How are IP booters used for competitive gaming cheating?

As competitive online gaming has exploded in popularity, there has been an unfortunate rise in cheating to gain an unfair advantage. The emerging method involves leveraging DDoS-style attacks via IP booter services to lag or crash an opponent’s network connection. By flooding their bandwidth, the attacker temporarily boots them offline leading to an automatic forfeit or stalled game.

Understanding competitive gaming exploits

Cheating in video games has always existed in the form of hidden shortcuts, pixel hacks, aim bots, wall hacks, and other desktop software tricks. But as internet speeds increased and competitive gaming moved online, network manipulation emerged. IP booters provide a new way for players to sabotage opponents in ways that are difficult to prove and prevent.

  • In individualized games like Fortnite or Call of Duty, crashing an enemy’s connection for 10-20 seconds hands the attacker a positional advantage or outright victory in battle royale formats when the player disconnects.
  • For team-competitive games like Overwatch or League of Legends, disrupting even one player’s connection at a key moment puts their squad at a huge disadvantage in securing objectives or fights. It only takes one or two periods of disconnecting heroes for the whole contest to unravel.
  • Across Battle Royale, Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA), and other genres, there are pivotal seconds of action where a surprise connection stall gives the attacker a window to press their advantage. Essentially DDoSing your way to victory.

Accessing gaming DDoS services

The typical approach for players is to purchase a subscription to an IP Booter service optimized, specifically for online gaming attacks. These “Gaming Stressers” offer special features catered to disrupting connections for popular titles via specific vectors like:

  • Obtaining an opponent’s IP address through communication platforms or session connections
  • Launching quick bursts of flooding traffic to cause momentary disruptions
  • Supporting major gaming title network ports and infrastructure targets
  • Low-duration attacks priced affordably for casual usage

What Is an IP Stresser? Attackers simply enter the target’s IP into the Gaming IP Stresser panel purchased from an underground provider, select a title and duration, and then click Fire. The network unleashes a rapid flood knocking most residential connections offline instantly, though more robust setups may only lag severely for a period before recovering. Some advanced services even let you schedule an attack coordinated with the game start time for maximum impact. Subscription lengths tend to offer set numbers of minutes to allow rationing disruptions between important matches.

Combating competitive gaming cheats

Gaming publishers utilize a variety of methods to combat DDoS cheating with mixed results including:

  • Temporarily quarantining unusually high traffic levels
  • Blacklisting suspected IP sources flooding their networks
  • Banning players that send excessive UDP/TCP packets
  • Implementing encryption, VPNs, and proxy connections to obfuscate networking
  • Forfeiting matches when one side suffers major connection issues

But, the reactive nature of attacks already underway remains unreliable at best. Stopping players from acquiring gaming IP stresser access proves extremely difficult as well with the global reach of anonymizing services. Publishers instead appeal to a player’s sense of fair play and sportsmanship to avoid the dark arts of DDoS cheating. Competitive circuits institute strict rules surrounding the use of any network manipulation tools too. While software and network detection improve, competitive gaming remains in an awkward spot trying to balance integrity with the growing threats of high-tech cheating. For now, leveraging IP stressers provides attackers a powerful, if unethical, upper hand.