The term “Play nice, play fair, or you won’t play at all” comes to mind in regards to Blizzard’s mentality toward cheaters. Before the release of Overwatch, the company made an announcement about how all players found cheating would be permanently banned. Additionally, in a forum post by Lylirra, a community manager on Battle.net, we were given more specifics about Blizzard’s policy on cheating in Overwatch and explained how to report others if they suspect cheating:
If a player is found to be cheating — or using hacks, bots, or third-party software that provides any sort of unfair advantage — that player will be permanently banned from the game. Full stop, not only does cheating undermine the spirit of fair play that all of our products are based on, but it works to diminish the fun and enjoyment of others. While we are unlikely to publicly acknowledge when accounts are closed as a result of cheating or using unauthorized programs, we have and will continue to monitor Overwatch for exploitative behavior, as well as take action as needed to preserve the integrity of game.
A recent follow-up of their statements can be seen in China, where Blizzard and their partner NetEase have been consistently banning cheaters and not only announced a 1572 player ban wave, but also every username that was banned. Oh, you might want to turn on Google Translator if you want to see the list.
Users of a popular Overwatch cheat program began posting on the software’s forums after the first ban wave happened, to the point that the program’s creators have closed down the authentication servers until they can figure out how to combat Blizzard’s anti-cheat program. However, a staff member did mention that they will be working on a way around Blizzard’s enforcement:
We are already working on a better way to handle detection, there is no ETA yet.
Upon browsing further the third-party software’s forums, some people are even reporting bans than span multiple copies of the game:
Didn’t hack on it at all, just wanted to enjoy the game a bit. Two days later I was banned again. Bought the game, again. But before doing that I deleted Overwatch and the launcher completely. Enjoyed it again without cheating only for a day.
Others have claimed that they even tried altering their MAC Addresses, BiosDate, altering hard drive IDs, and even obtaining a new VPN, but in the end they all got banned.
As avid players of Overwatch who play the game fairly, we have one bit of advice for those suffering: don’t cheat and you won’t get punished!