It's no secret that there's been an increasing amount of cheating on Halo 2. Evidently when Bungie released the new downloadable maps they weren't far enough ahead in the developer-vs-cracker arms race, and modded versions started showing up on XBox Live that let cheaters move at Mach 1, get sniper auto-headshot kills of anyone visible, etcetera. Fun for n00bs, annoying as hell for grumpy old gamers like me.

Over on http://bungie.net/ they're promising great things for the forthcoming "auto-ban all crackers, cheaters, and modders" Halo 2 update, but in the meantime it's good to see that the current manual reporting method works. Let's take a quick look at what happened in the two games where I've seen (and reported) cheaters:

  • I had the misfortune to play with XxN1GTACULARxX in a team slayer game. Check out his game stats: 38 kills (including 32 headshots, 19 sniper kills, a kill frenzy and a couple of killtaculars) and only 2 deaths. Now if you look at his XBox Live stats you find... nothing. Oops, banned, seeya.
  • It's even worse when there are two cheaters on the opposing team — for instance, MoB Zero and BILLIEJOE11. From the game stats you can see that BILLIEJOE11 wasn't as effective a cheater as MoB Zero: only 15 kills (all headshots, of course), no killtaculars, and he died once. And now they're both banned — thanks, banhammer!

Here's how to report cheaters on Halo 2: email h2cheats@microsoft.com with this information. And then bookmark the stats page for your game, so that you can check up on it in a few days and see the punishment meted out to the offenders :)

The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine...

Update: Bungie's patch is out today (7/20/05), according to Major Nelson.