When Rockstar released Max Payne 3, they had plans in place for a feature to be implemented (shortly after launch) that would level the playing field in multiplayer for those playing fairly (as well as those who weren’t) . That feature was the cheater’s pool – a separate multiplayer area for the thousands of cheaters, modders, and hackers to wallow with each other, unable to lay their filthy, cheating hands on honest players.
While we condone and encourage cheating here, and will give you all the codes along with everything else necessary to do so, we do that as the developer intended. It is one thing to enjoy the game on your own or with your friends, making use of the many great cheats that can make the game infinitely more enjoyable. It’s another thing to cheat in an unauthorized way in order to gain an unfair advantage over other players in online matches. That we can’t and don’t condone.
Those who say cheaters never prosper have never seen cheaters running through online games, killing everything in sight and laughing at their hapless opponents, who can only curse, or frown, or laugh, or cry at their misfortune. Cheaters DO prosper, and they do so at the expense of the honest players who are online to have some fun and test their skills against other players; not to stroke their ego and think they’re actually good players because they can beat people down using cheats and hacks.
Rockstar had this to say at the time of Max Payne 3’s cheater’s pool announcement:
The move is meant to address several problematic hacks that have plagued the game’s multiplayer, including invincibility, infinite adrenaline, score cheating and more. If any players are added to the pool and later cleared of any wrongdoing, they’ll be able to re-join the general population for online multiplayer. However, a second offense will cause them to be added to the Cheaters Pool permanently. Beyond the Cheaters Pool, Rockstar will also be addressing cheats and hacks in upcoming title updates for Max Payne 3. Invalid leaderboard entries will also be removed “to ensure that the players at the top of the charts have earned their spots fairly.
The feature wasn’t completely new, in fact it was borrowed from their other hit franchise. You may have heard of it…Grand Theft Auto? Yes, the PC version of GTA IV had a similar feature, though not nearly as highly touted at the time, largely due to the fact that cheating in GTA IV’s multiplayer was much less pervasive than in Max Payne 3’s.
Now, as novel a concept as the cheater’s pool was, it was fraught with the same problems that plagued the simple act of banning unscrupulous players, which is that they can simply get around it (many game companies themselves admit that banning is generally ineffective and most players can just bypass or circumvent it). Cheaters are nothing if not resourceful after all. So while the concept is theoretically outstanding, it’s not necessarily any more effective than simply banning those cheaters from playing, in execution.
Rockstar hasn’t officially confirmed the return of the cheater’s pool for Grand Theft Auto V’s multiplayer, it’s likely it (or even more likely, an advanced and highly improved version of it) will be used again in an attempt to keep Los Santos’ online streets free of the dregs of gaming society.