Microsoft is trying to patent anti-cheat machine learning tech

Microsoft is trying to patent anti-cheat machine learning tech

Microsoft has filed a patent that would see the tech firm using machine learning to detect cheating in video games.

The patent would see the Big M able to find bad actors at a platform level, rather than using anti-cheat programs. Those - as a title like Playerunknown's Battlegrounds has shown - aren't reliable and are sometimes shockingly easy to disable.

This patent was filed in May 2017 and has only just been published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It currently applies to Xbox Live, but given how Microsoft's games ecosystem is operating and is designed at the moment, it's likely this tech will make its way onto Windows 10 titles, too.

The tech would be looking at player behaviour, such as what achievements they have unlocked, to determine whether they are playing legitimately or not.

This isn't the only machine learning innovation that Microsoft is interested in. At E3 this year, the firm revealed that it was using AI to help consumers load up Xbox Game Pass titles faster than ever.

Blizzard is also hoping to use machine learning to spot bad actors in its games with the hope that over time it will go from being a means of spotting toxic language to spotting 'toxic gameplay'. Valve, too, has been using this tech in Counter-Strike:GO, while AI start-up Spirit is hoping to use artificial intelligence to curb toxicity online.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.