this game, best to keep on fighting the hackers, because joining them will likely ruin the game completely for you.

    In the end for me, it came down to this: I can play a frustrated game with the inevitable hackers, and honestly build my skill-against cheats no less. If you can beat a hacker- you know yourself- you’re good. That’s the new unofficial Achievement for me. Or…

    Use the hack, which dishonestly Ranks you up into the hugest levels of Prestige and you build no skill but make a lot of people mad at you.

    Hacking ain’t worth it in my opinion. Don’t do it if you want common respect in the gaming community.

    -an oldschool gamer Circa 1998

  3. Dan says:

    Your strategies make a lot of sense but I wish there was software or”hacks that would counter the asshole using the wall hacks or aimbot…better yet imagine your in a game and all of a sudden one of the hackers avatar turns pink..signifying the presence of a hacker…lol

    • nthirtytwo says:

      I’ve thought exactly the same thing for a long time! The funny thing is it shouldn’t be very hard to do. Hacks read and write in the memory values used by the game. Every hack usually look for a specific set of values. Thus, a software that would look for abnormal activity at those values would be able to detect the presence of a hack. It could be updated a little bit like an antivirus software with a “hack database”. Unfortunately though, I have no experience in programing and I don’t want to invest time in learning it, so that’s something someone else has gotta do!

  4. nassim says:

    How Defeat the hacker user controlor to control my serveur ?

  5. Peter Smythe says:

    Another point, useful against any player but especially hackers. You can use lag to your advantage. If you have a ping of 150 ms and the hacker has a ping of 400, that means you can literally dodge bullets if you pre-predict them. He sees 200 ms in the past and must act 200 m/s more beforehand. That is to say, his aim bot still has 200 ms reaction time.
    Consider this on the server:
    You both enter a room. He fires and then right before he would see you die. You fire and HE dies.
    Assuming no lag-compensating extrapolation of player’s positions and states are being used by the game:

    The server’s timeline. (with zero at the first event, what actually happened)
    t=0 ms. You both enter the room.
    t=350 ms. You fire, he dies.
    t=400 ms. He attempts to fire while dead.

    Global timeline: (with zero at the first event)
    t=0 ms. He enters the room on his screen.
    t=125 ms. You enter the room on your screen.
    t=200 ms. You both enter the room according to the server.
    t=275 ms. He enters the room on your screen.
    t=400 ms. You enter to room on his screen. He fires on his screen.
    t=475 ms. You fire on your screen.
    t=550 ms. You fire according to the server. He dies according to the server. Encounter finished (according to the server).
    t=600 ms. He fires according to the server. Bullets are rejected because he is dead.
    t=625 ms. He dies on your screen. Encounter finished (according to you).
    t=750 ms. You fire on his screen. He dies on his screen. Encounter finished (according to him).
    t=800 ms. His PC gets message stating that he cannot fire while dead.

    Your timeline: (with zero at the first event)
    t=0 ms. You enter the room.
    t=150 ms. He enters the room.
    t=350 ms. You fire.
    t=500 ms. He dies.

    His timeline: (with zero at the first event)
    t=0 ms. He enters the room.
    t=400 ms. You enter the room. He fires.
    t=750 ms. He dies.
    t=800 ms. His PC gets message stating that he cannot fire while dead.

    Note that in all cases. The battle lasts 350 ms. What is different is who shot first and entered first and by how much and whether the battle makes logical sense. The hacker had no chance. As far as he is concerned, he would have to fire 50 ms before you entered the room.

    Which brings us to games with lag-compensating extrapolated physics. Many modern games (the first being HALO) send the velocity AND position of objects to the server and the server then sends it to all of the players who see things adjusted based on what they should be when their actions reach the server. This can make the previous method less likely to work, but opens up new possibilities for exploitation. For example, if a hacker is guarding a hallway with a 2-meter entrance, they will see you run by and shoot at your image. of course, you don’t plan on actually going to where he is, so he will fire at you and expect you to reappear dead in 1200 ms. You, being aware he would attempt to kill you, don’t actually go past the hallway immediately, instead, you wait just one pause of the keys (100 ms) and because of the simplified physics, stop on a dime. If you were moving 13 feet/s, he now fires 13 inches from your head’s center instead of right at it. No, instead, you run at him and stab him with a knife. He notices 500 ms later that you are about 23 feet down the hall (behind him) and whirls around to kill you, you continue running, and stab him. He dies after seeing two ghosts of you.
    Of course, it is actually possible in either case for random spazzing to save you from an aim bot with down to 40 ms ping.

  6. JT says:

    In 2015 the issue is worse than ever. After over one hundred bucks spent on this game which includes the dlc I feel strongly that it’s Xbox live or the mw3 COD franchises job to permanently ban hackers for life. Shouldn’t be my….as a consumer…problem to deal with. Naturally after countless reports sent as well as a few letters it’s obvious that this franchise upon getting their bottom line met can give a shi@ less about their products quality or playing sustainability. Hacking, modded controllers, etc are apparently accepted facts without much if any recourse. I’ve always been surprised that class action lawsuits haven’t been filed against these corporations based that their track records of how they maintain their products from cradle to grave especially since the same problems recur after each release.

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