Frequently Asked Questions

FairFight by GameBlocks is a real time cheat detection and suppression system. FairFight is non-invasive, customizable and engine agnostic. It does not reside on the player's computer and does not examine the players' devices or perpetually look for the latest hacks. FairFight uses our proprietary GameChanger™ rule engine along with advanced database structures to evaluate players' real-time gameplay actions. FairFight combines algorithmic models that assess an array of statistical markers to identify possible cheating, and cross-checks these measurements using objective gameplay reporting to Make it a FairFight™ for everyone.

Existing anti-cheat software is inadequate and allows even unsophisticated cheaters to repeatedly disrupt and undermine gameplay for long periods of time with impunity - to the serious detriment of your title. Information travels fast in the gamer community and if your title is or becomes infested with Hackers this deters honest players from buying your game. It doesn't end there. Hacking warps the gameplay structures that you designed and interferes with the game experience of every honest gamer. With fewer new gamers buying your game - and those that do playing it less - the monetizable content of your title will evaporate quickly.

GameBlocks recognizes that hackers buy your game too. FairFight allows you to decide how you will deal with them. With FairFight you have the flexibility to warn/kick/kill/suspend or even ban hackers from your game. While FairFight allows you to establish your own tolerance levels for hacks and hackers, and to adjust their penalties as you see fit, GameBlocks recommends a graduated punishment structure that punishes hackers automatically and decisively. With FairFight you can even establish a 'penalty box' or hacker purgatory where hacks are tolerated, or even expected.

Even if you don't have a problem with hackers, the visibility into your game that FairFight provides gives you unparalleled control over your game. Player information with leader boards and percentiles, email with reports, full chat monitoring, heat maps, and more.

Fairfight uses two overlapping and mutually supportive approaches to identify cheaters: algorithmic analysis of player statistics and server-side cheat detection. FairFight uses algorithmic models to evaluate gameplay against multiple statistical markers to identify cheating as it occurs. FairFight crosschecks these indicators using objective server-side reporting tools. It takes action when both approaches correlate to cheating - and because you establish FairFight's tolerances and the in-game actions to be taken against the hacker, you are in control of your game like never before.

Algorithmic Analysis of Player Statistics (AAPS) compares each player's game play statistics across an array of performance measures and compares them against averages derived from all of the gamers playing your game. FairFight uses the results of these comparisons to find statistical anomalies that correlate strongly to the use of cheats.

In order that highly skilled players are not erroneously flagged as cheats, FairFight uses Server Side Cheat Detection (SSCD) to cross-compare results. FairFight's SSCD monitors the game state in real time, scanning gameplay data of your choice for events and conditions which are not possible (or that are exceedingly improbable) to achieve without the use of hacks. For example, in a given first person shooter it may be impossible for a weapon to kill (or even hit) a player over 200 yards. When FairFight sees this occur it automatically records it as a validation of any anomalous AAPS findings. With the validation event in place, FairFight will take any number of actions that you have selected, and it will do so when you want it to (immediately, after a delay, player join . . . .) FairFight's combined AAPS and SSCD approaches offer the best cheat detection and suppression tool in the industry - and it functions in real-time.

FairFight's customizable GameChanger rule engine and graduated punishment system can be modified throughout the course of a title's life, allowing you to Make it a FairFight™ for everyone all the time. Publishers can 'harden' or 'soften' detection thresholds and ban penalties, and add or eliminate statistical measures to meet their needs. For incorrigible hackers, FairFight maintains a Suspension List that is regularly updated with players flagged as 'cheaters'. 'Watch lists' can be created for continuous and even closer automated or manual monitoring. Temporary and permanent suspensions can be imposed, and, depending on your desire, 'hackers' can be barred on a single title or across multiple titles.

Since FairFight is a server side system, integrating FairFight into your game will be seamless. In other words, we won't screw up your game. Also, since FairFight is connected only via the API, if we ever have a connectivity or security problem (and we go to great lengths so we don't) the gameplay on your title should continue unaffected while we get reset.

To get started with FairFight, there is a one-time setup charge and a monthly subscription fee. The amount of the setup charge and monthly subscription fee differs depending on the type of game, its size, and a few other variables. Please contact us for pricing. We offer discounts off of our monthly subscription fee for fixed term agreements of at least one year and a stackable 10% discount if you commit to rent your game servers from our trusted affiliate Global Game Servers. Global Game Servers offers data center locations supporting XBOX, XBoxOne PS3, PS4,PC and Mobile environments worldwide.

WatchDog and FairFight are an integrated system. WatchDog monitors your player base worldwide in real time with GameBlocks' intuitive and easy to use dashboard. Visually pleasing and easy to understand infographics track player usage and history by region and platform (PC, Xbox®, PS3™).** Standard and custom reports can be printed, made into PDF's, or saved as a file. NOC tool pages allow your staff to monitor uptime and receive alerts about player drops and other issues impacting your player base so that your system administrators are apprised of any interruptions in gameplay.

If you would prefer that your company spend its time on things other than monitoring your player base, sign up through GameBlocks to have the experienced staff at Global Game Servers do it for you 24/7/365. With Global Game Servers you will have the most responsive and professional game server monitoring service in the industry - literally at your fingertips.

All of them! Once our compact bit of API code is installed on your game servers, you are ready to Make it a FairFight™ for your players.

Any platform, any genre, any quest, any map. One of the many beautiful aspects of FairFight is that it is flexible. You choose the data you'd like FairFight to monitor and we watch it, analyze it and act on it as you wish. Have a problem with sprint hacks? teleports? flying? artificial aiming? Not with FairFight monitoring your game - just let our API feed the GameChanger rule engine with the necessary gameplay data, tell us the acceptable tolerances for your game and let FairFight do its work.

At present, FairFight is sweeping the streets clean in EA’s blockbuster Battlefield 4, Respawn’s Titanfall, the MMO Infestation: Survivor Stories, Plants v. Zombies, Battlefield: Hardline, and APB Reloaded.

It's never too soon and never too late. Preferably though, as soon as you start thinking about anti-cheat issues - even pre-Alpha. GameBlocks can advise you about game elements that provide optimal cheat protections for your game. Also, you'll want to check out GameBlocks other middleware modules that can save you substantial development time and money: GameTalk, GameTips, GameTuner, PathFinder, PlayStat, PostMaster, LookingGlass and CloudBank.

If your game is already plagued with hackers, we can get FairFight up and running fast!

Not long. We will learn about your game, talk with your design team and prepare a menu of suggested gameplay events for FairFight to monitor. Next, you will select the gameplay events and corresponding 'rule actions' for our graduated punishment system to take. At this point, you will need to install our compact bit of API code on your game servers and flag the selected types of gameplay data that will supply the GameChanger rule engine. In the meantime we will be setting up the backend environment and administration website. Once we begin tracking player data (the 'Live Date') we will spend a week working with you to optimize your chosen structures. During this optimization period, you are welcome to add additional gameplay events and to modify the graduated punishment system as you like. All together, you can expect a standard FairFight deployment to take two to three weeks.

Yes! You can let FairFight police the streets on its own. Set it and forget it. If you want top performance though, we recommend active monitoring by our trained anti-cheat specialists. Our Managed Anti-Cheat Solution will let you and FairFight control hackers using the tightest of tolerances that you find acceptable.

For example: it is for all practical purposes impossible to have another player perfectly targeted while both players are running. 'Aimbot' hacks allow this perfect targeting. The SSCD tools in FairFight constantly watch for this condition and a variety of other 'impossible' conditions. When found to exist, and correlated with anomalous AAPS results, FairFight will identify the player as a 'cheater'. At this point, depending on your customized configuration, FairFight can automatically take a range of actions against the player or you may desire to introduce the human element by placing the perp on a 'watch list' for closer automated or manual monitoring.

Yes. GameBlocks' GameChanger rule engine is a game integrity system that gives you the ability to evaluate and - more importantly - act on virtually every aspect of your game. Here is a real world example:

Having discovered an unbalanced game element such as an inadvertently overpowering weapon, a game publisher with FairFight has a choice: divert its game development team with construction of a patch - and experience the cost, delay and ongoing disruption to gameplay while the patch is being constructed - or have FairFight automatically:

· alert players using the weapon that specific use limitations have been imposed

· monitor gameplay for abusive use of the weapon;

· notify the player each time the weapon is used improperly; and

· reduce the players health (or impose other graduated punishments) if they use the weapon improperly

With FairFight, changes are made in real time across all game servers or selected ones. Why divert your development team with patches that take time to build and release (and are not always mandatory for players to install)? Let FairFight educate the player community, identify and deter undesirable gameplay, quickly 'tune' unbalanced game elements and cost effectively limit common game exploits.

AntiCheat is Just the Beginning!™ You can also use FairFight to monitor gameplay unrelated to cheating. Rules can be set to monitor map usage, popularity of areas of a map, weapon change frequency and a variety of other actions and conditions. Non-game elements of the game server can be monitored and stored for later analysis. Hardware and network details of the game server can be captured to help you better target and communicate with your customers.

The most popular anti-cheat programs operate like an antivirus program, searching each players' computer for known strings of hack code. Since these programs scan memory and other components of your customer's computer, they not only raise privacy and security concerns, but they are also constantly 'fighting the last war'. Hacks are always being written, hidden, rewritten, rehidden, and evolving in ways that make accurate forensic detection extremely difficult. Game publishers get mired in a never ending game of catch-up trying to discover the latest iteration of a hack, but never getting ahead of the hackers. Bottom line: the most popular anti-cheat programs just aren't that effective. Hackers can and do disrupt gameplay for hours, days and weeks on end, all the while destroying the gaming experience for honest players, damaging your brand and jeopardizing your revenue streams.

FairFight uses a different and, we believe, far better approach. FairFight receives game play data from the game server and focuses on the gameplay itself to determine if a player is cheating. Server Side Cheat Detection (SSCD) monitors in-game conditions and actions, while realtime Algorithmic Analysis of Player Statistics (AAPS) identifies statistically anomalous outcomes. When combined and cross-checked, FairFight's graduated punishment system suppresses and deters cheating using prompt and appropriate penalties.

With FairFight, what you do with the identified 'cheaters' is up to you. If you believe, that banning players is detrimental to your game. FairFight offers a host of options. You have the flexibility to warn/kick/kill/suspend or, if necessary, ban hackers from your game. This allows you to suppress or, if you prefer, segregate hackers. You can establish a 'penalty box' or hacker purgatory where hacks are tolerated, or even expected.

FairFight has detailed player information, leader boards and statistical summaries that PunkBuster and VAC do not provide. There is email with full reporting, comprehensive chat monitoring, heat maps, and more. Despite all of these offerings, since FairFight resides separate from your game, it does not impede server performance or slow gameplay. If ever DOS attacked, this same separation means that an attack on FairFight won't bring down your game.

With FairFight you have visibility, tools and flexibility that are simply unthinkable with Punkbuster and VAC. You can absolutely Rule Your Game!

No. If you want to run them alongside FairFight you certainly can.

Integration is short and sweet. The Client API provides a simple interface to connect to the GameBlocks backend, send game event data, and receive actions to respond to detected cheats. Setting up the connection code, server status and player status events is straightforward and can be finished in hours. The remainder of the integration can typically be done in a couple of days depending on the number of data points you choose to track and how easy it is to access that data in the game engine. GameBlocks will work with your team to identify the data that needs to be sent, verify the integration and adjust to new cheats as they emerge in the live environment.

Truly minimal. We know how critical the game server simulation rate is and our goal is to be invisible. With a typical modern FPS load our client API is optimized to consume a relatively trivial amount of frame time, well below a millisecond on any recent hardware. With regard to network performance, typical use cases result in 150-280 bytes per second per player being sent from the game server to the GameBlocks backend.
Of course, these numbers are dependent on the specific needs of the game and the frequency and type of data being sent. By working with us and our affiliate Global Game Servers we can identify the right game servers for your game to provide the optimal mix of low price and high performance.

This is a temporary condition. Hackers tend to complain and complain loudly when they get caught and punished. That said, one of our core goals at GameBlocks is to ensure that our FairFight system does not punish the honest player of any skill level, no matter how lucky or good their play. Consequently, we take claims of “false positives” very seriously and seek to prevent them at every stage: from software design and development through our after-action quality assurance reviews. It is our experience, after reviewing complaints of players that have been identified by FairFight as cheaters, that in virtually every instance the player in question was in fact certainly cheating. More importantly, if you ever have a question about why FairFight took action against a player, FairFight gives you the tools to quickly and definitively confirm the reason and validity of that action.
Once FairFight is up and running for a week or so, you will find that forum posts complaining about hackers wreaking havoc in your game will drop way, way down. Not long thereafter, the complaints of hackers caught and punished by FairFight will begin to subside. At this point, you may find it interesting to check out the private forums on the leading hack sites in which, despite being cleansed for negativity quite frequently, you will see disgruntled hackers demanding their money back for hacks that got them caught and punished by FairFight.

FairFight's Algorithmic Analysis of Player Statistics (AAPS) uses players' in-game conduct to spot potential hackers. If a player is cheating with sufficient malevolence or persistency to disrupt the enjoyment of gameplay for the other competitors, statistics will show it. For example, in a first person shooter if a player is using an aimbot that causes a head shot every time they kill another player, then that player's statistics will show a much higher ratio of head shots to total kills than the average player. Time can also be an important element. FairFight can evaluate gameplay activity over time to reveal outcomes that are inconsistent with fair play.

Of course, finding anomalous player statistics doesn't prove a player cheated. FairFight crosschecks AAPS results using objective Server Side Cheat Detection (SSCD). FairFight's SSCD monitors the game state in real time, scanning gameplay data of your choice for events and conditions which are not possible (or that are exceedingly improbable) to achieve without the use of hacks. FairFight takes action when the AAPS and SSCD approaches both correlate to cheating. Thus, while a highly skilled player who doesn't cheat may have a similar statistics to a player who does cheat, FairFight does not act against the player unless the SSCD cross-check confirms that the player has violated the conditions of the game (i.e. done the 'impossible'.

As an administrator, if you are ever unsure about the AAPS or SSCD tolerance levels that you have chosen for your game, you can use a wide array of tools to 'dial in' the appropriate settings. For example, you can have FairFight send less egregious hackers to particular servers or maps, or you can populate a watch list for closer monitoring of potential hackers, or you can run proposed tolerance changes in parallel with your existing game settings to monitor the impact that the change.

The support from GameBlocks that you will need to get FairFight running in your game is included in the one-time setup fee. After FairFight's launch, if you have chosen full NOC services, then all support publishers typically need, including the addition of new rules and adjustments to game tolerances, is included in the price and can be made within minutes. Extraordinary post launch support may require an additional charge, but we’ll always let you know that in advance of any charge.

Contact the customer service unit of the publisher of the game. GameBlocks provides software tools to game publishers. Fairfight is one of these tools and its detection settings and corresponding punishments are established by the game publisher, not GameBlocks. Therefore, you need to plead your case to the game publisher.

* Rentals of backend servers are through our affiliate, Global Game Servers, LLC.
** Xbox® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. PS3™ is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC.