PlayStation Patents New Way To Detect Lag Switchers


Sony Interactive Entertainment has patent a new way to detect cheaters that use lag switching.

If you've played any competitive multiplayer game online over the years, you've probably come across a fair share of cheaters, including many "lag switchers." While the cheating method isn't as common on consoles as it's on PC, it does happen, and it's an infuriating hack to come across during a multiplayer match.

That said, in an attempt to further reduce the practice, Sony has filed a new patent for "detecting lag switch cheating in games" with the United States Patent Office.

The patent itself is pretty wordy and confusing unless you're familiar with reading patents of this type. But it was awarded last month and basically allows Sony via PSN to not only detect lag switchers easier, but ban their accounts on PSN easier. Further, it will help reduce any wrongful bannings.

For those that don't know: lag switching is when a player temporarily delays the flow of traffic to the Internet via meddling with their own home network. In the context of an online game, a physical toggle can be switched on to delay gameplay and give the lag switcher an advantage.

Lag switching is perhaps most common in multiplayer shooters, and can manifest in multiple ways. Sometimes a lag switching player will be seemingly jumping around the screen untouchable, other times the player will appear invisible or take no damage when shot at.

As mentioned above, it's a problem that inflicts PC gaming more than PlayStation gaming, but it's been a problem on the PS4 nonetheless. And it's a pro-active move by Sony. While the PS4 is a pretty closed platform, making lag switching more difficult, it's smart to further get out ahead of the issue, as well as figure out new ways to catch cheaters and ban them.

The competitive multiplayer space is only growing in gaming, so it's good to see Sony not messing around with this type of stuff.


Whether it will manifest into any noticeable differences for the average player, probably not. But if you've ever been on the other end of lag switching, you'll know how frustrating it is, and thus this will be very welcomed news.

Thanks, MP1ST.