Massive desync exploit usage

Hi all, Hi Devs,

We noticed that desync exploits are massively on the rise again. Especially in quick match it seems (although not exclusively). This is highly annoying. We have found various profiles of people that quite openly and blatantly use this exploit. Take this snip below (i blacked out most of the names to not violate forum policy but I need the colours):

The exploit is used when both teams are shown in red text. And we see the left team consistently winning OR both teams being marked red indicating the game ended in no result. Aka desync. If we look at friends of this person, it happens in more than 50% of their games as well. Even if they play in different configurations. That is not by chance.

These people are actively and without remorse using this exploit. This needs to be addressed urgently. Reporting this case by case in game is undoable.


You can’t believe, I can’t too even now. I was drop hacked in a game 4vs4AI…
I’m start to think that desync message it can appear when also someone try to cheat

It is not when they try to cheat. The exploit functions as a cheat. Here is someone that uses a tool to zoom out even further than normally is possible. In addition he consistently checks our base, scouts and ran straight to good sheep locations. He avoided our army and sniped prelates perfectly at a consistent matter. He is a platinum player…

So besides exploits: also a zoom hack and map hack seems to be available…

I do not doubt that there is something that malicious players can use to take advantage of certain situations, I would also like it to be clearer if there is any action being taken to avoid such inappropriate tools

now referring to the zoom, this is not a hacker, age4 itself allows you to have this zoom

go to settings → camera → zoom → camera mode and change it to panoramic

Camera zoom in game does not allow that far of a zoom. At least, not here and not for my friends. I know “zoom hacks” are a thing in other RTS games. I expect him to use this as he zooms out much further than anyone else ever. In addition: this happens after a brief pause/afk, signalling he alt tabs, presumably to activate this. As was also needed in other RTS games for these things to run in each game.

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panoramic comes nowhere near this, this is 2x what panoramic does

The game should let you zoom out more. I’ve played with a custom 21:9 resolution, which gives you a greater horizontal field of view, with the same vertical field of view, and it’s a huge improvement. There’s absolutely no problem at all with identifying units or buildings at that zoom. The game should just allow that kind of field of view both horizontally and vertically, the fact people think it is so much better that it constitutes cheating if people use a 3rd party tool to achieve it suggests the devs are wrong when they say you wouldn’t be able to play the game any more zoomed out. Basically, let people zoom out to a level where nobody wants to zoom out farther, and zoom hacks won’t be a thing any more.

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don’t see any zoom hacks in aoe2 due to resolution increases or in aoe3 since ludicris zoom was added

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Imo it’s such a bad game anyway, the fact the players are also so bad they’re claiming to lose ‘just because’ of a potential map hack is like so regressive. There were even maphackers in previous AoE games even though arguably, it took way longer (like literally 10years+), and is still to this day rare, because those games were actually crafted better by the original devs.

As clearly the top players of those games stream, and play in person sometimes, they clearly don’t do that. Yet it’s a testament to the original games that you don’t have to , and the top players can still win against online players who might occasionally do that. They aren’t like top50 players just if they figured how to make a esp or map hack to eliminate the gamble of fog of war, because the original games were better, they were crafted in a way where a really good player tends to beat that anyway. Simply defending or doing things optimally was enough.

I actually applaud them then if they made a tweak. Zooming out is not a hack, if you want zoom out request it as a feature, it’ll be added to the other 60-70% per day of posts that are all ‘bug requests’, ‘missing features’, etc., but it’s an example yet again why the AoE4 game was a big failure. Even the oldest AOE games had features for this sort of thing even if it was like in the form of a command or a .cfg file. Lol. They even ‘addressed’ this issue like in ancient times tbh like 1999 and so on. For copypaste devs of the 2022 era it’s ironic that they just wouldn’t know where to begin to fix such a thing and it’ll likely ‘never’ get changed in age of 4, the forgotten bad game.

Also I just don’t think maphacking (see fog of war or cheking things) is that big a problem. You have lke instant gathering and super simple gathering, akin to AoE3 or even arguably easier. So ‘if’ there’s a 1-d bad balance, it’s still up to you to do that better to win. Even though it’s probably ironically, ‘most prevalant’ on AoE4, which I think is because, as I’ve heard, “it doesn’t even out of sync” when revealing the map and not even need any other trickery applied, or anything like drawing over the screen. In contrast there were such bugs but only like mature and good hackers usually ever made them and then never became ‘top players’ or played the game much with the previous games; aoe4 is crafted in such a way where script kiddies have released multiple map hacks publicly that you can just grab offline, yet it’s only been ~1 year! Ensemble Studio’s actual games protected this probably aoe1 or aoe2 onward and so it’s a lot more extensive to make one, and after like 10-20 years, still very rare to find a maphacker.

I think it’s hilarious a aoe4 player as usual shows low IQ. In conclusion map hacking is not going to make you win/lose in such a simplified game, only for extreme noobs maybe anyway. The game’s so badly crafted that there’s now more than 1 ‘maphack’ available publicly (just looked and found 1), while there isn’t for AOE1,2,3, nor AOM, which are 20 years older. How weird! Zooming out also is not a hack. It’s a preference. At the very least it’s a ‘missing feature’ from bad new devs of AoE4 because there’s really no excuse, this isn’t like Directplay from Windows98 being used here, not having ‘zoom out’ or ‘hd’ in 2022 on a new engine that likely renders on Direct3d9 or 11 is their fault entirely.

Even this sync thing, is a borrowed concept, but they clearly just decided ‘eh let the kids play with the garbage we made’, with the name stolen so they think it was some other game entirely (meaning, age of empires). It’s usually pretty simple to say the desyncer or cheat attempter drops, makes team lose, and loses points, then they learn ‘not to do it again’ pretty quickly. In fact the fact they seem to have made this out of sync in general (for other things at least) and it doesn’t do this is yet another massive fail. :man_facepalming:

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Weirdest post I’ve seen in a while. Your argument is essentially “if you play better you can steal beat hackers so don’t cry if you lose”. Did I get that right? There is ethically so much wrong with that concept that I can’t even begin to argue it, so I won’t. But it is hard to grasp the central point of your post so I might be wrong.

No, I was saying A) zooming out isn’t like a big advantage, in such a simplistic game that’s so easy anyway.
B) it’s the devs fault they can do that anyway. You just don’t play with desync players, it’s usually noobs who try to modify or hack the game and find they can’t do it. Players who start to be good at a game don’t do it as much, because 1) they don’t have to and 2) any loss they can view as an experience of getting better. They also simply ‘can’t’ anymore because at some point ES just patched all their games in like 2000-2003 or something like that so that being the one desyncing makes you lose or makes you drop.

C) But yes actually, I stand by that argument just made too. Just like with the ‘better’ games actually made by the same group (Ensemble Studios), not just the brand steal fake one, aoe4, made by lelic,if you actually ‘are’ good at the game and defend then attack, things like maphacking aren’t actually going to make you lose. Top players will generally cover so well and respond well enough where it’s not even like a big advantage to sort of know positions on the map, and there will generally not be so many vulnerable spots. If there is one, they can just run away and bad players don’t respond well to anything so they’ll lose more. Even if it might bolster a worse player slightly, it still isn’t that great.

Also again, the main original games sync map data, so even tho it’s so old and tecnically doable, it’s extremely rare even for just a maphacker or stats-viewing hacker to even bother with it. The advantage gained by that is like negligable, unless you are really bad at any of the RTS games and simply ‘viewing a few things’ means you may lose, so it’s more effectual in noob games. Focusing on ‘things you should not know’ imo is also kind of distracting, and makes you worse at playing the game even if it could defeat some worse players that way.

Ohwell. I’m sure aoe4 will become like this eventual ‘not so good’ brand steal title carried entirely by microsoft marketing, that little kids are playing now, and maybe it’ll ‘survive’ in that way. But it really has/had no redeeming factors. Other than that, maybe 10-20 years later some current 10 year olds will say ‘aoe4 was cool’ or something but really it was inferior to each other one.

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Again, we win. Enemy complains about an ally et voila: desync occurs. We see one person “[name] has left he game” showing twice. We check his profile on aoe4world and yes: this person wins the game or the game got desynced. Clearly exploit usage. T_T.

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sad to see a problem og age devs patched 20 years ago being so rampant now