Our partner site simRACE247 have kicked the hornets nest a few times of late, launching a quest to expose cheating in sim racing, and with help from the sim racing community have uncovered some troubling developments that could shake professional and hobby virtual racing to the core,
Apart from highlighting a number of cheats, hacks and exploits on other platforms, the F1 2020 game information was provided by members of the community, frustrated with the state of play in which developers appear to be ignoring blatant cheating.
Where it gets tricky is when there may be pro-drivers and simmers using these cheats in subtle ways, just enough to stay under the radar. Eventually, they will be caught if they are in the spotlight too much.
However, it opens the door to even hobby drivers using the exploits to further their virtual driving misadventures. All it takes is 1% more power and 1% more grip and who will notice? Most likely, only the driver using the hack.
Disgraced Daniel Abt and his associates are proof that real-life racers are prone to cheating, and of course, they themselves justify going beyond the regulations to gain an advantage with the pretext: “everyone in racing cheats, some get caught.” Motorsport’s unwritten rule.
With the official game produced by Codemasters released this past week, initially it was thought that the cheat engines that we had reported on were exclusive to the My Team element of F1 2020 – a new singleplayer game mode where players create and manage their own F1 team.
In actuality, Tomlinson’s prying revealed that cheaters have managed to make their tools work online, in this multiplayer environment which attracts around 20,000 to 50,000 online users, depending on time of the day as well as popular leaderboards.
With thanks to information and footage sent in by a reader, we now know that the game’s Time Trial and online lobbies have been exposed to a particular tyre grip multiplier hack.
This first clip demonstrates that perfectly. The hacker takes to a wet Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in time trial with the Mercedes. After equipping a user setup, ‘berrinha’ proceeds to narrowly shoot to the top of the leaderboard.
Screenshot taken from the above video shows the state of the time trial leaderboard.
Now, the fact that berrinha only narrowly beats the next two closest users with their 1:19.589 may make it seem like the effort was legit. I urge you to take a closer look at the footage.
The driver has absolutely no issue with traction in and out of the corners and nails every braking zone. With thanks to modified tyre grip, our three or four cheaters have smashed the legitimate lap times by three seconds.