We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Apex Legends cheaters targeted by EA ‘collusion detection’ patent

Apex Legends cheaters could be among those targeted by a new EA patent aimed at detecting when rival players team up in online games such as Battlefield 2042

Apex Legends - EA collusion patent - Ash in her white, red, and gold 'Imperial Assailant' skin with hood up

Apex Legends cheaters and Battlefield 2042 frauds could be among those targeted by a new EA patent aimed at curbing collusion in its multiplayer games. The recently published patent proposes a system to detect when players who are on ostensibly opposing teams are working together or intentionally avoiding conflict for mutual benefit. While some battle royale games and other multiplayer modes allow for temporary teamwork, such as the Unhinged BR Trios mode in the Warzone 2.0 side of the latest Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, collaboration in other games can ruin the enjoyment of legitimate players.

This latest patent can be applied to any of EA’s multiplayer games, even ones such as FIFA where it’s theoretically possible for Ultimate Team players to collaborate with their opponents, but it’s most likely to be targeted at shooters, with FPS games and battle royale modes in particular mentioned by Electronic Arts in the description of its patent.

Apex Legends “teaming” has become particularly notable in recent months, with many big posts among the community on sites including the Apex Legends Reddit showing players in Masters and Predator Ranked lobbies teaming up across squads to take down other rivals as the final circle closes in. This is often done to allow them to guarantee a high-placed finish, although some also take the opportunity to farm Ranked Points further by exploiting damage sources such as Wattson’s tactical security fences to repeatedly bump up their stats.

The patent itself (spotted by Exputer) was published by EA on November 17 and is titled “Detecting collusion in online games.” It suggests identifying potential instances of cross-squad collaboration and says that it “may analyse social relationships and communications and/or gameplay behavioural data to infer collusion in-game.” Among the suggested data are friend lists along with guilds, parties, teams, and communities that players may be part of.

It also suggests that social interactions such as “in-game chat, lobby chat, or other game platform or system chat” could be tracked, along with other messaging through both the in-game systems and even across “gaming platform or system enabled direct messaging.” This may help in cases where players are queueing at the same time in an attempt to match into the same lobbies as one another without being placed onto the same team, though it certainly sounds like a situation where security and privacy concerns may have potential ramifications.

The patent notes that the system might see players “removed from the match, disqualified, suspended, [or] banned” if found to be in breach of fair play guidelines. Electronic Arts does also suggest that, while this system could be implemented automatically by the AI or an algorithm, it might also consider using human reviewers to check highlighted anomalies before handing out punishments.

In the meantime, if you fancy collaborating with players outside your immediate squad, maybe try the best co-op games on PC instead. Check out our Apex Legends tier list for the best Legends to use in season 15, along with all the details on the newest legend Catalyst. In addition, you can learn about new Apex Legends map Broken Moon ahead of the Apex Legends season 16 release date – check that link for everything we’re expecting to see in the next major update.