Microsoft Cracks Down On Xbox Cheaters


Microsoft took punitive action on Xbox LIVE accounts owned by players who tampered with the save files to elevate their scores.

Some of the biggest cheaters had their entire Gamerscore accounts reset to zero. The players' accounts were also labeled as "cheaters" that were posted clearly for the gaming community to view on the dashboard of the Xbox Web site, and were prohibited from retrieving any previously obtained achievements and Gamerscore, even if they were acquired legitimately.

The recent crackdown might not come entirely as a surprise for cheats. The company said in a blog posted last year that it intended to impose severe penalties for those who attempted to cheat at its games. In its warning, Microsoft strongly advised its Xbox LIVE users not to alter the Gamerscore and Achievements functions.

"If you decide to employ some nefarious techniques to artificially increase our Gamerscore, or obtain achievements by manipulating the Xbox software without playing the game, bad things will happen," warned Xbox LIVE community manager Larry Hryb, also known as Major Nelson, in a blog post.

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In addition to losing their Gamertag, Microsoft said that cheating players would also lose their entire Gamerscore if it appeared to be manipulated, all their saved games and any points that they have on their account, regardless of whether they were earned fairly or not.

Once Gamerscore and Achievement points and privileges are removed, players will never be able to re-earn them on their account, and could have their entire account and/or console banned from Xbox LIVE, Microsoft said.

"As you can imagine, we know how to find out if you do this and we do take action. And we'll continue to do so," said Hryb.

Microsoft also warned its Xbox users not to share account information with other players who promise to "rank them up" or help them progress through the game levels. The account would have to be cancelled if the player decided not to return the account to its rightful owner, Microsoft said.

"I urge you not to fall to temptation," said Hryb. "While it may be appealing, in addition to violating the Xbox LIVE Terms of Use, it can also result in you permanently losing your account."

"Cancelled. As in you can never get it back," Hryb added.