eSports and Third-Party Plugins: a Dangerous Relationship

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Esports is booming. Valve

People love competition. Some people love competition so much, in fact, that they train their whole lives in order to compete in a certain sport or activity. In the past decade, the eSports industry has grown tremendously, and some people spend their entire teen years and early 20’s training in certain video games.

This may sound ridiculous, but keep in mind that many people have made careers out of becoming eSports professionals, raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, there’s a major issue that plagues many competitive games: cheating.

Cheats and hacks are prevalent in competitive games, though developers tend to do a good job stamping the users of said hacks before any progress is made. For example, rarely can one hack their way into the competitive scene.

One developer cracking down on hacks is Moonton, the developers of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang.

Burning the Map (Hacks)

Third-party plugins are more than a mild nuisance to game developers--they’re downright annoying. From allowing a simple FPS (frames per second) counter to bringing in wall hacks, it’s no wonder why developers bar the use of any third-party plugin.

Moonton just discovered why third-party plugins are a bad idea, the discovery occurring right after certain players used a third-party plugin that allowed them to “map hack”. This map hack allowed these players to see a full overview of the map, including objectives, enemies, and other players.

Of course, this didn’t fit the ruleset Moonton had in mind for Mobile Legends, and the third-party plugin was immediately banned, along with the players who took advantage of the plugin.

Since then, Moonton has released a statement revealing their stance on third-party plugins of any kind.

“The official operation team of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is dedicated to maintaining a fair and just game environment...For the use of plug-ins/scripts in the game, we always adhere to the “zero tolerance” policy and will severely punish the violators. We kindly remind you: Please do not trust any third-party plug-ins to avoid the loss of game accounts and personal property.”

Moonton went on to explain that all players who installed any third-party plugin will face a ban, though the length of the ban will vary from player to player.

Moonton isn’t the first developer to take the threat of third-party plugins seriously, and they won’t be the last. However, there are some third-party plugins that still work and should be used whenever possible. No, I’m not talking about plugins that allow you to cheat; I’m talking about plugins that can enhance your gaming experience.

Plugins That Still Work

VPNs

VPNs, short for virtual private networks, are primarily used to encrypt data going to-and-from your device. However, when it comes to competitive gaming, using a gaming VPN stops lag in its tracks.

If there’s one thing worse than unstable game performance, it’s lag. But with a VPN, you’re able to route your connection through different servers in different countries, which then gives you the opportunity to reduce the amount of lag in your games.

Modern VPN technology ensures lag from VPNs themselves are of the past, so it doesn’t hurt to use one, and can really help depending on your connection.

FPS Counter Plugins

In competitive games, it’s important to ensure your game is running optimally. If your frame rate keeps dying in certain, intensive moments, you won’t be able to react as fast as you’ll need to. Fortunately, many FPS counters exist that you can use in tandem with your game, including Mobile Legends.

Applications such as Rivatuner or MSI Afterburner make sure to accurately represent your in-game performance, making sure you don’t need to constantly worry about if your frame rate is dropping or not.

Recording Software

Learning from your mistakes is vital to competitive games such as Mobile Legends, and one way in which you can learn is by recording your matches and watching them over.

Fortunately, Moonton hasn’t banned any recording software yet, meaning you can use programs such as Streamlabs or OBS to record your games. After all, you may not be aware of what you’re doing wrong in the moment.

I highly recommend you record your games too--recording my games is how I improved in competitive games.

Conclusion

Most competitive, eSports-centric games struggle with cheaters and hackers, and developer Moonton is no different. Fortunately, Moonton has been swift in banning any hackers they catch wind of with their report system.

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t use any third-party plugin in Mobile Legends, you just need to be careful what you’re using. VPNs, recording software, and FPS counters will enhance your experience in-game and won’t cause harm or be a hindrance to the people you’re playing with (or against).

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