Bot Farming Will Get You Banned!
Bots have plagued the online gaming world for countless years, and with the emergence of the play-to-earn space, it’s becoming a topic of fire in the industry. So what are bot farms, and why is it such a big deal in this space? What happens when caught? Let’s find out!
What is Bot Farming?
Bot farming is an exploitation system used to generate clicks and perform automated gameplay to accumulate rewards, assets, and experience. Typically the culprit (or scheming organization) will use the bot across numerous accounts to “farm” assets quicker. In other words, it’s cheating.
The bots can automatically action whatever is required to generate the rewards and assets. Fighting, questing, fulfilling daily missions, looting, and even selling are automated.
Why is it such an issue? Well, in the play-to-earn space, players can trade in-game rewards and assets for cryptocurrencies. Thus bot farms are fraudulently accruing wealth. It disrupts the game economy, and the injustice of exposed schemes anger the community.
Bot Farming in Axie Infinity
Let’s take Axie Infinity bot farming as an exemplar!
Axie Infinity is the most popular play-to-earn game in 2021. Players earn Smooth Love Potion (SLP) throughout the game by winning battles and completing daily quests. Users can then sell SLP earnt on cryptocurrency exchanges like Uniswap or Binance for fiat currency.
Bot farms in Axie Infinity use human-like behavior to avoid easy detection. Working in the background, they auto-cast and action play in both PVE and PVP modes offered by Axie Infinity. These bots use screen pixels scan (image & text recognition), Interop, and scripting engine. They also use mouse and keyboard behavior patterns in an attempt to avoid the Axie Infinity ban system.
However, when discovered, all bot-farm accounts are immediately banned and their NFTs are no longer usable in the game. As a matter of fact, in July 2021, Axie Infinity banned multiple accounts exposed for bot farming. You can read more about that here.
Bot Farming in Alien Worlds
Alien Worlds (AW) is one of the biggest blockchain games running on the Wax blockchain (EOS fork). And unfortunately, like Axie, the game has been victim to bot farming.
In Alien Worlds, players compete for the scarce resource called Trilium (TLM), which can enhance the user’s power in the game by staking and voting in Planet Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (Planet DAOs). Players may also select NFT game cards for their strategy on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) and WAX to use for mining, fighting, and missions.
A cool-down period tied to the tools used limit mining attempts. Rogue bots are one of the most identified in Alien Worlds. These bots bypass this limitation by running hundreds of accounts in parallel, thus accumulating more TLM and NFT’s.
The Consequences of Bot Farming
Games will typically have in-built detection methods designed to capture culprits. And often, the community assists in providing information and tip-offs. Bot farming will get you banned. It exploits the game, frustrates the community, negatively impacts the surrounding economy, and breaches game security and ethics.