We love our free-to-play games. The ability to jump on and play Halo Infinite with friends without having to shell out a big wedge of cash is part of the reason the game has had such a wildly successful early launch period, and players are having a glorious time with it already.
However, when you're successful, a target is painted on your back. We now have cheaters aimed squarely at that target, causing issues for players on all versions of Halo Infinite.
Halo's development team have come out to tell players that this was all expected - there's no way to have a big-budget free-to-play game without cheaters wading their way in.
343 Industries' Community Manager John Junyszek took to Twitter to explain the situation and what 343 are trying to do to combat this issue.
The term 'anti-cheat' is often used as a catch-all for the general idea of getting rid of cheaters, but it's far from as simple as that. Junyszek followed up to clarify what is meant by this tweet.
"Jumping in to clarify that the wording of "improvements to game's systems" includes not only our anti-cheat, but the rest of the game as well. It's worded this way because we don't take a "single feature" approach, but a game-wide approach to anti-cheat."
It sounds great, but whether this approach will actually be able to shut down the prevalence of cheaters remains to be seen. We got in touch with cheat manufacturer IWantCheats, who we previously spoke to in our investigation into why people make and distribute video game cheats. They seemed confident in their ability to continue to get past any level of anti-cheat system brought about by 343 Industries.
"It took us a few hours to make a cheat for the game. The engine is easy to make cheats for if you know how to get around the encryption. It takes a little longer with this engine because COD for example just recycles older code on each release."
Like in our previous investigation, it's clear that cheat developers aren't worried about any kind of anti-cheat measures.
"Anti-cheat won't catch the cheats if our developers are good enough.
"The game is free to play so cheat makers don't worry about bans if they do come. Our customers generally don't get upset if a free account is detected."
Players can hope that Junyszek is right in his assessment of the cheating situation and that the holistic approach to the situation can keep hackers out of Halo Infinite. It remains concerning for 343 and the Halo Infinite audience that the hackers don't seem particularly worried about these proposed changes.
The fact that cheating is still prominent in every online shooter popular right now, we might not be seeing the end of this for quite some time.