The Hackers are among us.
The out of nowhere 2020 hit, the 2018-released Among Us has surely had a time. Developer Innersloth, a team of only three people, had their new-found popularity hammer their servers with over 1.5 million concurrent players.
Its sequel, intended primarily to update Among Us 1’s codebase so as to cope with this, was cancelled in favour of the unenviable task of reworking the existing game without breaking it. Now cheating and griefing are hitting the game.
A peruse of the game’s subreddit shows the upsurge in cheaters of late. If this all seems very familiar, the cuddly, colourful Fall Guys faced exactly the same problem and was forced to implement Epic’s Easy Anti-Cheat. Whilst that game’s aesthetic made it seem risible that anyone would cheat to get ahead, Among Us doesn’t even have a progression system or cosmetics to gain from doing so. It really is just about ruining other people’s days.
As a werewolf/mafia format game wherein you deduce the identity of the killer imposters, Among Us is vulnerable to the usual kind of cheating. You can easily rat out your fellow imposter or have a friend on the inside and know more than you should. Outside of simple decorum, however, is the use of third-party cheat software that appears to have endless possibilities. Hackers are teleporting everyone outside of the map, making everyone’s identifying colour cycle, becoming the imposter at will, killing during chat-only meetings, and killing the entire crew instantly among much, much more.
Programmer Forest Willard told Kotaku that they’re “attacking this from multiple angles”:
“We’re rushing to get an account system in place so we can have better moderation and reporting systems built around that. Also, getting help with making the servers better at detecting and blocking hacks. And investigating client-side hack prevention as well.”
It’s just another thing on the plate of the devs. And whilst there’s no long-term gain for hacking, and the imposter’s job is literally to sow chaos and kill, it’s a shame the hackers are killing everyone else’s fun in the process.