Respawn' security analyst Conor Ford has revealed that more than 700 top-ranked Apex Legends players have been banned from the game over the last 7 days.
Ford shared this information on Tuesday via his personal Twitter account.
700+ accounts used for cheating in ranked (Gold-Pred) have been permanently banned since last Thurdasy. This does not, and will not, include any accounts that used an infinite heat shield exploit. Love you all ♥ï¸ð¨
— Conor Ford / Hideouts (@RSPN_Hideouts) March 16, 2021
"700+ accounts used for cheating in ranked (Gold-Pred) have been permanently banned since last Thursday," Ford wrote. "This does not, and will not, include any accounts that used an infinite heat shield exploit. Love you all."
In recent months, this is the second big wave of bans focused on high-ranked players, the first one being from November when more than 400 Diamond players were banned for using an exploit.
Out of these 700 banned players, around 180 were ranked Diamond and Predator, which are the top two Apex Legends ranks, while others were playing in Gold and Platinum ranks.
If the number maybe seems low to you, this is by no means the total ban count, but just those who were playing at higher ranks.
Speaking to PC Gamer, Ford said that in total they have banned over 2 million accounts since the release of the game, and they ban around 100,000 players on a monthly basis.
Ford explained that in the vast majority of cases they ban hackers before they even enter the match or while they are still in very low ranks (Bronze).
"Some are banned before they [enter a match]. Some just hop onto a hacked account and rage hack in a pub and are instantly detected," Ford said. "The ranked series will see less cheaters generally, especially in higher ranks, as they require larger amounts of time put in while going undetected to make it to that level. A substantial amount are also caught in Bronze to Gold."
Ford explained that most of the cheaters are using the usual hacks that are easily detectable, but he also states that the team is constantly keeping an eye on possibly new cheats, saying that they have recently noticed a new hack that allows players to instantly unload an entire magazine in a single shot.
And while Ford says that he hopes that cheats will at some point become a thing of the past, he acknowledges that there is a huge financial incentive behind making new cheats, simply because of the equally huge demand for such products.
One thing is for sure, cheaters can not use hacks on Nintendo Switch, a platform Apex Legends recently has been released on. Although, for Ford and his team, the new challenges are coming when the game releases on mobile, as that will undoubtedly bring new hacks and potential cheaters.