Psyonix Addresses the Use of AI Bots in 'Rocket League' with Sweeping Ban and Implementation of Anti-Cheat System
In recent months, players of the popular game Rocket League have reported encounters with opponents who seem to possess abnormal abilities such as inhuman ball control while also exhibiting poor boost management skills. However, these peculiar behaviors have been linked to a bot called Nexto with Psyonix, the company behind the popular game now moving to ban it and other bots from use in the game.
Rocket League Background
Rocket League is a physics-based game that combines cars with soccer. Players use their vehicles to hit a giant ball into the opposing team's goal. The game is known for its fast-paced action with players having to execute skillful maneuvers in order to compete in online matches, climb the ranks and earn rewards.
The use of AI bots in the game
Nexto which uses neural networks and was created in an AI development environment called RL Gym was originally a passion project of developers that was not supposed to be used in online matches. However, someone took the AI-based tool from its public repository and began using it in online matches, causing problems in ranked games. The bot has proven itself able to hold, dribble, and flick the ball with inhuman consistency, while also exhibiting other strange actions such as the inability to properly manage rocket boosts and hit simple aerial shots.
Delayed action and response
The discovery of these bots has shaken up the game community at its core, as many believe Rocket League is cheat-proof due to its physics-based nature. Unfortunately, the developers of Rocket League, Psyonix, were silent on the issue for several months, leaving players feeling frustrated and concerned.
However, the company has recently taken action against a number of accounts running bots in the game. Psyonix has also confirmed that it is actively introducing additional anti-cheat functionality, which ideally would prevent these bots from being used altogether, saying:
“While we have been quiet on this topic during this time, we have been actively investigating these bots since they first emerged late last year. When it comes to community conversations about our games So we strive to be active participants, but we’re always going to be more deliberative on issues related to sport safety and competitive integrity, withholding comments until we’re ready to take action.”
What players can do
To help deal with the problem, players are encouraged to use the in-game report menu to report players they suspect are using bots or rule-breaking plugins.
In conclusion then, the use of AI bots in Rocket League has caused concern among players and the developers, Psyonix, have taken action to address the problem by implementing a sweeping ban and new anti-cheat measures. Players can also play their part by reporting suspicious activity in the game. While the delay in communication from Psyonix is understandable, players can now rest assured that the developers are taking steps to ensure a fair and enjoyable experience for all players.
But there is no report option for a suspected bot. Wouldn’t it be helpful to us all – players and developers alike – if there was? Today I came across someone or some bot that double jumps and drives forward endlessly over and over again. The playertag was “tloph”. And I think it might be a bot because, not only would it very tiresome to do that all the time, I encountered the same player/bot yesterday in back to back 1v1 matches. And I stayed the whole time on both matches and it never deviated from what it was doing, just like today in a 3v3 match I was in and it was on my team.