Cheating in Arenas: What’s the Deal?

It appears cheating in arenas is still a hot topic of debate on the World of Warcraft Community Forums.  What's being done to help combat the cheaters?  Read on for more information!

Warlords of Draenor

For years, players have complained about cheating in Arenas, Battlegrounds, etc.  Many posts have been made about the "problem", with many players stating Blizzard doesn't do enough.  Well, what can be done?  Community Manager Lore responded to a thread about this very issue.

It started out simply enough, with one player asking "is that all arena has become?"

Is that all arena has become? Cheats, bots, people flying in arena so they cant be hit, people entering arena well after it starts, kick bot, etc. Is there no morality anymore? I was a 2500 player last pac on my main, but now its like, not standing a chance. Getting facerolled by druids still in heirlooms while me and my partner are full 660 (maybe one or two 620s).

Are we gonna do anything about this or just keep letting it happen?

- Worgcraft@Blackhand

After 12 posts, Community Manager Lore chimed in with this to say:

This thread went in a weird direction. But there are some valid concerns in the OP, so in the hopes of getting it back on track:

Flyhacks: We added some new functionality in 6.0 that lets us catch these much easier, by keeping track of areas that players should not be able to reach via normal means. If you do see someone who's gotten themselves to a location they shouldn't be, that just means we missed that particular spot. Let us know where it is (screenshots are super helpful!) and we can look into getting it fixed.

Kick bots: We've done a lot to try to detect these more accurately, and are still working on improving those algorithms. Every report we get helps, and I'll take the opportunity to mention again -- if you can get video (either on YouTube or even a clip from a Twitch stream), that's enormously useful to the hacks team.

That said, I also think that a lot of players get accused of kickbotting when they're actually just good at kicking (or maybe just lucky). A highly-skilled player will know when to watch for a cast based on what they're opponent is doing. To use an extremely basic example: when a healer is being chased around a pillar by a Rogue, and suddenly stops moving (but isn't CC'd), that's a strong indication that they're about to start casting. The Rogue can recognize this, anticipate the cast, and be prepared to kick.

In those cases, the Rogue might even use Kick before they even see the cast bar -- not because they're using a hack, but because it's just so obvious that the cast is coming, especially in high-pressure situations where the healer would have already used any instant-cast abilities they had available. Server latency and reaction times being what they are, it's highly likely in that scenario that the healer gets kicked instantly.

I'm not at all saying that kick cheats don't exist -- and as I mentioned above, we're still working on better ways to detect and combat them. I'm just saying that "I got kicked instantly" isn't automatic evidence of shenanigans. A lot of perfectly legit players get accused of cheating, and it makes me sad to see extremely smart and highly-skilled play shrugged off as "he must be using a bot."

As to players entering arenas late, that's kind of a weird one. I'll look into it some more.

Players went on to further debate the detection systems in place, saying they aren't good enough, or that Blizzard needs to be more proactive.  Lore even went on to say that screenshots and videos will be taken into consideration as evidence if they are sent to  It seems players either don't want to go through the trouble of collecting screenshots or firing up Fraps to record a session, so they don't submit anything.  There is, however, a much easier option:

At the end of the day, its best to take things with a grain of salt, especially when dealing with PvP.  There are lots of trolls out there:

I also think that -- and you might want to sit down for this one, it's a shocker -- there are a lot of trolls on the internet. In the PvP community, there are several that love to make the bot problem (which is definitely a problem, so don't read this as me trying to deflect that) sound worse than it is.

Just the other day I was reading a thread where people were claiming that a kickbotter had gotten his ban overturned via some sort of IP-related tomfoolery. I checked with the hacks team, and the guy's account was (and is) still permanently closed, but the rumor was persisting and a lot of fingers were being pointed at Blizzard for "believing his lies."