I used to absolutely despise playing a first-person shooter with a controller—partly because I was terrible at it. I had grown up playing Doom and later Quake on the PC.
In my Quake days, I was working at a local cyber cafe (remember those?) and we would have tournaments for which I was the grand champion shit talker that schooled everyone. This history started my love affair with PC gaming (well, that and Command & Conquer, Age of Empires, etc). For many years I denied consoles and laughed at their gamers. How can you play on a sluggish controller like that? It just feels horrible.
In those days (I was probably around 16 or 17), I ran a popular IRC channel on EFnet for trading scripts. At some point, we started getting a lot of aimbots as PC gaming started to take off with the hype of more multiplayer gaming. DSL connections were rolling out and people started to be able to play from home instead of having to come to cafes and LAN parties.
I started running aimbots. I traded, scripted my own, and tested a ton. I dominated online gaming. There was no Punkbuster, no security. Games depended on local cache since internet speeds were still low. This meant you could do almost anything. It’s incredibly addictive, interesting, and fun. All that talk about “skill” being more fun is nonsense. It’s just different. Aimbot enthusiasts are into the art and science of building tools to win, not play any particular game.
Fast forward to today.
If I want to play a multiplayer shooter, I play it on a console. Why? Because online PC shooters just aren’t fun anymore. While security and counter measures are a bit more complex, they don’t stand a chance.
The attention span of your average gamer to play one game is shorter than the time it takes to get banned from most game servers.
Right now, one of the games I really enjoy is getting lambasted by PC gamers: Star Wars Battlefront. Their claim is that EA is doing nothing to combat aimbotting and the game is no fun when a significant amount of people are easily hitting every shot.
They’re absolutely right. That sounds like no fun.
However, EA can’t do anything. The only way to prevent aimbotting is to control the hardware and the software of the platform the game is running on. EA has no ability, and no right, to check the processes running on your Windows PC. They tried that, remember? Origin was destroyed in the press because of it.
What you’re left with is the realization that if you want to play multiplayer PC shooters, you will need to be ok with aimbots. You’ll need to play on private servers and lock everything down to friends that you know and trust.
You need to be ok with the fact that aimbots are not something that is traded in shady IRC channels and on insider FTP sites or usenet groups anymore. They’re marketed and sold to average gamers out in the open. They’re downloaded by anyone and everyone and used until the person gets banned, maybe, eventually. Or, more likely, until they get bored of that game and move on to the next one.
As for me, I’ll be on my PS4 slugging through 180 turns with a controller.