Reporting pua, hammer. A trusted user is clearly cheating. Also, there's a moderation problem. +Some thoughts

1) What’s the name of the player who abused the rules?

pua’ and ‘hammer’, also possibly ‘vera’ and ‘a’ (I suspect they all are the same person).

pua’ on 2024-04-18 09:31:14 UTC and ‘hammer’ on 2024-04-19 11:58:14 UTC.
vera’ on 2024-04-18 23:00:21 UTC and ‘a’ on 2024-04-18 23:19:54 UTC.

At 2024-04-19 12:28:54 UTC, ‘hammer’ said, “Yeah lots of nicks” so there might be more nicknames.

Attempts were made to votekick all of them except ‘a’, but all failed because they are Trusted users.

2) How were they abusing the rules?

They were clearly cheating. More specifically, they all exhibit EXTREMELY unusual behavior.

At first, I noticed something strange was happening: ‘pua’ somehow was able to find me wherever I went. It was around 2024-04-18 09:19:59 UTC.

I started some investigation using two clients and two different IP addresses(VPN) while recording the both clients (Video Footage #1). One of the clients was used as a spectator while I was trying to bait ‘pua’ using the other client.
Why VPN? I don’t exactly know how AoS Server and Clients work and how some hacks work, so there’s a chance that ‘pua’ was monitoring to see if someone was spectating using two clients.

The bait was simple. I went around the entire map (especially the edges of the map) to see if ‘pua’ could find me. The map was a town map (I don’t know the name of it) where it’s quite difficult to find other players. Unsurprisingly ‘pua’ was able to, several times. Only 10 minutes into it, ‘pua’ found me like 3~4 times. I stopped recording, immediately put to the vote to kick. It was 2024-04-18 09:31:03 UTC.

The votekick was failed. Some conversation went like this.

Me: I have a video proof.
pua: I’m recording too.
Me: I’m calling admin
norbe: call admin
norbe: hello, admin here. pua is not cheating
Me: u admin? kick me then
VPN client got kicked.
pua: bahahaha

I immediately noticed there was a problem with the moderation. ‘norbe’ didn’t even try to look into this. All norbe did was check if ‘pua’ was logged in, where ‘pua’ was from, where I was from.
(although, I’m not 100% sure if ‘norbe’ is a mod.)

The map changed. ‘pua’ was still cheating. I changed my VPN clients IP address, started recording again (Video Footage #2), doing the same thing again.
There was another guy named ‘test’, he was inspecting ‘pua’ too. He kindly confirmed to me that ‘pua’ was indeed cheating. Thanks ‘test’. :slight_smile:

On the next map, I recorded him cheating again. (Video Footage #3)

Next day, I joined the server again.
No ‘pua’ but there was someone again exhibiting similar unusual behavior, nicknamed ‘vera’. I did similar inspection, without recording a video.
It was 2024-04-18 23:18:16 UTC.

Since ‘vera’ 's way of talking was similar to that of ‘pua’, like
how easily a player can get inside your head. almost as easy as getting in yo momma
and an attempt to votekick ‘vera’ was failed saying ‘Trusted user’, although I’m not very confident, I suspect ‘vera’ is actually ‘pua’.
The votekick attempt was made by ‘Kuromaru38

vera’ left after a while. But only a minute after, someone nicknamed ‘a’ joined. He also exhibited similar behavior, ridiculing ‘Kuromaru38’ in the similar tone.
Therefore I also suspect ‘a’ is ‘vera’.

I joined the server again after a while and ‘hammer’ joined. Needless to say, ‘hammer’ also started showing the same behavior and talking in the similar tone.
I instinctively knew ‘hammer’ is ‘pua’. Tried to votekick ‘hammer’ and guess what, the votekick failed in mere 2 seconds. ‘hammer’ realized that I’m the same guy from yesterday, said my previous nickname ‘Sonny’, so I’m very confident that ‘hammer’ is indeed ‘pua’.
It was 2024-04-19 11:58:14 UTC.

I started to bait him while recording (Video Footage #4, #5), and thank pua, you, ‘hammer’ got caught cheating again.

3) When did this occur?

Timeline above.

4) Evidence:

Video Footage #1 is overwritten by Footage #2 :frowning:

I recommend watching footage #3, #4 and #5 first.
It’s much shorter and easier to get it.

Footage #2

  • Video Timeline

on the left window, light blue dot is the position of ‘pua’

0:19 - pua kill #1
1:00 - trying to hide from ‘pua’
~ 2:39 - somehow ‘pua’ gets to me
3:05 - trying to hide from ‘pua’ again
4:10 - ‘pua’ found me
4:30 - go to the other side of the map, trying to hide.
~ 5:18 - ‘pua’ again found me.
– ‘test’ guy started to talk about him (he’s spectating pua)
5:48 - ‘pua’ found me

things continue.

19:11 ~ - ‘pua’ says, “Yeah I hate cheaters”, “Yeah they ruin the game for legit players”, “That’s why I spectate them whenever I can”

Footage #3

  • Timeline

0:53 ~ 3:10 - long waits

Footage #4

  • Timeline

~ 1:46 - bait #1
1:46 ~ - bait #2

Footage #5

  • Timeline

~ 1:32 - bait #1
1:32 ~ - bait #2

5) Some (unnecessary) additional thoughts:

First of all, I understand why ‘Trusted User’ is a thing, but you shouldn’t have a blind faith like a moderator ‘norbe’ did.
At that point, ‘norbe’ should be a regular player not a moderator, or at least, shouldn’t have claimed to be a moderator if he wasn’t going to do anything.
Just notice that ‘norbe’ backed ‘pua’ without inspecting ‘pua’ 's behavior.

Another thing is that, things would be way better if you develop and provide your own modified client that all trusted users should use. (looks like in-game spectating system is not accurate enough)
A client that records player’s actions every tick of the game.
And a record player that just replays recorded player’s actions.
So whenever suspicion arises, suspects submit a record, and mods can easily examine that record.

Client part shouldn’t be that hard, but record player part could be difficult to implement.
But I believe this record player can be done by making a simulation server that simply replays records and a client that connects to that server to inspect the players actions.

I have some more detailed thoughts about this but the community probably wouldn’t be interested since AoS community is quite small, not worth the pain?
So I’ll end it here.

My english isn't that good, but I hope you understand.

Hey tnafreka,

thanks for the report.
Norbe is indeed a mod, usually quite active and banning already quite a few players.
I don’t know the reasons for why he didn’t check pua/hammer, but generally all of us do Ace of Spades just voluntary. My guess is that he didn’t check him after he saw who that person is. Believe it or not, but trusted players and players who appear as very good are pretty often checked. And even if not, we are still open to any evidence from others, so lets get into it!

Your videos
#3 I get what you mean. You are trying to hide and he finds you nevertheless. Honestly, while watching I was hoping he wont find you haha. From an evidence side it’s not conclusive enough. We don’t ban/punish innocent players and when we do so we need some good evidence. Here, pua could argue that he was wearing headphones and hearing you. Especially when he is just a few blocks far away (and you were able to hear him too) its likely that he localized you by that.

#4 (1:36 onwards) - Generally a good strategy to walk around the map, but in this case it sadly failed as you saw. A bit painful, especially because he is almost impossible to see from there (just walking a bit at the edge of the cliff at 1:41). But without seeing his perspective we cannot count it as evidence for a cheat.
3:16 You attempt the same again and he suddenly kills you there. Almost the same situation like before.
I will come back later to this point.

#5 (1:28) you do the same strategy again and then he suddenly appears again like a villain in a horror game lol. 3:26 similar situation but he shoots from a bit further. I will come back later to this too

00:19 I see a kill and I see that he doesnt snap or so, but this is not an evidence by itself
02:39 This is your own grenade, he didnt kill you here
04:09 this is the first time he found you while you were silent.
Sorry for that but for time reasons I skipped the longer section in between with your chat with player “test”. “test” is not an admin and it would not be fair to ban someone for an offense that some third party claims. If I miss something relevant here please let me know.

Alright! This here was so far about the videos you provided. They are all pretty similar, some kind of hide-and-seek between you and him. There are different kinds of cheats. Examples are ESP (seeing people behind walls), aimbot and wallhack (shooting through walls). From the evidence provided, the underlying assumption would be ESP, meaning that he somehow finds you although you are invisible. Usually, ESP uses boxes or texts to show where someone is behind some wall. The best way to determine if someone uses ESP is to watch their perspective as spectator with spectator ESP. I will come back later to the best-practices regarding how to gather proof of a cheater.
As of now, it would not be fair to ban the player based on your videos. I can understand the frustration, but in all cases except one we could argue with headphones.

But here is the bonus: I asked the person you suspected whether he can provide me some material about it. Luckily, he had a screen recording open during the game play.

Pua/hammers videos


First of all, and that counts for all the videos provided by him: we dont see any kind of ESP, his perspective seems pretty normal to me. There is also no player arrow in the minimap on top right visible that shows the enemies. When he found you in the wall he also didnt find you immediately, he first crouched quite a bit away (00:44) and expected you there. Also, in 00:55 he looked around so he can better localize the sounds. You see how long it took him and where he looked for you, there was really some work behind to find you haha. This is for me proof enough that he only found you via the sound.


Here and in #5 it becomes tricky. You are quite a bit away. The only thing we could question: how did he know that he needs to walk into your direction? Okay you guess the answer already. The video starts when he got killed by another player. The camera of his client was still there and he was able to hear the sound of you splashing into water. Ofc he knows where he died, therefore it seems reasonable to walk to that position.
The other scene is a bit more tricky. You can hear a very faint water splash on the platform while he shooting at 00:30. And when he approached you there, you can see that it’s not like he knew exactly where you were but rather that he tried his best to find you. You can hear that someone builds up.


Veery subtle, but at 00:20 there is a splash on the right side hearable, and from 00:25 some water moving sounds. And at 00:51 there are water sounds at the back left, very hard to hear, I admit. I could understand if this doesn’t convince you. What matters here are good headphones.


00:10 Same pattern again. He has a rough idea where you are and then looks around in that area, then found you. Even though you are a bit covered in fog, its all fine. Same goes for 00:21 when he killed JJ. In 01:23 I hear a mini jump from the right side, he also goes there and finds you. 02:36 kill: he walks quite a lot, in 01:54 I can hear some walking in the water, the rest is probably blind hunting. 03:10 kill looks to me like searching. 3:21 onwards: its possible to hear your weapon switch but it could also be blind luck. 3:40 like said before, swimming is dangerous, has a quite unique sound. 4:20 kill: Generally expecting you to respawn in your spawn zone seems reasonable, and you must be hidden somewhere. Hard to tell which footsteps are whose. There is some jumping sound at 04:09 to which he reacts.

I can really get your frustration, especially when you moved silently, but it really looks legit to me. The only thing we are evaluating at this point is whether it was possible to expect you at a place. However, even without headphones, you can see that he just estimates a direction and searches until he finds you.

Some players are just good and with the right headphones you will notice sounds that are else not that noticeable. To my last knowledge, the player used the Sennheiser GSP 370 headset. It wouldn’t be fair to ban based on the given evidence. From all the ways to move, the only silent ways are by crouching and sneaking (V). Playing hide-and-seek against someone with ears like antennas can be then frustrating.


Okay lets move on with the tips.

Client side recordings:

This luckily exists! Check out IV of Spades. Its a client based on multiple forks of OpenSpades which also added demo recordings into it. With the right settings it can automatically record every gameplay of yours, meaning it just takes a few MB per recording. Cool thing about it: When you want to bait a cheater, you dont even need to spectate. All you do as player is to type /an <player> and then /pw player. Then, after your match, you can playback the same match in the client and have all necessary information you need about the player + the integrated spectator ESP allows you to better judge whether or not someone is cheating. That also has the advantage that you can just upload the .demo file and don’t need to undergo as much efforts.

Server side recordings:

This also exists. aos-stuff/pique/StaffTools/ at main · VierEck/aos-stuff · GitHub. That allows a server to have a recording of everyone at any time on the disk, until it gets auto deleted after a preset time.

Clients for trusted:

Hmm I am not 100% convinced that we should force anyone to have a specific client. With 3 or more different clients for the same game, everyone already has their favourite one. IV of Spades is cool, but people who prefer the classic art style of the original client or BetterSpades should be allowed to use them.
Additionally, here we were lucky that the reported player screen recorded and cut his gameplay but we do not expect trusted+ players to prove their innocence. It should always be the opposite, we need to prove someone wrong.

My final thoughts:
I want to say thank you!
You made a lot of efforts for this report, provided over half an hour of video material, cut it, gave timestamps, and had a recording with the perspective of both of you. I really appreciate this. And this is where you, the player you reported and I agree on: We don’t want hackers in the game. I would not be surprised if you host your own server some day or become staff on an existing server, because you share the passion with us.

There is a discrepance between the players who are perceived as hackers and the players who are actually cheating. We do ban quite a lot of hackers, but we usually do it with good evidence. Feel free to swipe down the Appeal Your Ban - community section for some examples of our video evidence. The best players are not always cheating, and some weaker players sometimes hack although people wouldn’t expect it.

Thanks again for your efforts. You have good intentions and I value that. I hope that I made it for you somehow understandable why I don’t take action against hammer/pua.

Have a great day,


Thank you for this fantastic assumption. Don’t forget to add that I answered every single one of your 200 questions you had on how I know who pua is and explaining to you every time.
I see you pick and choose what to say. Next time you ask 200 questions and get 201 answers please mention that. DO NOT IMPLY THAT I DID NOT DO ANYTHING.