Halo Infinite Console Players Ask To Disable Cross-Play As Cheating Runs Rampant On PC
Pop quiz: you're launching an online game, and you want to grow your player-base as fast as possible. What's the easiest way to do that? If you answered, "give my game away for free," congratulations, you win the grand prize. Unfortunately, it comes along with a free side of unscrupulous jerks.
Unfortunately, hackers, cheaters, and trolls are part and parcel of playing free games online. Sure, you can ban them, but the game's free—it takes but a few minutes to make a new account and get back into the game. Some Asian game companies get around this by requiring mobile phone number verification, or in a few cases, actually requiring players to give up their government ID (like the US Social Security Number.)
Microsoft hasn't taken any of those measures, and making a new Xbox Live account is as easy as providing a temporary e-mail address from 10minutemail or a similar disposable e-mail provider. So it goes, then, that the multiplayer beta of Halo Infinite, which launched on November 15th, is infested with cheaters and exploiters. (Halo Infinite on PC still requires an Xbox Live account.)
That would be annoying enough if it were only affecting the PC version, but players who choose to play on console to get away from exactly this problem are also suffering the effects of Microsoft's lax account security, thanks to the game's cross-platform play. Halo Infinite players can select whether they want to be matched with keyboard and mouse users or only other controller-wielding warriors, but there's nothing stopping PC gamers from cheating while using a gamepad. Besides, that option is only available in certain game modes anyway.
Xbox players are asking for the option to be separated from PC gamers, but unfortunately, there's no way for Xbox players to avoid the scourge of PC cheaters for now. Ultimately the better solution for everyone would simply be to leave cross-play enabled and kick out the cheaters. Through a combination of anti-cheat software and better account security, it's quite possible to have a 99% cheat-free experience in online games. Hopefully Microsoft gets this figured out sooner rather than later, because Halo Infinite is a ton of fun when everyone plays fair.
Thanks to PC Gamer for the tip.