Global heatmap of cheater density says Brazil is the worst at video games, but there's no data on China

Script kiddies run rampant in Minecraft

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Ever torn your keyboard from the desk and flung it across the room, vowing to find the "scrub cheater" who ended your run of video-gaming success? Uh, yeah, us neither, but a study into the crooked practice might help narrow down the hypothetical search.

The research, carried out by casino games outfit Ruby Fortune, has produced a global heatmap of supposed cheater density.

According to the website, this was done by analysing "search trend and search volume data to reveal where in the world is most likely to cheat while playing online multiplayer video games". The report looks at the frequency of search engine queries for the most-played video games and measures them against searches for related cheat codes, hacks and bots, to show which country has the highest density of cheaters, and which cheat categories are the most popular in each location.

"Countries featured are the 100 biggest based on population size and are adjusted according to data availability. Games featured are the most played online multiplayer titles over the last year, and are also adjusted based on data availability. Data is gathered from [SEO toolset] ahrefs and Google Trends and looks at the most recent figures available."

Brazilian gamers were outed as the worst offenders with a particular penchant for deceiving fans of the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) League of Legends, as well as tots' games Roblox and Minecraft.

At the other end of the honesty spectrum was bleak viking outpost Iceland, with a mere six searches for Fortnite hacks, followed by Panama and Costa Rica.

The United Kingdom came in at mildly respectable 41st, where again League of Legends was the game Brits felt they most needed to con their way through followed by massively multiplayer mainstay World of Warcraft.

Over the pond, the US was more than 20 positions ahead on cheater density but first for the use of both bots and hacks, particularly in cultural phenoms Fortnite and Minecraft.

There is a massive hole in the data, however, thanks to the Great Firewall of China, which has a terrible reputation for ruining the experience of online games.

If there was any doubt that the Middle Kingdom would otherwise take Brazil's crown, consider that Dell once advertised a laptop for the market by saying it was especially good for running PUBG plugins to "win more at Chicken Dinner", a reference to the "Winner winner chicken dinner" message that comes up on a victory screen.

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Data from the Battle Royale granddad's anti-cheat tech provider, BattlEye, has also suggested that at one point 99 per cent of banned cheaters were from China.

And this is just one game. PUBG doesn't figure hugely in the study. Instead Minecraft, League of Legends, Fortnite, Roblox, and Apex Legends were the most popular games with cheaters in that order.

This is likely due to the fact that cheaters are usually issued permabans once detected or correctly reported, and systems like BattlEye are constantly being improved to combat new workarounds.

The study also found that cheating leapt during lockdown, with search engine queries for bots rising 104 per cent between February and June, as isolated scrubs struggled to come to terms with the fact that they just aren't that skilled.

With China missing, the research isn't of as much value, but hey, it's a little afternoon boredom buster. And if you're one of the numbers that has come up in the data, we suggest you find a new hobby. ®

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