Robot Arena > Tutorials and Tips

A Hosts Guide to the Most Common Cheats and Exploits

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president of ra2 cheating inc:
It's no secret that a good majority of tournament hosts are not doing a well enough job on checking their entrants (which don't get me wrong, I'm not blaming them how many robots tournaments run with nowadays). Most of the time people are only caught after they brag about their exploits, usually thinking that they've outsmarted the host, or that they've discovered some sort of ground break discovery. Very rarely will you see bots rejected for straight up cheating/exploits, even though it's much more common than one would think sadly. As hard as it is to believe more than likely a builder that you look up to has cheated in a tournament in some way

With those two points out of the way, let's move on to what actually matters


Botfile Editing
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- BFE'ing chassis armor strength and weight.
What it is: Fairly self explanatory, allows people to give their bots super strong or super light armor compared to what the game offers.
How to check:**Silverfish's botfile scanner will work**
 Check to make sure that the values inside of the botfile match of up with a legal armor from whatever game version it is that you are using.
Example: Here are two bot-file snippets. The one on the left is a legal bot with Plastic 10 (25 weight, 2292 Strength), the other however has had it's armor strength value increased illegally via BFE.



- Changing component bases in the botfile (eg: extenders to weapons, smartzones to components, axles to servos, etc)
What it is: Allows you to change the component type within the botfile. There's a lot of things you can do with this, but the most common use is to make parts like extenders and panels deal damage
How to check:**Silverfish's botfile scanner will work**
Check the botfile to make sure that the component base matches up with whatever the component is (eg: extenders should be listed as 'Component', and not 'Weapon'. A search for 'Weapon' with match case enable to show all components that have their base set to Weapon is the easiest way to do so. Do remember that wedgelets are still considered weapons in 2.4, even though they won't deal damage




-BFE'ing components to the chassis to make them invincible.
What it is: Any part that is attached to the chassis is invincible in RA2, thus BFE'ing motor and other parts to your chassis is a massive advantage.
How to check:**Silverfish's botfile scanner will work**
 The fastest ways are to either:
- Use apanx's bot exporter to get a list of components that are attached to the chassis


- On an extenderbot that uses the pixelchassis, you can BFE the extender anchor away and any chassis mounted components will stay in their current location as they aren't attached to the anchor


You can also manually check in the botfile


Note: When chassis mounted, only components that are set to alwaysvisible = true will show up in battle or in the botlab. Be on the look out for custom components from entrants that look suspicious


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Cheatbot2
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Using Cheatbot2 variants in lieu of legal components
What it is: Many weapons in DSL have a stronger and more powerful cheatbot2 variant designed for use on the replicas.
How to check:**Silverfish's botfile scanner will partially work**
Check the botfile to make sure that the correct legal .txt file is listed. Do note that many weapons that have both a legal and CB2 variant share the same name. They will only differ in that one is found in the styles folder, while the other is in the base components folder. Also be sure to check the .txt file to make sure that it is indeed the correct file.
Example: Here are two whirlwelp discs. The one on the left is the illegal CB2 version while the one on the right is disc designed for legal use. Do note that the illegal disc is found the base components folder, while the legal variant is found within the styles folder

 


Using invisible CB2 Parts
What it is: Cheatbot2 has a handful of invisible components that are fairly easy to abuse as one might suspect
How to check:**Silverfish's botfile scanner will partially work**
 Hitting F12 to show collision meshes can help show if there any invisible components, but more advanced users will more than likely have their invisible parts flush with other components to make them much harder to spot.
More than likely you'll have to do a botfile sweep if you want to be thorough, although the invisible parts are OP to the point where it's near impossible to hide their use
Example:



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Reskinned Components/Other
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- Sending in modified components disguised as reskins
What it is: Reskinned components require a separate txt and gmf file to work. This makes them one of the only ways to edit a components properties. Potential edits can include things such as HP, weight, alwaysvisible for chassis mounting, and editing motor power. Also, I don't think it's actually been done yet, but because reskinned parts require a new gmf, it would also be possible to make edits to a components mesh for various exploits. Such things could include editing the collision mesh, or even more advanced edits such as wedges that can sink into the floor, but not other bots
How to check: Ensure that the included txt's match of perfectly with the base variant in game, and NOT a potential CB2 variant. You're going to be SOL on the gmf, but I wouldn't worry too much considering how few people know how gmfs work nowadays.


- Stacking Weapons/Components
What it is: Completely overlapping weapons, usually with the intent of going over tournament weapon. Motors are also sometimes overlapped, usually being either chained or servo/burst boosted for greater speed.
How to check: Check by hand and remove weapons from the robot in the botlab, or do a search in notepad++ for 'Weapon' with match case enable to show all of the available weapons. Likewise for motors, do a search for 'SpinMotor' or potentially 'ServoMotor'


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Custom PY's
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- Sending in custom PY's that give an unfair advantage
What it is: Custom PY's can do everything from giving their respective bot buffs in a variety of way, crashing the game if the match isn't going too hot, to outright nuking your PC.
How to check: Have at the very least the most basic understanding of how py's work and give any py you receive a read through. If you don't understand python at all, then maybe consider not allowing custom py's

- Existing py's
What it is: While more of an oversight rather than outright abuse, there are a handful of commonly used py's that have features that can be considered cheating. the force feature in judge.py would be the first that comes to mind for most
How to check: Again, actually read the lines that people send in, and give existing py's a quick read over



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These more than likely aren't all of the exploits that are possible within RA2, but more than likely any newer exploits will branch off from the above.

Finally, yes, I am aware that this technically can serve a guide on how to cheat. But let's be real, almost all of this is either common knowledge at this point in the game, or is available elsewhere in other BFE related guides. While I'm not really sure what the best method going forwards is, raising awareness is at the very least the way going to be necessary for the community to come to any sort of decision or common consensus for the future of the game
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Silverfish's botfile scanner has been released, and it's an effective tool for helping catch potential rulebreakers

It can currently detect:
- Chassis mounted components
- Base type changes
- The majority of CB2 parts

https://gametechmods.com/forums/modifications/bot-file-scanner-v1-0-2-download-available!/


Koi_YTP:

--- Quote ---Here are two whirlwelp discs. The one on the right is the illegal CB2 version while the one on the left is disc designed for legal use. Do note that the illegal disc is found the base components folder, while the legal variant is found within the styles folder
--- End quote ---
Just want to point out a mistake made in this part.  Note the differences in the component names and values for piercing, concussion, HP, fracture and normal, along w/ the txt file on the left having no mass line and the line "hidden = 2".  The one on the left has much stronger stats, and the presence of "hidden = 2" in a txt file will make the component a cheatbot2 component.  The one on the right is the actual legal one while the one on the left is the illegal cb2 version.

president of ra2 cheating inc:

--- Quote from: Koi_YTP on February 25, 2021, 06:58:24 AM ---
--- Quote ---Here are two whirlwelp discs. The one on the right is the illegal CB2 version while the one on the left is disc designed for legal use. Do note that the illegal disc is found the base components folder, while the legal variant is found within the styles folder
--- End quote ---
Just want to point out a mistake made in this part.  Note the differences in the component names and values for piercing, concussion, HP, fracture and normal, along w/ the txt file on the left having no mass line and the line "hidden = 2".  The one on the left has much stronger stats, and the presence of "hidden = 2" in a txt file will make the component a cheatbot2 component.  The one on the right is the actual legal one while the one on the left is the illegal cb2 version.

--- End quote ---
fixed that part. got the two mixed up prolly cause in all of the other images the left side is the correct image

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