Denuvo Anti-Cheat Does Far More Than Merely Stopping Cheaters In Multiplayer Games

Denuvo Anti-Cheat Does Far More Than Merely Stopping Cheaters In Multiplayer Games
Credit: Sayem Al Nahian via YouTube

Denuvo Anti-Tamper (colloquially DAT) hasn’t necessarily been the most popular piece of software that has arrived in the past decade that PC users have to contend with from time to time. Developed by many of the same users that worked with the now-defunct SECURom, which resulted in titles being unplayable for the rest of their lives, and prompted Microsoft to circumvent the drivers.

For the time being, software that ships with DAT don’t have much to be concerned with, until the moment that Denuvo similarly goes defunct; any title that ships with the software will be unplayable unless the developers themselves release a version with the DRM removed if Irdeot goes belly-up.

That wasn’t enough, apparently, as now there’s a new technology called Denuvo Anti-Cheat (DAC) which has made a surprise appearance in Doom Eternal. While it poses as an anti-cheat, however, the official documents outlined by Irdeto, the developers of Denuvo, shows that it’s interested in something else entirely: microtransactions.

From an official statement from Irdeto:

Denuvo’s Anti-Cheat technology, which is soon to be launched as a full end-to-end solution, will prevent hackers in multiplayer games from manipulating and distorting data and code to gain an advantage over other gamers or bypass in-game micro-transactions. This will prevent dilution of the value of the game for the user and the game studio.

Removing cheaters from multiplayer matches is difficult to look at negatively, even more so when you consider how many cheaters you’re likely to encounter in a day of playing competitive titles such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Team Fortress 2.

These bad actors revel in the idea of ruining matches for everyone else, while using various scripts to feel as though they are better at the game than they actually are. Yet the second part of the statement looks at far more than cheating: Irdeto specifically mentions protecting microtransactions, and that’s bad news for PC users.

It’s relatively common knowledge in the modern era, an application called ‘Cheat Engine’. Using Cheat Engine in single-player games allows players to tweak any numbers you can find in the game, ranging from giving yourself a healthy boost of XP in titles that want you to purchase your levels (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was an absolute headache in this regard) to avoiding the entire Gearbox key system in Borderlands 23.

Find the values you want to tweak, and you can continue to play the game without having to either grind endlessly or purchase experience (in the Gearbox Key example, you can avoid searching through Gearbox’s social media channels). You can give yourself a nice economy boost or multiply your numbers obscenely to make the game a breeze: it’s a single-player game, after all; you’d be mad to not play it how you wanted to.

While cheats from the earlier stages of titles have all but disappeared entirely in the modern era of games, applications such as Cheat Engine offers this power back to players. DAC appears to directly counter this ability, meaning using any type of engine to tweak your play experience will soon be a thing of the past. Some are expecting DAC to be used to mainstream microtransactions in single-player titles in the foreseeable future, and the only way to avoid it is to avoid DAC-enabled titles entirely.