Overwatch’s 1.12 patch has arrived, and it has brought several different changes to the game, including one particularly unannounced change that delivers a killing blow to colour-based aiming hacks.
Aimbot is a dirty word in competitive gaming, but every game seems to have had its own struggles with cheat software, and Overwatch’s aimbots often work by targeting a very specific shade of the colour red that is used to outline enemies on screen. Blizzard, deciding the simplest solution is probably the best one, have subtly changed the red outline shade in a way that should be invisible to us mere mortals, but will defeat the robotic aiming overlords.
This is important, because ensuring a completely cheat-free environment is absolutely key to making sure high-level players have a safe public environment to play in. Considering entry to Overwatch’s grassroots amateur league is earnt on the back of a master rank in Overwatch’s ranked play section, it’s worthwhile protection.
Blizzard haven’t released an official statement, however a Reddit post citing the Korean Overwatch forums has shed some light on the process:
Image recognition based aimbots, prevalent in Korea, work by targeting specific RGB value used for enemy outlines. Basically starting from this patch, the outlines on enemies slightly change in color (unnoticeable to human eyes) so that the image recognition engine on aimbots would be either completely useless or have high failure rate (if they try to target the range, rather than a specific RGB value). They are already known to function incorrectly on maps like Gibraltar with red backgrounds so this should deal a critical blow to these hacks.