Splatoon 2‘s leaderboards have been hacked, but by a good Samaritan.
The Nintendo Switch Online app lets players see the leaderboards and stats of various games, among other functionalities. In the case of Splatoon 2, it shows the names of the top four players in each mode. And, for a brief period of time, the names of the top four players in Splat Zones spelled out a message: “Please Add Anti Cheat.”
While Nintendo was quick to remove the player from the leaderboards, one user on Reddit managed to get a screenshot before it was taken down.
In the same Reddit thread, another user—who adopted the pseudonym PleaseAddAntiCheat—claimed responsibility for the hack. According to their statement, they hacked the Rank X leaderboards not for fame or fortune, but in a desperate bid to draw Nintendo’s attention to the prevalence of cheaters and hackers in high-ranked Splatoon 2 play. Here’s their manifesto:
Splatoon 2 is a game that I love so very deeply. Despite having its connectivity issues, I think it provides a healthy and competitive environment for all players; it advocates strategy and a strong sense of team work. It is because of this, everyone enjoys Splatoon, and enjoys the fun of fighting for a rank or a league position.
However, this will not be true as long as there are cheaters lurking around.
I’ve never personally played the first Splatoon, but I heard how bad it was, being overrun by cheaters who tamper with the game and impose unfair advantages on others. I, at first, was relieved that the Switch had a decently strong system security. Perhaps that’s what the development team thought as well. Yet it doesn’t justify removing all the security measures from the first game, and leave the game and its players completely defenseless to ill-purposed griefers who mod their game to victory. I figured that someone needs to deliver a message to Nintendo. And a loud one.
Nintendo, you’re welcome to ban my console any time. My purpose was to call attention to the current issue that plagues the game, and I’ve done that. But my message is, please make protecting your players the top priority.
Please add anti-cheat.
The user was quick to clarify that they merely edited their X Power ranking, boosting themselves artificially to the top of the leaderboards, rather than using cheats in actual games to get there. As proof, they posted a screenshot of the character named Anti, now with its X Power down to zero (presumably in retaliation from Nintendo).
Many players hope that Nintendo will crack down on the cheaters before the Nintendo Switch swaps to its paid online service in September.