Known Cheats

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Cheats performed on BZFlag are usually made by modifying your client. A great deal of power is invested in the client program, and therefore the client may cheat in every way from creating invincible tanks, to invisibility, to super killing. If you have seen any cheats, have performed them yourself, or have noticed a hole in the source, please add it here.


Do not use a modified client on a public server. If you are found to be using a cheat client, you will likely be banned from multiple servers and could quickly find yourself with nowhere to play. Cheating in BZflag is not the same as using a cheat code in a PlayStation game. See also the Notes on "CHEAT" servers at the bottom of the README, which forbid the hosting of a "cheat" server. A copy of the README is included with the source code and is displayed when you install a pre-compiled copy of the game.

List of Known Cheats

NOTE: Some of these cheats have been prevented in the current version of BZFlag. This list needs to be updated.

A cheater may:

  • fly without Wings.
  • shoot teammates without blowing them up.
  • spawn with a flag (usually Guided Missile or Genocide, but can be anything).
  • respond differently to gravity.
  • shoot bullets that travel at a different rate (usually faster).
  • move at a different rate (usually faster).
  • cover the field with SW blasts.
  • not respond to bad flags.
  • move and pickup flags while paused.
  • steal from or give flags to other players.
  • give flags to observers.
  • instantly spawn without regard to spawn delay.
  • instant self-destruction.
  • shoot bullets that travel at impossible linear paths (i.e. downwards, sideways)
  • fire multiple shots simultaneously, often in spreads & separate impossible paths
  • shoot other tanks while paused.
  • instantaneous travel to a new location.
  • jump to a pre-determined set of coordinates (i.e. the center of a team pad).
  • grab a new flag when passing through a teleporter (when no flag exists).
  • double jump.
  • shoot bullets which cannot be seen on radar or in the HUD.
  • cause the bullets of other tanks to explode prematurely.
  • be completely invincible ("god mode").
  • be partially invincible, repelling everything but some particular flags (often SW or SR are chosen).
  • drive outside of the playing area.
  • lock onto stealthed players while using Guided Missle.
  • produce abnormally large, small, or frequent shockwave blasts.
  • "drag 'n drop", moving from any location to any other at any speed.
  • be zoned, but yet still shoot tanks that are not zoned.
  • instantly kill everyone else.
  • move backwards through buildings with the Oscillation Overthruster.
  • produce abnormally long laser blasts (in terms of length and time).
  • move through buildings without Oscillation Overthruster ("wall walking").
  • jump back briefly to avoid a bullet then return to where you were ("network jitter").
  • promote themselves to server administrator and give large bans and kicks.
  • change variables without polling successfully or being an admin
  • joined as an observer, but playing with a visible, invincible tank
  • stall or restart servers
  • shooting more than one shock wave at different places at a time

Subtle Cheats

Subtle cheats are modifications to the BZFlag client that give the user an unfair advantage. Unlike the obvious "blatant" cheats, these modifications are difficult to detect by other players. These modifications often involve small changes to existing source code, and will make their users appear luckier, more intuitive, or more accurate shooters, giving them a slight edge.

Some of these cheats may be detected by examining long-term player statistics. For example, if a specific player picks up a certain superflag 80% of the time over an extended period, on a map where flag positions are completely randomized, then there is strong reason to suspect the player of using a flag identification cheat.

Preventions for many of these cheats are being developed for inclusion in v3.0.

List of Known Subtle Cheats

A screenshot taken on a typical cheat client. Various modifications and enhancements are visible.
A second screenshot taken on the same hacked client as above (but on a different computer).
Flags are given unique colors (or some other identifying feature - colors are simplest). This can be applied to some, or all flags. For example, bad flags are brown, Shock Wave is cyan, Stealth is orange, Guided Missile is pink, etc. This allows the user to avoid bad flags, spot good flags from across the map, and tell what flags other players are carrying or picking up much more easily.
The player can see bullet trajectories at an extended length, making shots easier to avoid, or aiding with targeting. The latter function is used mostly on ricochet maps.
The player can see stealthed tanks on the radar.
The player can see cloaked tanks on the field.
Bad flags whose effects are invisible to other players are disabled from affecting the tank.
A teammate is impervious to Genocide.
Various cheats that affect the manner in which bullets are fired are possible. The simplest is to increase bullet velocity. Other cheats include launching multiple bullets in different directions and giving bullets a vertical slope.
Normally, if your aim is a little bit off, you can still kill a tank. When this cheat is in effect, other players have to aim more accurately to kill the user.
The player's console provides more information than is normal. It's debatable whether this should be considered a cheat or not, but players with better consoles will have a slight advantage.
When the user is killed, his guided missiles remain locked on their targets.
A hacked client equipped with the ProgressiveIdentify cheat. One flag has been identified so far.
Any player in the game can cause anyone else's bullets to explode prematurely (if their client is hacked). Here are a few possible effects:
  1. A victim (or victims) will not be able to fire his weapon (bullets will explode shortly after leaving the muzzle). Others can't tell who is causing this.
  2. Bullets will explode before hitting a cheater, as if the cheater has a forcefield.
  3. Bullets will explode before hitting a "victim" who is not the cheater, creating the impression that the victim has a forcefield and is cheating. Or the cheater could create the impression that a whole group of tanks are cheating.
  4. Bullets will not be allowed to enter a "bullet-free zone" (such as a building or platform).
The cheater's tank is modified to be smaller and harder to hit, but only when carrying the Cloaking flag. Making a tank this hard to hit would be a blatant cheat if the tank wasn't cloaked.
A variation of the FlagColoring cheat. The client holds the identity of each flag in memory whenever it is picked up by any player and displays the flag type on the cheater's HUD.