Despite reports of rampant child abuse and exploiting young game developers for free labor, Roblox remains an immensely popular platform. And with great popularity also comes the bane of every online multiplayer game: cheaters.
Do a quick Google search for "roblox hacks" and you'll get dozens of hits that offer everything from aimbots to free Robux. We don't recommend anyone actually download these hacks (many of which require real money to purchase), but it just shows how prevalent the hacking problem is in Roblox.
One Roblox dev recently showed just how bad the hacking problem truly is. Apocalypse Rising 2, a zombie survival game with permadeath mechanics, launched in September 2021. According to Hutch (via NME), the developer in charge of the Apocalypse Rising, they've racked up around 27,000 bans as of April 2022. A developer update posted yesterday revealed that number of bans almost doubled after going free-to-play in July.
"It is exhausting and demoralizing dealing with exploiters all the time," wrote Hutch. "The enjoyment I get out of developing games on Roblox doesn’t even start to outweigh the burnout myself and my moderation teams suffer through. It’s so much larger of an issue than just an anti-cheat problem and it never feels like any meaningful progress is made by Roblox to assist developers with these issues."
The core problem is that Roblox only offers a single moderation tool: the kick function, which boots a player from the game. Kicking can be done manually or it can be automated by the developer, but there's nothing on Roblox's side to permanently ban users that employ cheats on its platform.
"All the security work in the world won’t make up for the fact that I can’t even keep a person out of my game let alone report them to the platform they’re breaking the rules on," Hutch added. "I’m tired of kicking individual accounts after they join. I want to ban a person from my game because I caught them cheating, and I don’t want them coming back or even being able to press play."
Hutch noted that bans can be worked around by dedicated hackers, "but quite literally anything is going to be better than the current nothing we have to work with." Many devs on Twitter agreed with Hutch’s sentiment.
It’s not just games on Roblox that are getting hacked. Roblox itself was hacked a few weeks ago and several important documents leaked online in an apparent extortion attempt.