Ubisoft netcode means The Division hackers are here to stay barring ‘complete rewrite’

Outlook is slightly more optimistic on console

From constantly falling through the environment and getting stuck weird places to cheating boss fights, The Division is glitchy, and that’s to say nothing of the enterprising PC players able to give themselves infinite health, infinite ammo, and Nightcrawler-level teleportation powers.

And if you play The Division — especially on PC — you might just have to deal with the presence of these super heroes in your dilapidated New York.

Former Respawn (Titanfall) senior programmer and lead network programmer at Sony Santa Monica, Glenn Fiedler, has written a blog about how The Division netcode works and how it, “displays a fundamental misunderstanding of how FPS games are networked.”

Fiedler, an expert in the fiedl, trawled Division glitch videos, mostly finding bugs that, “should have probably picked up when testing the game.” Not great; whatever. Then he found a now-removed video of a PC player actually hacking the game with, “a client-side cheat program that is poking memory locations and giving players infinite health, infinite ammo, and teleporting players around the level.”

The implication is, “that The Division is most likely using a trusted client network model,” which means important gameplay information (how much bullets someone has, how much health, movement capability) is trusted to be tracked and kept on the player side, rather than server side. Fiedler says, “my opinion of can this be fixed is basically no. Not on PC. Not without a complete rewrite.” The latter is not likely.

“Possibly [it could be fixed] on consoles provided they fix all lag switch timing exploits and disable players moving and shooting while lag switch usage is detected (trusted client on console exclusive games is actually more common than you would think…),” Fiedler writes. “[B]ut not on PC unless they completely rewrite most of their netcode and game code around a server-authoritative network model.”

Never Trust the Client [Gaffer on Games]

Steven Hansen