Rust developer FacePunch has implemented an anti-cheat measure called CheatPunch, which has already identified and kicked out a significant number of players despite launching on official servers only.
In a website update, studio founder Garry Newman said 4,621 people were detected and banned after the technology was switched on over the weekend.
"If you get kicked from the official servers with the message that you’ve been banned then you have been caught. You’re a naughty boy. You know what you have done," Newman said.
"You won’t get unbanned. We know it was your nine year old cousin. We know your computer got hijacked. We know that the CIA is getting you banned from all your games on Steam so you will join them in the hunt for aliens."
Acknowledging that cheating technology will soon overtake CheatPunch, Newman said FacePunch intends to keep fighting, and will even set up a site where banned players can view proof of their crimes.
"CheatPunch isn’t the answer to all of our prayers. It’s a stop gap solution. It’s going to get rid of a bunch of cheaters, but it’s not hard to get around (by design)," he said.
"We fully expect cheats to be touted as ‘CheatPunch proof’ quite soon. That’s cool. We’re never going to be finished fighting."
Until the team is sure it's stable, the tech will not be rolled out to third-party servers, but server owners can opt-in by updating to the latest version and running with “-cheatpunch” on the command line.
Newman is known for implementing pretty clever systems to catch ne'er-do-wells; he once introduced en error to Garry's Mod that only affected pirated versions of the game, encouraging affected users to contact him for support. Ha ha.
Rust has sold over 1 million copies on Steam Early Access.