Cross-play is the best thing to happen to video game multiplayer

A reader asks gamers not to overly criticise cross-play for encouraging cheaters, but to embrace it for bringing friends together.

‘Get rid of cross-play with PC’

‘It’s them PC cheaters again, let’s get rid of PC players’

‘We wouldn’t have this problem if it wasn’t for all those PC players’

‘Those PC players don’t belong in here with us console players’

This is just blaming an entire group of people for a minority’s actions. Cheating has mostly been a PC problem, mostly. And it’s not getting any better. We’ve all been there, sitting down to enjoy a nice relaxing game of the latest PvP sensation and boom, headshot from 900m from a 180 spin. Or the hot dog with the chicken hat somehow jumps half the map in Fall Guys (Fall Guys! A children’s game). It’s disheartening, it’s enough to make you give up on a game you once loved and it’s now becoming an even bigger problem.

Cross-play has opened up the console world to the PC world and for the most part it’s been a magical experience. Just the other day I was playing Rogue Company and our squad make-up was extremely diverse. We had me on PC, young Ethan on Xbox One, Claytonious on PlayStation 4, and Longshot Long on Nintendo Switch. Something that was nothing but a pipe dream three years ago.

I remember seven years ago to this day, me and my friends all sat around the fireplace drinking cocoa and discussing which console to buy for the next gen. Claytonious was knitting a new Xbox jumper for the cat and Badger was desperately going through the specs sheet circling all the ways an Xbox One was better than a PlayStation 4. You see, at the time we were all Xbox guys and dolls. But as we sat there and everyone was agreeing to the Xbox One, I couldn’t help but speak up for what I believed in.

‘I’m thinking of getting a PS4’, I croaked sheepishly into my marshmallows.

Pin dropped, everybody heard it.

‘You’re a madman’, they cried. ‘Seamless transition between media’, another chirped in. ‘Free Kinect, that everyone is super-hyped about’, said no one.

We took a poll and three of us went with PlayStation 4 and the rest Xbox One. And so ended our first person shooter squad of eight years. It really was that simple, it all came down to the choice of black box. If only there was a way that we could all play together on separate platforms.

Seven years later and we’ve all moved on to different platforms and finally we are able to meet up and chat and play Call Of Duty together again. It’s witchcraft and a magical thing, thank you Fortnite.

So you see, I’m all for cross-play. It’s brought a bunch of old friends back together and enjoying online gaming for the first time in years. And as a PC player, I don’t really want to be left out because a few people on my team are spoiling the fun for everyone. Instead of going after the PC players try instead going after the cheaters, the developers, and the sellers.

The developers who are using anti-cheat systems that are five-years-old and were hacked years ago (see Modern Warfare and Apex Legends). The sellers who sell software and hardware for £60 each (£60 to win at a free game, madness). Or the cheaters themselves who should be punished much more severely than an account ban. Why not dish out hardware and network bans.

Don’t blame the many for the misdeeds of the few. There’s much more to it than consoles vs. PC. In fact, although the majority of cheaters are on PC, there is a new breed of console cheaters entering the fold. I have seen and reported various websites offering ‘no recoil and aim assist boosted controllers’ and ‘one-time console hacks that help load in wall hacks to your PS4/Xbox’.

If you look deep enough (and these cheaters definitely will) then you can find plenty of nefarious tactics available for both PC and console. Your little black box isn’t as safe as you think. And if there is a way they will exploit it.

2020 has become the year of the cheater. Not only has it cheated us out of 7 months of normal life but it’s cheating us out of our video games. I’ve read that the industry is taking note and developing new ways to stop the hackers and cheaters. Activision just shut down a cheat selling website and believe it or not people asked for refunds, But it’s almost going to be too late for some games.

So next time you want to blame ‘All PC Players’ for cheaters remember how ridiculous that sounds. The majority of us hate cheating as much as you. And if everybody moves to just console, so will the cheaters. Let’s start banding together against the real culprits here and put pressure on the developers to tighten up the security on their code. And to investigate the hacks so they can patch them before they have a chance to ruin the game.

We are all in this together.

By reader Tony Daniels, Twin Cherry Studio

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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