Rocket League Players Are Using Machine Learning To Cheat

A red car zooms in the game Rocket League.

Picture: Psyonix

Rocket League‘s loyal players have had enough. For more than a week, fans complained that the game—it’s soccer with shoutingcustomizable cars—are being terrorized by a bot trained with machine learning, and that developer Psyonix is ​​doing nothing to save them from it.

The offense “God level” bot is called Nexto, one of many Rocket League bots trained by the application programming interface (API) RLGymwhich deals with “the game […] as if it were OpenAI Gym” through bot-versus-bot tournaments. While most of the RLGym rotos available don’t use machine learning (which lets algorithms make predictions based on sample data), the two-month-old Nexto does, and it uses it well.

Although it has been available to compete with RLGym for a while, recently, “a person made their own tools to use a robot online and just took Nexto from the public repository to use,” wrote one of the authors of the gym. in a Reddit Q&A. These new tools are “frighteningly easy to install and use,” for one a widely upvoted Reddit post says. “I can easily see this spiral out of control within weeks if some kind of fix isn’t implemented.”

Gamers are desperate for a solution.

“I’m not sure why the dev team kept quiet about it,” another Reddit post says. “What is the plan to deal with the cheating if there is one? Or is this just the future of the game.”

“There are quite a few people who have found evidence of bots playing in ranked recently and it’s really a bit worrying,” says popular tweet. “I hope Psyonix finds a way to prevent this soon because this could become a huge problem going forward…”

The developer has told PC Gamer that it was aware of the problem and “is actively exploring solutions.” In an email to Kotakusaid that it currently hadnnothing more to share for now. If players encounter a suspected cheater during a ranked match—or any match—they can report them in-game or contact our support team. As a reminder, the use of cheats or other exploits by players violates Epic Community Rules just like the Psyonix Terms of Use.”

Psyonix too instructed RLGym “not to publicly release any more robots of this caliber until they have the situation under control,” its authors said in that Q&A.

Rocket League fans should try not to despair in the meantime—boots are breakable.

“One silver lining to all this ordeal right now is there are a lot of people looking for behaviors to exploit,” the RLGym author said in the Q&A. “Hopefully someone will come up with an easy way to beat it permanently soon.” Because of car soccer.


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