Launching a web3 game? Don’t forget about the cheaters.

It’s the moment every game builder dreams of.

You launch a new game. Users flock to your service in droves. And, yours is the next “it” game.


Your marketing strategy has lured the wrong kind of users. That shiny token or NFT airdrop campaign you launched? It attracted a click farm and your very business model is now under attack.

It all sounds surreal in the nascent Web3 ecosystem, but building a community full of bots is simply not sustainable. No game can thrive with a community of robots talking to each other. Building a trusted community starts with identifying users as humans and then limiting the number of wallets or profiles a user may have.

Sadly, the bot problem is rife within the gaming community. A study last year discovered that 40 percent of web3 gaming accounts are bots using on-chain data. While it may not initially seem to be a problem, it’s the sort of issue that compounds with time.

Scenarios like this illustrate the need to harden not only our gaming apps but also our blockchain ecosystems. Where there is financial gain to be made, cheaters will find ways to take advantage of weak links in the system.

It’s just tip of the iceberg

For game builders, dealing with cheaters is not a new dynamic. And, once users are gaming the system, they’ll attempt to take advantage of new avenues for gain, leaving game builders playing a veritable game of whack-a-mole to combat adverse play.

In our conversations with emerging game builders, we typically find that play-to-earn issues are just the beginning when it comes to combating fraud on the platform.

Game builders suffer from vulnerabilities related to Sybil attacks, NFT mints, airdrops, and all other kinds of cheating, fraud and spam. Many game builders also need to restrict play to adults, and don’t have an easy way to do so.

The basics of cheating in Web3

Scalping is the perfect analogy for how users cheat with Web3 games. Usually, a game offers a financial reward to entice users to a game, whether it’s in-game rewards, an NFT, tokens or otherwise. Then, a cheater creates multiple fake accounts to become eligible for rewards, typically using easily exploitable information such as a phone number or social media profile. Where there is one individual or a group of individuals running fake accounts, the fake accounts associated with the attacker are known as Sybils.

When the Sybils buy or take all of the inventory, such as rewards, NFTs or tokens, and then profit through the sale of the inventory, they are effectively acting as scalpers. In this way, the scalpers artificially drive up prices on secondary markets. Not only do they cheat real users out of inventory, they also leave game builders in the lurch with fake user bases. Games incentivize users to participate in their games, and without real, true users, their games cannot grow organically.

Taking control of your community

Fortunately, building trust within your gaming community is easier with Proof of Personhood, which can be created and managed on-chain. Proof of Personhood helps you establish with certainty that one individual is associated with one wallet. Wallet owners complete a live video selfie to prove their personhood. The owners re-authenticate periodically to maintain a high degree of certainty that the wallet is not later associated with an AI agent or bot.

By establishing who the real players are, you’ll be able to remove bots and cheaters to create a better and healthier community for your game.

Proof of Personhood, and all Civic Passes, are non-transferable tokens that are issued after a user’s credentials are verified and reside within a user’s wallet. 

In addition to Proof of Personhood, you can manage user access with the Civic Pass Platform, according to preset or custom requirements such as age, liveness, location, identity document or custom verifications. And, Civic Pass is supported on Solana, Ethereum, Polygon, Polygon zkEVM, Arbitrum, XDC, and Fantom.

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