The success of Fortnite: Battle Royale on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC combined with its free-to-play nature has drawn the attention of cheaters using various hacks. Epic Games has already taken steps to ban cheaters and has now taken an additional step to prevent PC players from connecting to the multiplayer shooter while using a Virtual Private Network (VPN).
Epic Games announced it has begun blocking the use of VPN to connect to Fortnite via the game’s official forums. Those that attempt to connect to the game will be kicked but will not have any action taken against their account, per community coordinator Nathan Mooney.
There are many legitimate uses for VPN, from attempting to get a better connection for users in certain regions to simply wishing to keep one’s online activities private from any snooping by internet service providers or websites. Unfortunately, it has also been a method to circumvent Epic Games’ attempts to block Fortnite: Battle Royale cheaters.
The developers recently implemented an anti-cheat system that immediately bans accounts that are detected using cheats like aimbots. However, because it is free to create an Epic Games account and the game itself is free, players can simply create a new account and start cheating all over again until they are caught.
At some point, Epic Games’ ban system also took a user’s IP address into account. Using a VPN gets around the IP ban, though, which is why the developers elected to block the use of VPN.
This is an unfortunate side effect of Fortnite: Battle Royale‘s rapid success. The game has grown to over 7 million users with a peak of 500,000 playing at any one time just four weeks after release. Not bad for a little-heralded title, but this is a familiar refrain from similar early access titles like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG). Bluehole’s last man standing shooter is still combating cheaters more than eight months after it was released to Steam Early Access and it is a $30 title.
Console players have not had to combat cheaters like their PC brethren. Paid accounts plus closed systems make cheating on the PS4 and Xbox One much more difficult. Fortnite does look and run better on PC though.
On the bright side, Epic Games is working toward adding Leaderboards to Fortnite: Battle Royale soon. An exact release date hasn’t been shared yet but it is next on the list of things to do along with cosmetics and the ability to customize characters.
[Featured Image by Epic Games]