What is probably one of the largest multiplayer
games played today? Well, the number one talked about game used to be [and
probably still is] Counter-Strike. And, with so many players, there
always comes cheaters. Those who play Counter-Strike on a continuous
basis know what a cheater is and how common they are. As Steam and Valve
work to keep up with stopping cheaters with new anti-cheat software, it
usually takes only hours to a day to find a new leak in the game and exploit
it. Cheats range from being able to look through walls to auto-aim. Imagine
your cross-hair automatically jumping to the head of each opponent you encounter.
Not only is this unfair to other players, but should take most of the fun
out of the game. One of the major reasons this occurs for Counter-Strike
is the fact is it is a computer game. Players, with computer games, also
have direct access to the code used to run the game. After enough time,
those familiar with programming can find some type of weakness. This is
what makes playing console games, such as Halo 2, on the X-Box Live network
so great. With a console, it is nearly impossible for players to access
the code; so cheating should not exist. But it does, especially in Halo
2. Now Bungie finds itself in the same dilemma as Steam and Valve,
how to handle and prevent cheating.
You would be lying to yourself if you didn't think people cheated on Halo
Glitches and Bugs in Halo 2
Before I begin with how players are cheating, I'm going to expose some of
the bugs that players have discovered and taken advantage of. The largest
exploited bug in Halo 2 multiplayer occurs in Assault games. During Assault,
each team is given two rounds to play on offense and two rounds to play
on defense. The team on offense must plant a bomb at a specified location,
while the team on defense must prevent a bomb plant from occurring [pretty
similar to Counter-Strike de_maps. When an offensive player is
killed while carrying the bomb, the bomb is dropped at that exact location.
The defensive team cannot touch or carry the bomb, so it sits at the dropped
location for a certain time period. While the bomb is dropped, all players
can see its location with a beacon. However, while an offensive player is
carrying the bomb, the defensive team has no idea where it is.
Each round usually last two to three minutes, usually ending with a sudden
death overtime. Here is where Bungie has encountered the first exposed glitch.
A player can take the bomb and literally hide forever with it. Clans [teams]
have used this tactic to win games. A player will get the bomb and hide
in 'special' hiding places where they cannot be found. The clan allows their
player to wait there until the opponent clan grows weary and quits the game.
By a clan quitting a game, they forfeit the win. It has been recorded that
some clans will allow a player to hide for over an hour [boring!] to cause
the opponent clan to quit. That sucks!
The next glitch is walls that can be used to walk through and hide in. Some
of the Halo 2 maps have glitches like this all over them. Bungie's
only solution to the maps that had multiple wall glitches was to pull the
maps from matchmaking. Great!! There aren't even that many maps to begin
with, Bungie can't afford to take any more out. In fact, Bungie needs to
create more maps for download, and quickly [which they are doing].
The wall glitch doesn't just end with people using them to hide and travel
in either. There are certain spots on multiple maps where players can grab
the flag and bomb from behind a wall. Players will notice the bomb, or flag,
just disappear out of thin air. How fair is that!
Flag Grab Glitch
This glitch is simple. Players have figured out how to grab the flag from
far distances away. Teams will be protecting their flag stand and next thing
they know, their flag has vanished about thirty feet into the hands of an
offensive opponent. Bungie definately knows about this glitch and are working
to figure out what is causing it. Check out the pictures from Bungie.Net.
Each picture shows the path of a flag carrier [yes, this information is
logged too]. Notice that the blue path runs the flag starting from the flag
base. The red path, on the other hand, shows that a player started with
the flag about 30 game feet from the flag base. While this move is considered
a glitch that can be taken advantage of by all, I would call it cheating.
Notice the blue line representing the route of the flag carrier.
This is a proper route, starting from the flag post.
Notice the red line representing the route of the flag carrier.
Notice that the route begins far from where the flag stand is. Somehow
the player grabbed the flag from here.
You can either hate or love the energy sword. That sword can change the
face of game play quickly. If a player is hot with that sword, he can easily
achieve a killing spree of 10-15 kills before he is taken out. One of the
best uses of the sword is on Ivory Tower. If you are able to hold the sword
and sniper rifle, you are a lethal source on the hallway. All you have to
do is take a hallway corner and watch the length of it with the sniper rifle.
If anyone gets too close, whip out the sword and start slashing. Ok, that's
a tip, not the glitch.
Have you ever wanted to be able to lunge at a player up to thirty yards
away? Well, it should be impossible considering that the sword reticule
does not turn red until you are about 8 yards away from your target. Well,
it is not impossible thanks to a glitch similar to that of Counter-Strike.
In Counter-Strike, players figured out that if they have their reticule
on an opponent with their handgun out, they can quickly do a 'previous-weapon'
switch to an AWP [sniper] Rifle and snap shot it with deadly affect. Well,
the same goes for the sword but, instead of accuracy, you gain range; tons
of range. Here is how it works:
You need to be carrying the energy sword and another weapon [lets say the
Assault Rifle]. For example, imagine you are watching the long hall area
on the Ivory Tower map. With your AR out, keep a watch out down the hall
for opponent players. Once a player enters your field of vision, target
your assault rifle on them [unzoomed] until the reticule turns red [meaning
your aim is on target]. Once the reticule becomes red, quickly change to
your sword and do the 'full swing' [right trigger] instead of the simple
melee. If you time it perfect, you will go soaring at your opponent with
a lunge that will be talked about for days.
Again, Bungie has acknowledged this glitch but, because of the difficulty
of performing the move, has not considered it a problem... yet.
All of the above are acknowledged 'glitches', but they are not considered
cheats as all players can find ways to exploit them.
Players Cheating in Halo 2
Alright, this is what really pisses online players off. There is a cheat
that is acknowledged by Bungie, and Bungie is taking the steps to remove
players from X-Box Live who do cheat. While the cheat has nothing to do
with the game software, it does take advantage of the latest hardware and
What the Cheat Looks Like
Imagine yourself playing a game of capture the flag and you are on defense.
Your team/clan remain close to the flag, as to not allow your opponent team
take it and capture it. While the opponent clan has made some attempts for
your flag, your clan has pushed them back every time. Then it happens: while
your entire clan is hanging around the flag post doing flag protection,
you all of a sudden get a notice that your flag has been taken. You look,
and with bewilderment, your flag is gone! And, within ten seconds of your
clan being taken, the other clan scores... in ten seconds!!
This has happened during many team matches, leaving the defensive team in
shock on what they did wrong or how they let their flag get away. Well,
if your story is like the one listed above, a player [or players] on the
opponent team/clan was probably cheating. This same move can be used with
Assault too. Defensive team will be protecting a dropped bomb, then the
bomb disappears and plants without the clan seeing a single player come
to retrieve it.
How the Cheat is Done
Simple, you can probably start doing it right after you read this. Some
of the newer broadband modems and routers have a new 'standby' button. All
you have to do is hit this button while playing a match, and you can move
around the map unhindered. Then, when you take the flag and have run it
away some distance, shut the 'standby' off and the other players are immediately
notified that their flag is gone. By hitting 'standby', you and your actions
become a ghost.
Why the Cheat Works
First, this is why I don't think people should have to pay five bucks a
month for X-Box Live. You have purchased the X-Box, you have purchased the
game, you should be able to play for free. For those of you who play Counter-Strike,
you know how many free servers there are to play on.. and their dedicated
and fast too! X-Box Live doesn't play matches on dedicated servers, their
servers just help transit all the consoles to one host; one of the consoles
connected to that match. This is why, during a matchmaking game, the game
will pause and you will be presented with a blue screen saying 'setting
up game' and 'setting up connection.' This means that the chosen host of
that match left the game, and the X-Box Live servers are working to make
another console the host. So, you pay five dollars to have you, or another,
host the game.
Because of this, the cheating glitch can be done. The coding for Halo
2 on X-Box Live tells the servers to wait on information on each console.
What the servers should do is force the particular console to keep up. If
the console can't keep up, it is the one that should be experiencing all
the lag and losing packets of information. However, this is not the case.
Instead, the game continues on like normal [even though all players may
notice an increase in lag], even without information coming from the cheater's
console. This is what happens with the 'standby' button. The player/cheater,
who used 'standby', continues to play on his own console without sending
any of his movements to the other players' consoles. Then, after the cheater
has made his move, he will shutoff 'standby'. All the other consoles then
get the updated information from the cheaters console about his movements
and flag grabs... and the other consoles listen to this information!!!
While I'm hoping that Bungie will step it up in patch and map production,
they currently seem to spend most of their time trying to catch the cheaters
and suspend them from X-Box live. What this means is that you will probably
still encounter cheaters while playing Halo 2 games.
A Fun Halo 2 Glitch
If you had read this entire article, you will remember the part about being
able to lunge far distances with the energy sword. Well, imagine lunging
so far, that it would be like you were flying. This is possible, and here
are the steps:
Setup a Game on Coagulation
Make sure to have two players for the map
Make sure to have the energy sword as a weapon on the map
With your sword, grab the warthog and drive it to the center of the
Have another player fly the banshee over to your location
Line up the warthog so, when sitting passenger, you can line up your
reticule with the sniper spot high on the cliff
Have the player who flew the banshee get out and come within range of
your target reticule [turn red] with the sword
While sitting passenger, press the right trigger to attack that player
[reticule must be red], nothing should happen but you may feel your controller
vibrate a little.
Next, remain seated and DO NOT press any other buttons. Allow the other
player to jump back into the banshee and fly up to the sniper cliff.
Once the player is up there, they should jump out of the banshee and
just stand within view of you on the cliff.
Remember, you are still sitting passenger in the warthog
Place your reticule back over the other player [it will NOT turn red],
now press the 'X' button
You should end up flying out of the car directly at the other player.
It's a neat trick! If you are able to record yourself doing it, send it