Does Adjusting Graphics Settings Lower Than the Game Allows Constitute Cheating?

cageymaru

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Jackfrags on YouTube has released a video that shows game play where users adjust the LoD Bias in their NVIDIA drivers to create an effect where Battlefield V looks like a cartoon. When the graphics are lowered by the user in this way, players can easily see enemy player movement. Bushes where players could hide in before are nonexistent and players can be easily tracked across the map. But since the player isn't running a cheat or hack program to create this graphics style; should it be against the terms of service and how can it be enforced? Is it cheating to turn your graphics down lower than the game officially supports? Fortnite professionals run their games with a 4:3 resolution for a competitive advantage. Is that cheating? Thanks to TheMadHatterXxX for the link!

Battlefield V are banning people supposedly for using a graphics edit. This gives you a massive advantage in terms of visibility but is it a cheat?
 
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This is not something new, even to Battlefield. I know people (including myself) who have done this all the way back in BF2. You are able to drastically decrease the draw distance of cover like grass and bushes and even make night maps much brighter and shadows disappear (in night maps).
 

Absalom

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Yeah, this behavior is certainly not new. And it's a grey area that historically few developers tackle.

In the Quake days, using low settings got the fps high enough to break the physics. This typically let you jump higher.

More recently, PUBG players (even popular and respectable streamers) tend to play on low settings because it clearly gives them a tactical advantage. To hell with it making the game look like ass.

In a competitive scenario, players are going to bend anything (rules or otherwise) to their advantage. It's just the nature of the beast.

Not nearly as much an issue on console where everything is locked down.
 

Armenius

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I thought that extreme positive LOD bias was a common method that was marked as cheating a long time ago. Have developers seriously stopped trying to detect it? I remember the ban wave that happened with Modern Warfare 2 because of people exploiting this.
 

Ragenrok

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haha I remember when BF Bad Company 2 came out I didn't update my nvidia drivers and it caused all buildings to not render. I could see every enemy through the walls but I also couldn't use buildings because I couldn't see them. Ended up being way more of a pain in the ass than it was worth, between not being able to use buildings and having so many shots hit "invisible walls" I had to update to fix it.
 

ZodaEX

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I used to lower the v-ram limit in GTAIV racing in order to get 200fps which felt like it gave me a pretty decent advantage. I got banned from the game eventually though.
 

Armenius

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On another note: I consider the extreme positive LOD bias a cheat, but I do not consider playing in 4:3 a cheat. The latter actually gives a practical disadvantage, but people see "pros" doing it and think it's the thing they need to do to get better. I think the former should be locked out at the driver level by clamping any positive LOD bias value to 0.
Not a cheat in my view.
However if a games Dev has an issue with this... Patch the fucking thing out
Banning people because of lazy coding is just a shit thing to do
This isn't a game exploit, it's a driver exploit.
 

oldmanbal

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Modifying the game in any way outside of the intention of the developers to achieve a competitive advantage is clear cut cheating. Setting the in game graphics to low is not. This would fall into the category of modifying the game itself outside of menu options. If you want to do this in single player, have at it, but in a competitive environment, you should be banned from participation. I feel like you should be able to do anything you want with a game that you purchase, but if you bring that modified content into online competitive play, you need to be separated from honest competitors.
 

Furious_Styles

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Modifying the game in any way outside of the intention of the developers to achieve a competitive advantage is clear cut cheating. Setting the in game graphics to low is not. This would fall into the category of modifying the game itself outside of menu options. If you want to do this in single player, have at it, but in a competitive environment, you should be banned from participation. I feel like you should be able to do anything you want with a game that you purchase, but if you bring that modified content into online competitive play, you need to be separated from honest competitors.
Generally I agree but I'm okay with some very minor stuff that gives a very negligible advantage. And I agree also that it is up to the devs to define where the line is on modification.
 

Aireoth

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More evidence that competition level gaming is cancer. Everyone has to be equal for fair play, it literally ruins the fun. Yes making graphics ass is one example, but nerfing characters, changing gameplay elements, elimination play styles or options, all in the name of balance and fairness for competition is more common than this.
 

ZodaEX

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More evidence that competition level gaming is cancer. Everyone has to be equal for fair play, it literally ruins the fun. Yes making graphics ass is one example, but nerfing characters, changing gameplay elements, elimination play styles or options, all in the name of balance and fairness for competition is more common than this.
You've obviously never had cancer before.
 

NeghVar

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Reminds me of when I was playing Minecraft when I maxed the gamma in-game and through the video card software to prevent the need for torches.
 

AlphaQup

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how does 4:3 give an advantage? 21:9 would give you more of an advantage since you see more on the sides if the game supports fixed vertical FOV.
- Some of it is strictly personal preference. CS Pro's have (mainly) been playing it since at least 1.6 on CRT';s, and are just that used to it.

- Some run the game 4:3 stretched to make the player models appear fatter, thus "easier" to hit.

- Some don't have the hardware at home to hit a really high fps, lower res/settings help bump the frames up. CSGO is weird and actually feels much smoother running way above 144/240, w/e the refresh rate of your monitor is. Personally, mine hits around 350-400 on my 144hz screen and feels much smoother then if I capped it.

- The amount of physical space on your monitor your eyes have cover is smaller, less area to focus your eyes on, use your mouse more, etc.

- Muscle memory might not be/feel 100% if a 4:3 player were to switch.

The list of reasons go on and on, IMO, most of it is placebo.

My favorite though, the spectators in the game for the matches on Twitch, etc., run 16:9 max in game settings, and at times, you can see an opponent that the actual player in game cannot see due to 4:3 res, its right on the end of the screen.

Happens more frequently then you'd think.
 
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More evidence that competition level gaming is cancer. Everyone has to be equal for fair play, it literally ruins the fun. Yes making graphics ass is one example, but nerfing characters, changing gameplay elements, elimination play styles or options, all in the name of balance and fairness for competition is more common than this.
I don't think that's necessarily true. A competition mode should just lock down all visual settings. Too bad if you have a wide screen, deal with it.
 

BaGGy

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Any external modification of the game client is a cheat, or advantage. Sure it makes you seem like a "better player," but what's the point if it kills the game community? Communities are what make games fun, if it gets toxic then people leave. Look at Black ops 4, it was a decent title until the cheating flooded in.
 

Dion

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More reason to not support this company, if true.
A company with zero tolerance to cheating = reason to not support them?

Tell me what company does support cheating in there game? Maybe you should support them.

Modifying the game in any way outside of the intention of the developers to achieve a competitive advantage is clear cut cheating.
/thread
 

J-Will

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Yeah, this behavior is certainly not new. And it's a grey area that historically few developers tackle.

In the Quake days, using low settings got the fps high enough to break the physics. This typically let you jump higher.

More recently, PUBG players (even popular and respectable streamers) tend to play on low settings because it clearly gives them a tactical advantage. To hell with it making the game look like ass.

In a competitive scenario, players are going to bend anything (rules or otherwise) to their advantage. It's just the nature of the beast.

Not nearly as much an issue on console where everything is locked down.

beat me to it, but yea- we did this all the time with q3a special .config files to alter gfx and sound
 

Oldmodder

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When i played we did play with the game GFX settings at MIN and a modest RES to make sure FPS was up there matching the Hz you was running with on the monitor.
So in my case i played in 1080 x 765 or something like that 200 FPS and 200 Hz on the CRT monitor, and that worked well.
But back then games dident really have things / GFX in them that was meant to cloak players so you could sneak around.
 

bigdogchris

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I would consider this a mod that gives players a competitive advantage over the "out-of-the-box" settings, so therefore it should not be allowed.

People would use God mode if they could and win every match. At that point, why even play? Does it make you feel like a better player?
 
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Modding a game or system to allow the use of other settings the game it self does not allow gives you an unfair advantage that is not available to other players. I would consider this cheating, watch the video and you will understand that this would be a HUGE advantage.
 

MMitch

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I consider that cheating, anything outside the game menu should be. This is a VERY obvious one, not sure how can people argue ?
 

DukenukemX

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I love it. RTX 2080 Ti owners are like, "Ray-Tracing bitch". Then you have GTX 660 owners be like, "that's cute". I mean, yea it's cheating but you do it by lowering graphic settings beyond what the game allows. That should tell you something.
 

Evil Scooter

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If you are lowering settings below what is available in game.... borderline. This sure does give you an advantage... it's shitty but probably not a straight up cheat. EA cannot keep up with the real hax... no way they would spend the cycles to chase this.

Thing that stood out more to me on the video was the guy using a KE7 with a 3x scope... effectively at range.
 

Johnx64

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So it basically turns the game graphics into Battlfield:Heroe's... I see it no different than when people would use bright colored skins and other various changes to make it so they had an unfair visual advantage than 99.9% of the other players they are competing against. You have people that enjoy the immersion of the game world and others who enjoy the mindless points and clicks with minimal effort. Just another dopamine addict needing to get their fix by getting another point in a game.
 

NWRMidnight

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- Some of it is strictly personal preference. CS Pro's have (mainly) been playing it since at least 1.6 on CRT';s, and are just that used to it.

- Some run the game 4:3 stretched to make the player models appear fatter, thus "easier" to hit.

- Some don't have the hardware at home to hit a really high fps, lower res/settings help bump the frames up. CSGO is weird and actually feels much smoother running way above 144/240, w/e the refresh rate of your monitor is. Personally, mine hits around 35-400 on my 144hz screen and feels much smoother then if I capped it.

- The amount of physical space on your monitor your eyes have cover is smaller, less area to focus your eyes on, use your mouse more, etc.

- Muscle memory might not be/feel 100% if a 4:3 player were to switch.

The list of reasons go on and on, IMO, most of it is placebo.

My favorite though, the spectators in the game for the matches on Twitch, etc., run 16:9 max in game settings, and at times, you can see an opponent that the actual player in game cannot see due to 4:3 res, its right on the end of the screen.

Happens more frequently then you'd think.

You missed 1:

4:3 gives higher frame rate which reduces input lag, which is the number 1 reason they do it.
 

knowom

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It's a minor cheat in relative terms, but a bit of a unintended advantage regardless. It's not as bad as ESP/Chams/wall hack/no recoil/speed hacks, but it's still a bit of a cheat.
 
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