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PUBG testing new anti-cheat solution that blocks ReShade

Client-side tweaks, once allowed, are getting the boot

Colorful streamers hang from power lines in a rural area of Miramar, an arid map in Battlegrounds.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ newest map, Miramar, is a bit more colorful in spots. But contrast is still low, even in sunny conditions. This is by design.
PUBG Corp.
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

One of the common complaints about PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the popular survival shooter on PC and Xbox One, is that the color palette is too muted. Players on Windows have used third-party tools, including a program called ReShade, to change that. Now, the developers behind PUBG are working to eliminate that practice in the name of fairness.

The popularity of Battlegrounds has brought the game more than its fair share of cheaters. PUBG Corp. has done what it can. They’ve banned thousands, worked with the Chinese government to make arrests and even integrated a data capturing solution, ostensibly a replay camera, that gives every player the ability to file a report with proof if they see something unusual. Now, it seems, they’re going to start cracking down on ReShade.

ReShade certainly makes the game more vibrant, but the side effect is that opponents stand out more against the background. That means players using ReShade have an unfair advantage.

In the past, the game’s creator, Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene, has said that using ReShade is OK and not a bannable offense. Polygon’s own Awful Squad has been known to use it in the past, and many viewers actually request it in chat saying that it improves their viewing experience. But, in a forum post issued yesterday by the developers, it sounds like ReShade is being phased out.

“We are testing a new anti cheat solution on our test servers this week and it is to block cheats more effectively,” said community coordinator PUBG_RoboDanjal. “This will also block 3rd party programs that modify the gameplay or visuals in an invasive way. Reshade is one of the programs that will be blocked by this measure.”

We’ve reached out to PUBG Corp. for comment.

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