Why it matters to you
In a game titled For Honor, one might think that players would embrace the good-natured sportsmanship that has made multiplayer games succeed for decades. Unfortunately, not everyone has been so honorable, and publisher Ubisoft has taken action by banning more than 1,000 cheaters from the game.
In a post on the For Honor Reddit page, Ubisoft revealed that it had recently banned 1,500 players for a three-day period for taking part in a cheating technique known as “AFK farming.” Another 4,000 other players were given a warning for their actions but did not receive a ban.
AFK — or “away from keyboard” — farming is a simple concept in practice. Users keep their characters moving in a multiplayer match to avoid being kicked for inactivity, and as a result, receive all the bonuses and rewards given to the teammates who were actually playing the game. Ubisoft mentioned “tying a rubber band on the control stick” as a means to use the AFK farming technique, which some Skyrim fans might be familiar with as an easy way level up certain skills.
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But players haven’t just limited their exploitation to rubber bands. Some are also using cheat programs to make it appear that their character is still being controlled by a human, which Ubisoft stresses could result in a permanent ban from For Honor.
Players didn’t respond to the news particularly well, however. Though cheating has certainly been an issue in the game, many saw it as a secondary problem to the ongoing lag and connection issues that have made For Honor at times unplayable in its multiplayer mode, possibly due to the game’s use of peer-to-peer connections instead of dedicated servers. Others speculated that Ubisoft prioritized the AFK farming issue because it was cutting into microtransaction sales, though the relatively small number of banned players makes that unlikely .
For Honor is out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.