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Ban cheaters on Daily Challenge

I'm tired of seeing people getting 25k with 0m on every Spot, any chance they're getting banned?

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  • Happened again today... top score has 0m on every single spot. If you view the summary, there's not even a centimeter of deviation, they are directly on the mark every time.
    Also not a cheater
  • I found one method people may be using to cheat, and it's dead simple. You can find the address and lat/long of the quiz extremely easily using your browser. This doesn't appear to explain how some of these people are getting 100% directly on the money (0m) but given that it only took me 15 minutes to figure out how to find the address and lat/long of every quiz within a few seconds, someone with a bit more knowledge probably can use the same data to find the pinpoint location. The devs really need to look into seeing if there's a way to obscure the network activity. The problem is, they're pinging Google's street view API and have to pass the location to them (or they get it back, not sure which) and even if you were to store it in a cookie and parse it server-side, you probably can't hide the network activity. At some point the browser is going to need to know the secret location. It's a shame because I play the game clean and bought a membership assuming everyone else did so it would be a real challenge. I don't know that anything can really be done about this, cheaters will be cheaters...
    Also not a cheater
  • Yes the way the API works makes cheating blocking almost impossible. And even without visible coordinates you can't prevent someone to make an alt account, play once to get locations,  and play again with the pro account to get a perfect. This is literally impossible to prevent. So in the end just ignore the leaderboard.
    Mapper
  • I realize you're right Mapper. I went from fuming about it today to realizing that since there's no way to obscuring API calls, it is what it is. The game is still fun to play as soon as I forget about the cheaters. Just like cheaters in any game, I'll never understand what they get out of it... certainly not satisfaction. I'll be proud of getting 24k+ the old fashioned way!
    Also not a cheater
  • I totally agree with you Also not a cheater. It's infuriating seeing those stupidly high scores, even though you know they are "false". I too play the game clean and really can't understand the point of cheating in this game as for me it's all about your sleuthing and language skills. I try to ignore them too, but it still irks. I've been playing long enough to know which are the cheaters and don't even include them in the leaderboard.
    Margaret Louise Smart
  • It would be fun and challenging to play a daily challenge against a large group of non-cheaters.  I looked into "leagues" (the "pro" scares me), but not sure if that fit's the bill.  I have scored 25,000 pts in the normal Geoguessr, but I've taken over an hour on many of the rounds using all the tools that I know of.  Any person scoring 25,000 in a time-limited game (150 secs) is using more than mapping skills.

    Too bad you can't set something up for the 90% of us who would enjoy a brisk challenge and have paid their annual rent!
    MontanaDoug
  • Sadly, leagues isn't the solution for your Problems. There are tons of Googler's out there even in leagues.
    Not a cheater
  • We should at least be able to block a user so they no longer can play our maps.
    CVan
  • Being able to ban any people from playing a map is an open door to abuses... I think reporting a player for cheating is better so the devs can just block them from appearing in results. This way they can cheat as much as they want, we'll never see them. Banning people from our challenges and leagues would make sense though and I wish we could have this.
    Mapper
  • if you are grabbing the locations from an api query, then the ban on 0.0 placements will never work. cheaters will just add in a bit of randomness to the Long. and Lat. and miss by +- 1 meter or +- 2,4 meters. what ever gets them 25.000 every time and not have easily discoverable cheats.
    i don't believe the devs could prove someone is cheating. and i don't believe the rules of membership involve *not* getting 0.0 every time.
    i don't believe anything can be done by the devs. many cheaters, i guess, are paying customers and GG is a business.
    i believe the only thing and perhaps the best thing any of us can do is pity the cheaters and know that they are the losers even when they will.
    Bara Fara
  • Was considering subbing today, but noticed scores 25k with total game time of 14 seconds. 2-4 seconds per round.
    Making me twice about bothering.
    Thing is, what does it get them? Unlikely they will be known in person, no monetary value.
    Locking out the leader board ?

    Marl
  • I don't know why you are saying that "the way the API works makes cheating blocking almost impossible".  If a person gets 0m in less than a minute more than once in a game they are cheating.  Ban them.  Done.

    Anyone who gets 0m should be suspect.

    Do you notice that the 0m location is often not on the street where all the pictures are taken from because the street map doesn't line up to street view properly? Therefore if a user pinpoints a location off the street in google maps and ends up with zero m then they should be eliminated. That would take care of about 99% of them.

    Usain Bolt's world record 100m is 9.58 seconds.

    If someone beat him with a time of 2 seconds i'm willing to bet they are cheating.

    That's what 0m results are ...  2 second 100m dashes...
    Also not a cheater
  • point is whatever parameters you arbitrarily assign for cheating thresholds can always be worked around and adjusted to allow for cheaters to accomplish optimal "non-cheating" score. people will always be able to get the answers from a dry run on an alt account and then adjust from there.
    only true way would be every one getting a random 5 locations, which obviously puts everyone on unfair playing level - but cheating could be made "impossible".
    eric
  • Came here to post the same thing. One person is doing it to market a Twitch channel. They are using two accounts (or more). Finding locations with one account, then rapidly going to the now-known locations with second account.

    My recommendation:

    Do this once, 7-day ban.
    Do it twice, 30-day ban.
    Do it again, account is blocked from Daily Challenge.

    tatwfnka
  • To be honest, the Daily Challenge is usually pretty shit. I have stopped caring if people cheat on it. In a lot of instances you're in the middle of nowhere without a sign in sight for 3 minutes in either direction. And pretty much every other game you're next to the Burj Khalifa. When I saw it like 3 days in a row last month is when I gave up on the Daily Challenge.
    Tjerk
  • Yeah, I agree, it's repeating a good bit. Gets tiresome.
    Louise Smart
  • I guess most of these guys just want to get the badge for winning the daily challenge. This badge must be removed or changed to hit 23K+ on daily or something that is totally feasible without cheating. The brettster guy who uses this to advertise his twitch url is particularly disgusting tho.
    Zka
  • oi meu nome é Samuel

    Samuel

  • A screenshot from 26 april 21 at 18:48CEST.
    I scored my first ever 25k on daily challenge with a good distance (only 25m over 5 locations) As far as I can tell #1, #2, #3, #4, #6 and #7 are impossible... You can know 1 maybe 2 locations immedeately and guess them pretty fast (it still would take some time to exactly pinpoint them) but nobody can guess all 5 accurately within a minute each... I feel like I should rank at least 3rd here... 🙁

    I reported several of these players in the past already since they are mostly the same people doing it day after day... and I don't know why... You don't get a badge or recognition and everyone hates you for cheating on a daily basis and you can't even be proud of an achievement you didn't actually accomplish...
    Daan Beernaert aka Daninio
  • I'm not sure what these cheaters get out of getting perfect points each time. Whats the point of the game if its not fun?
    Jim
  • Hi,
    just for the records... just registered myself and played the daily challenge, then I saw the leaderboard and now I think I'm deleting myself again. There's no fun in competing with cheaters that manage to pinpoint a drop like https://www.google.com/maps/@5.2261624,-74.5009225,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sqPhnRe1cdFjguHFnpKsfyQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
    within 46 seconds.

    Call me if you get rid of the cheaters 😀

    Frank
  • I managed within a one minute how to get the coordinates from watching the API calls with the browser page inspector. It might even not to be difficult to write a script for fetching them automatically and put them into a game.

    At this point i want to emphasize, that all my hundreds games are not cheated except of two single proof-of-concept locations. My 25.000-points-world-map-game-in-15-minutes-score is really "hand made".

    But with all the cheaters around i don't care about scores any more, nor i'm interested in competitions. This features become largly uninteresting under this circumstances. But that's ok for me because my fun is mainly to manage it using own scouting skills.

    But watch out for this cheaters because increasingly some people use obscure URLs as their user names and distribute them at top of the score.
    jm
  • It's just a shame GeoGuessr does absolutely nothing to ban this cheaters. Even if you report them, nothing happens.
    Raschlav Burski
  • I’m new to the game, and a bit confused— do you mean to say that we’re not meant to Google street signs, etc? I thought that was all part of the game!
    Abby
  • @Abby, no you're not supposed tot Google them... You'd be able to find everything easily then 😂... You're supposed tot use your general (geography) knowledge to recognize places of to be able to find them by looking around on a basic map
    Daan Beernaert aka Daninio
  • I can see where that comment is coming from though. The only way you can do well in the daily challenge is to Google everything you see. That is, if you can even find a sign within 3 minutes from your location. I would much prefer to have the Daily Challenge stick to urban environments because then you would have a far better chance to do reasonably well. It would be a lot more fun in my opinion.

    I bothered with it recently again once, just to get everything in the overview gold which looked nice. I will now never play it again for as long as I a member here. There are far better game modes to spend your time in.
    Tjerk
  • Of course you can use street signs and any map service you want includung google maps.

    Cheating mean you analyze the transferred data from the google API calls Geoguessr uses and requires for the game. When you analyze this data you can easily find the exact coordinates of the place in clear text.

    By cheating you not rely on your own skills to find a place, but read it like after opening a envelope with the solution.

    Even worse: if you do that automatcally you can get a high score even without looking at the game.



    jm
  • I have managed to score 25k several times in Daily Challenge without any external help (with just my knowledge of geography, languages etc..., Not Googling anything; How they game is supposed to be played) it depends on the locations tho... Some are impossible others are a challenge to find and some of them are easy...
    Daan Beernaert aka Daninio
  • I agree with Daan. While I haven't quite managed a perfect score in the Daily Challenge, I've gotten close and it's really rewarding to be able to guess places just using your wits. Anyone can cheat. I just don't get the point of it.

    I do agree somewhat with Tjerk about these rural places that have very few clues and you're just driving along a back road somewhere. But I really love it when I can recognize an obscure place just from doing this game for years.

    Louise Smart
  • I’m a map geek and geography buff. I adore playing GeoGuessr. I’m not a competitive person, I’m not trying to get a perfect score or cheat anyone out of anything! But...if I can’t figure out if I’m in Guam or Puerto Rico and I come across a street sign, I’m going to google it. It’s just the way I enjoy playing geoguesser 

    Abby
  • If they can't ban cheaters due to the google API or playing twice, the most realistic way to improve the game is to remove leaderboards entirely (because currently they worthless) - and instead show the average data of all players.

    For example "You scored 18,000, the average was 13,500"

    Or, "Among 10,000 players, you are in the top 20%"

    Or, "You were 25 miles away, the average guess was 400"

    This way it wouldn't highlight/encourage everyone who cheats at the top, but actually give players better information, and a real sense of how we did against the larger community for each map set and regardless of difficulty.
    Ryan
  • I agree. It's pointless even looking at the board anymore. I used to scroll down (way down) to see how I matched up, but now it's a waste of time. It's always the same top 10 or 20 people who have somehow managed a perfect score - yet again. There has to be a better way to make it worthwhile to compete, yet discourage cheating. Those are good ideas Ryan. I still love to play the Daily Challenge, even with the massive amount of cheaters - but I just do it to challenge myself and to get ideas for places to visit.
    Louise Smart
  • @abby
    I think it's not about Googling which is not forbidden on the Daily Challenge (for me it's no fun with Google) but about the accounts, that use a bot or something like this to get the coordinates or that are playing with two accounts. It's really easy to find this impossible scores but Geoguessr does nothing against ist.
    Raschlav Burski
  • im sorry for cheating 🙁
    enzo
  • On that note, I was tired of seeing the same muppet cheating his way to the top over and over again (6th day in a row now and geoguessr staff does nothing).

    So I created a tampermonkey script to initially hide the highscores (daily challenges), previous winners (same), results page (same) and leaderboards (explorer and custom maps).
    Results will only be shown once you click one of the horizontal lines (daily challenge results page), or on the All or friends button (all other pages)

    If you want to try it out, install the Tampermonkey extension for your browser and get the script at:
    https://paste2.org/6fEFKtfX
    (Also let me know if I missed something or if you find a bug)
    hakai
  • There are different ways to play this game. You can guess from what you see, you can additionally google locations to get higher scores, and you can use street view to even get good results when you play Mongolia. As different people play using different rules there is no use in comparing results.
    I usually try to find out where I am using Google Maps. In many cases I have to google locations like town names. Then I use Maps to find the place I started from. And if I have identified where I am but it is hard to locate it exactly enough to get 5000 points I use Street View to optimise my 'guess'. Else it would not have been possible without real cheating to get 25000 points even in Mongolia. But it often takes lots of time.
    I hope that you do not consider this way of playing as cheating. It is some kind of detective's work. In Daily Challenge I do not have any chance to compete with real cheaters and semi-professional non-cheaters as 3 minutes are not enough for this way of playing.
    chrsteiner
  • @chrsteiner, the thing about "real cheating" is that everyone will define that differently when there are no clear rules that can actually be enforced. Hint: the only thing you yourself need to do to start getting perfect scores every day is keep reloading the page to reset the timer. Yep, that's a thing 😉

    However, I think it's fair to argue that what you do to get perfect scores does go against the spirit of the game, especially as soon as you start comparing your scores to those of other players who just stay within the Geoguessr window like you're (in my opinion) expected to.

    Also, I do not think this game owes anyone a perfect score in every country. That requires a lot of luck in some countries. First you will need to get five good locations in a row and even then you often need to guesstimate the correct distance from specific recognizable points. In more than a few countries that will definitely take multiple attempts, but when you finally get it, I think it will be more rewarding than using Google and Street View to get 25.000 on your first try. I will never get a perfect game in Russia and that is fine by me.

    Of course I realize that this is very personal and I am honestly not trying to attack you. If you are only playing by yourself then what you do is fine to me and I hope you're indeed having as much fun as I am. But on the other hand this topic is specifically about the Daily Challenge, where you compete with other people. There should be a level playing field there and we should be allowed to define "cheating" a little more strict.

    Anyway, we should not get too worked about it because a level playing field is impossible. There are simply too many easy and undetectable ways to cheat. You can even find and install a Tampermonkey script within seconds and get perfect scores with a single keystroke. (I tried that earlier this week and let me tell you, it suddenly puts some of the godlike battle royale players in perspective.)

    To sum up: if the Daily Challenge cheaters annoy you, the best thing to do is just ignore the game mode altogether. There are better ways to spend your time on this game than that daily parade of lackluster locations anyway.
    PinkRobotPB
  • https://geoguessr.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360020623797-Can-I-use-Google-or-other-help-to-improve-my-performance-in-the-game-

    This may suggest using Google (which probably including Google Maps) is cheating. But how they worded this makes it hard to be sure.

    Using Google is considered as cheating by a lot of people as the game's goal is to find where you are only by using what you see in the game and the map, map that purposely lacks of a search bar. Now you can use Google like you want on single player games as it only affects you but in multiplayer this would be considered as cheating.
    Mapper
  • Thanks for your answers. I am playing for myself and have fun with my way of playing. I openly admit how I am playing and do not want to be compared to people who play another way.
    Another way of playing does not make any sense to me. I have got 1 free game every 24 hours. If I just guess where I am I do not learn anything.
    Of course, if people play multi player games all participants should play by the same rules. But that's not sufficient. They also should have the same technical conditions. I have got quite a slow internet connection. I usually have to wait about 5s after each move until I have a sharp view again. This makes a 3 minute play very unrealistic to solve even when you use Google - Google Maps is not very quick in reloading, too...

    chrsteiner
  • @Mapper: I just read your link and was surprised about what Filip writes there. I did not find rules like that on the GeoGuessr Website. And if I look at high scores it does not really seem like they follow those strict rules.
    If you stay within GeoGuessr window you do just have that small map window and not even Satellite view, do you? Most landmarks like trees are not included in that map. In Mongolia there are even lots of sand routes that are not shown as a road in Map view. How are you supposed to find out where you are if you are not even allowed to use Satellite view???
    Surprisingly, in the low left edge of the map window you have a link to open this area in Google Maps, where you can use search, Satellite view and Street View. I used this link many times to finally get 25000 points in Mongolia in spite of being in regions where there are no landmarks in Map view. I do not understand why they include this link to Google Maps in their map when they do not want us to use it.
    chrsteiner
  • The link on the map is just the Google logo that must be there, they have no rights to hide it. This doesn't mean you have to use it. I didn't even know this logo was a link until today.

    As for the map included in the game, yes there is no satellite view at all. Many official maps are bad because of those middle-of-nowhere locations and Google Maps itself is often lacking of data in many countries (or some places are just empty). Anyways if you play them in single player for the explorer mode feel free to use Google if you want, because some maps are indeed impossible to guess correctly.
    Mapper
  • There will always be some cheaters in any competitive event. Whether it is taking illegal drugs to win an Olympic medal or moving your golf ball in your weekend fourball to illegally get a better lie. On the internet it is harder to regulate so there are consequently more people who succumb to that temptation.

    In this case there is an additional factor because I had to read this thread to learn that some people think that using Google at all is cheating. I just thought that was the way you played the game. Playing a game of what I am going to call 'Naked Geoguesser' was quite interesting. It only made sense to me to play it on my own country (New Zealand) but it was quite satisfying to score over 24,600. I intend to use both methods and treat my scores as different categories.

    That is really the answer to this situation. In just the same way that you cannot compete with Usain Bolt over 100 metres, you cannot compete with the people who are playing the game with different rules. Usain Bolt is not cheating, but unless you are also an amazing athlete you are not really competing with him. Just have fun playing the game your way and try to do as well as you can. Maybe have a friendly competition with someone you know is playing by your rules.

    For those that do want to play the Daily Challenge it would be good to have a message at the end of the day that told you how well you did. Something like:

    The Daily Challenge for March 22nd was played by 20,743 Explorers, each exploring the same 5 locations using the methods they think appropriate.

    Your score of 19,423 was ranked 8,472 which places you in the top 44%

    If you played Naked Geoguesser on the Daily Challenge you would have to be delighted if you got in the top 90% and beat just a few people, but that would still make it interesting to do as well as you could



    Patrick

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