Dealing with cheaters in popular online games seems like playing a maddening, highly technical version of Whack-a-Mole, and in the case of Mediatonic's smash hit Fall Guys, you can't envy what the developers were up against. With the game attracting millions of players in its first month, far beyond Mediatonic's expectations, it also brought a wave of cheaters with it. During that time, Fall Guys had a trick up its sleeve called "Cheater Island," but apparently it's being phased out in favor of a new solution aided by Epic's Anti-Cheat tools.
You can probably already guess what Cheater Island entailed, but the whole story about it is told over at the official Fall Guys Twitter. Last month, Mediatonic promised that "more immediate action" would be taken against cheaters in its platformer battle royale, and now we have a detailed picture of what that sneaky approach looked like.
Cheater Island was supposed to be Mediatonic's way of punishing cheaters by only matching them together with other cheaters after first detection. Confident in their own anti-cheat detection solution, Cheater Island was enabled in Fall Guys for a while. In theory, if you've been unfortunate enough to be matched with a cheater, that person was then flagged and tossed in the Cheater Island queue for their next match.
Unfortunately, for a long time there weren't enough cheaters playing at once for Fall Guys to muster a full lobby of the no-good jerks. This meant that cheaters just saw themselves hanging at the matchmaking screen. With that happening, some folks started to figure out ways around Mediatonic's filtering by using Steam's Family Share functionality or by matchmaking together with non-cheaters, creating more problems for Mediatonic to solve.
There were eventually enough cheaters for Cheater Island matches to start happening, but Mediatonic says it "can't be 100% sure" that subsequent videos of what appear to be Cheater Island matches were indeed that. Alternatively, they could just be videos of Fall Guys matches with an unfortunate number of yet-unflagged cheaters, which Mediatonic says "makes the game look bad."
So, long story short, Fall Guys cheaters are currently being locked out of their accounts instead of entering matchmaking limbo, and Epic's Easy Anti-Cheat will be added to Fall Guys in a future update. Easy is the anti-cheat software used for Fortnite, Apex Legends, and dozens of other titles—no anti-cheat measures are perfect, but you can bet combining it with Mediatonic's filtering will at least give lazy cheaters a harder time.
Easy Anti-Cheat will be joining Fall Guys in its next update, which will also see the introduction of "Big Yeetus," a giant hammer that's been memed about maybe too much already. Sometime after that, Fall Guys will launch its second season of content, bringing brand-new stages and Medieval-themed bean costumes with it.