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Apex Legends: Respawn outlines anti-cheat plans following increasing reports of cheaters

Since the start of Apex Legends' second season, the number of cheaters has seemingly risen.

At least, that's what Apex Legends players believe, especially those grinding the game's new ranked mode. More than ever, players have been posting their experience about running into cheaters in this ultra-competitive mode.

Developer Respawn Entertainment has, too, seen a higher number of reports. In a blog post, the developer shed some light on the work that goes on behind the scenes to combat cheating.

First, the team is working on a few preventative measures to stop cheaters from being able to play in the first place. These include requiring two-factor authentication in certain regions and for certain "high-risk" accounts, and identifying spammer accounts before they're even used.

The developer is working on modelling cheater patterns with the help of machine learning, which should allow the game to automatically detect and ban cheaters without the need for humans to examine the data. This is one component of Respawn's work to adapt to new cheats, which the developer says will be improved thanks to more resources being poured into the process.

Cover image for YouTube video

Elsewhere in the update, Respawn explained some of the new error codes players had been seeing recently, namely "leaf" and "net". Respawn said that it added four new error codes to diagnose the different cases of servers timing out.

This is still a problem players run into daily, so Respawn wanted to know exactly what causes servers to timeout in each incident. The developer believes this happens when the game spends an extended period of time on the loading screen just after the start of the match.

There does appear to be, however, some sort of failure in the process, as the matchmaking and game servers can communicate with one another - creating a session, but the client fails to receive an answer in time, hence the timeout.

"We then gathered enough data to prove that servers don't think clients are timing out, but clients think servers are timing out," Respawn wrote.

"That was a strange finding. We also verified that we aren’t launching matches that are partially full - so code:leaf seems to hit every single player on that match server, not just some players."

The team is now working through the different theories to identify what is causing these issues so they can hopefully be prevented once and for all.

Apex Legends is getting a new update this week, and we'll bring you all the details as soon as we have them.

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Apex Legends

PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch

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Sherif Saed


Sherif (he/him) is VG247’s go-to shooter and Souls-likes person. Whether it’s news, reviews, or op-eds – Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He's one of VG247's most veteran writers, with 10+ years experience on the site.