Bandai Namco and Tekken 8 director Katsuhiro Harada are readying the banhammers, with warnings of rank resets and account suspensions, after players quickly discovered that the leaderboard’s ‘top’ online ranked users were cheating or win trading to inflate their standing.
Accusations of win trading to reach a high rank aren’t new to Tekken or fighting games in general. What is new is the fact that it’s far easier to gauge when it’s happening now, something which legitimate players were mighty quick to sniff out. There’s the fact that every player has a radar chart now, which pulls stats from five different categories. While genuine high-ranking players will have a pretty even spread with some high numbers across the board, rank booster stats look a lil’ more skewed and the numbers a lot lower.
There’s also the new replay system, which lets you watch the online games of any other player. Not only is it a great way to find out how other players fight with your main, it’s also cut-and-dry evidence of those who are ranking up by mashing a basic string against a willing opponent.
While there’s no reward for reaching the top of the leaderboard—outside of some sense of moral superiority—it’s a frustrating sight to see for a game that’s so new. Wanting to see how a high-ranking player navigates the game only to be met with a series of three-punch strings while the opponent walks straight into them is, uh, a bit annoying.
The win trading was discovered on release day, with Harada vaguely tweeting about the situation four days later. Replying to a pro creating a (pretty dang good) Heihachi custom, Harada said: “You are permanently banned because you made an [illegal] customization (Just kidding). On a different topic, we are currently dealing with the cheaters on the ranking boards (This is not a joke).”
Things remained pretty quiet, with rank boosters still chilling high on the leaderboard, until the official Tekken Twitter account further addressed the issue on February 7. “Our team is investigating the match data of any top ranked players on the leaderboard who have been reported for cheating in online matches,” the account tweeted. As for potential punishments, the account continued “An in-game warning will be sent out to suspicious players, and actions such as resetting rank data and suspending accounts of players who are found to be in violation will be taken during an upcoming maintenance.”
As of now, that maintenance is yet to have happened. An update was pushed out earlier this week that addressed a handful of issues and did some minor balancing, but we already know another is in the works to address issues such as King getting an entire unbreakable chain grab off a whiff punish, as well as Victor’s throw break window being significantly smaller than the rest of the cast.