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How to Catch a Cheater


Jun 18, 2017
First Glance:
When playing a server, be wary of the people connecting. Any person could be defined as a potential cheater, even at first glance. First, take a look at the name of the person connecting. Cheaters (usually on Alts) usually take up names that were easy to type or offensive/trollish.
Fuck VAC
[Insert catbotesque name here]
The people that have these names may not be cheaters, but keep an eye out. People that change their names constantly in the span of several seconds to other players are most definitely cheaters. If you are extremely suspicious of someone, go to their profile.
1. Go to "friends" on Steam
2. Go to the header above and find "recently played with"

You more or less could add that one can enable mouse in scoreboard and just click on the profiles, that way name change wont affect it as the position stays, and you can view their profiles with right click and even kick them from that menu.

For kicking people (more casual oriented) you can also kick enemies , if not patched, typing status, finding their temporary connection id and type "callvote kick [Id you found]".
When looking at a suspect's profile, there are several things to look out for.
1. Extremely low play time (between 0-10 hours.)
2. Unknown profile picture
3. No friends (except their main account)
4. No other games other than TF2
5. Limited inventory
6. Hasn't even set up their profile
Even if all of these first glance attributes are present, that person may be just using an alt/Smurf account to troll people

Playstyle/cheat detection:
Cheaters are defined in all games in how they behave. There are many variations of cheats available, so this behavior is different from cheat to cheat.

Here are several types of cheats popularly used by cheaters:

- Aimbot: A simple cheat that locks on to hitboxes in order to hit a target. This can be seen in and out of spectator mode depending on how severe the aimbot is. Aimbot is characterized by rapid flick spasms to lock on to targets.

- Wallhacks: A cheat enabling the user to see all players and buildings through walls, disguises, and cloak. The behavior is characterized by unnatural crosshair positions through walls on other players. This is impossible to completely confirm outside of spectator mode (discussed later)

-Silent Aim: Aimbot, but more sneaky. It allows smooth mouse movement to cover up the aimbot. In both in and out of spectator mode, this can be seen with the suspect hitting opponents without actually aiming at them. However, silent aim was patched and is no longer perfect anymore.

-Trigger Bot: Similar to aimbot, but more subtle and requires more skill to use. Triggerbots basically work by automatically firing when the crosshair is over a certain part of a hitbox. In spectator mode, this can be seen with over the top flicks and swiping the crosshair over a target constantly to allow the triggerbot to register. This cannot be seen outside of spectator mode.

-Crit-Hack: Forced crits on weapons in a nutshell. This can be seen with an unusual amount of crits on all weapons. Even with high damage done, the crit chance on non-melee weapons is extremely low. Melee weapons have extremely high crit chances at high damage. However, if you see getting killed by a lot of crits, it just may be your luck due to the hack being uncommon in the cheating community.

-Reflect Hacks: This type of cheat is pretty much aimbot on pyro's airblast. This cheat locks on to projectiles and automatically reflects them at opponents. This could be used in conjunction with silent aim, triggerbot and other configurations. For aimbot, the snap is huge and noticable. In silent aim and triggerbot however, it's difficult to detect due to the natural broken hitboxes of airblast.

(Adding more if needed later)

Testing Rules and Bluffs:
For each type of accused cheat, there are simple testing procedures for each one.
Aimbot Test:
Outside of spectator mode, aimbotters have the tendency to snap around, either in short or long spasms. If the aimbot is toggled in a way to decrease/'legitimize" the aimbot, it is most reliable to go into spectator mode. From the accused's point of view, spectators will see unwavering, unusually long-distanced, and consistent snaps to the head. However, if that option is unavailable (or something you are too lazy to do), go invis spy. Typically, most aimbots will lock on to invisible spies, unless this is toggled off in its settings.

In order to test wall hackers in spectator mode, see where the suspect glances over to. Even a split second of a glance could uncover a wall hacker. If not in spectator mode, just stalk that person as an invisible spy. Shooting at you is usually a dead giveaway. However, most wall hackers just stare at you for a split second, then look around frantically to fix their mistake.

Silent aim:
With spectator mode, it is difficult to see with the server lag and inaccuracy of spectator mode (due to it seeing what the server sees) However, since silent aim was patched, it is just a jittery mess with a few smooth shots. The same rules to testing outside of spectator mode is the same as aimbot.

Sadly, this is the only cheat here that cannot be seen outside of spectator mode. While in spectator mode, try to pick up cases of their crosshair swiping over several times around the head (to let the cheat register) or instant firing right when the hitbox is in view. However, since this cheat actually takes skill to use, many casual cheaters never use this.

(In my opinion, the accusation of a "triggerbot" isn't enough to call someone out for cheats, as it can be replicated using pure skill)

Crit-Hacks are almost impossible to confirm in most cases, due to the limited amount of stored crits available to the cheater. However, seeing a soldier fire off 5 crits in a row constantly is a surefire way to spot a crithack.

Reflect Hacks:
Testing reflect hacks is a little different from the rest of the cheats here. In spectator mode, just try to find the giant snaps and "backwards airblasts". If testing a reflect hack pyro outside of spectator, try to fire extremely fast projectiles from above or below the suspect (ex; crossbow, huntsman, flares, direct hit). This forces the cheat to snap 90-180 degrees to get the reflect, making it easy to test this out.

Now some things to keep in mind when testing:

- Footstep and decloak: Experienced players usually have their sound turned up and can hear the where the enemy is (even invis spies) when they walk and decloak. Walk sounds differ on each surface, which can be used to determine what type of surface a spy is on. Some custom HUDS have captions that can show decloaking spies.

- Water particles: Jumping in water creates small water particles that cling to you for 8 seconds. This reveals the location of invisible spies as easily as jarate or milk.

-Blood particles: Taking damage from even falling can reveal your location while you are invisible. Try to stay out of the range of fire and stay cautious around cliffs.

- Flicks do not equal snap: Flicking over an enemy is a common way to quickly hit targets that are not in crosshair range. Some people are so proficient at it, it may play look like an aimbot. Don't be fooled. There are many differences between a flick and a snap as demonstrated in the videos below.

- Laser Pointers: It's a lesser known fact, but the laser sight on sniper's scope can detect invisible spies. The laser dot grows on closer solid objects and shrinks on farther away objects (duh). Solid objects include player hitboxes, which also include invisible spies.

- Obvious hiding spots: In almost every map, there is a typical spy hiding place. Corners or props are popular locations. Hiding in those obvious spots can assure a death so, stay in places where spies never cloak in, such as the center or a room or a high reaching area.

- Innocent until proven guilty: Kind of a hard thing to keep in mind when testing someone. Someone could just have better aim and game sense than you, which is infuriating knowing that it is easier to call them out immediately. More experienced players and respectable players of the comp scene are usually more reliable in determining the deciding factor to ban someone.

Throughout Blackwonder, I have seen people banned for cheating based on little knowledge of the seemingly limitless skill capacity of Team Fortress 2. Some because of a "fishy snap to the head" (aka, a more dramatized version of "he flicked and landed a headshot") and others because of "sketchy invisible spy headshots" (aka, a more dramatized version of "he had good gamesense and the spy was predictable") I have seen criticism of this system though several videos, mainly titled along the lines of "little kid accuses me of hax" with one of my favorites including https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQN2M3ngZjc. It is apparent the community tries to make logical explanations to things they cannot understand, biased towards their firm standing that someone is a cheater. They search for evidence to prove their opinions, rather than taking existing evidence to influence their opinions.

One of my favorite quotes I have seen is by my idol, jbird.

"...I make many videos like this one, mostly humourous, but also with the intent to reach out to the community and have their first instincts not always be "he's cheating". Of course there are plenty of people who cheat, and I believe the community has become very astute in identifying them. But these videos are really just a microcosm of the culture in tf2 right now, with so many people unwilling to improve yet not believing anyone else has done so."

The quote speaks for itself.

Here are some helpful vids to keep in mind:






Feedback is appreciated!
Last edited:


Mildly Menacing
Nov 3, 2017
I personally change my name mid game because I get bored waiting on things like jailbreak with no respawns. Only recently have I stopped. But well written guide, unlike highschool, I might have actually learned something for once.
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Wicked Nasty
Mar 18, 2017
You more or less could add that one can enable mouse in scoreboard and just click on the profiles, that way name change wont affect it as the position stays, and you can view their profiles with right click and even kick them from that menu.

For kicking people (more casual oriented) you can also kick enemies , if not patched, typing status, finding their temporary connection id and type "callvote kick [Id you found]".


Can fly, can fight, can crow.
Dec 19, 2016
And then you get those with 4k hours and expensive inventories :p

General Zimmer

Store Manager
Sep 28, 2017


Jun 18, 2017
And then you get those with 4k hours and expensive inventories :p
What irks me is WHY people cheat, with so much to lose. I just don't get it. However, people like that are mainly in the competitive scene (to cash in money before they are caught) rather than in pubs. As seen from "high level" cheaters, they often go out with a noticeable bang... along with their expensive items.

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