Best ways to stop people leaking your game client side

I know this has been a hotly debated subject in previous years when I viewed the dev forum. However, during that time, I did not realise that stealing games would be so easy. Now with the rise of synpase and other exploits, there are even people selling services such as “Steal Roblox game for you”. In this, you literally pay five dollars for the guy to steal five games of your choice (Though provided nothing in serverscriptservice and serverstorage can be taken.)

It’s always a subject of not caring for it until it happens to you. Now, I’ve realised that a number of people have been stealing my games and sending me screenshots of them being in studios with my game. Though I realise that Roblox can remove uploaded versions of these games, it still does not stop them selling these to unwitting clients as models they’ve made themselves.

So, having around 4 years of coding experience, making games on Roblox and scripting for other people, I’ve compiled here a list of possible ideas I have of limiting game stealing and minimising its impacts. (Note, at least from my knowledge, I don’t think it is possible to completely prevent client side game stealing, however us devs can try to make it as hard for the hackers as possible.)

The list goes from most effective to least effective. I haven’t been able to really test these, so whether they do work or not is up to debate. But if any reader knows any of their methods, please do share!

  1. Hiding game-breaking codes in the game, which check for the id of the owner of the game through ProductInfo. It also checks if the game has RanService IsStudio() for further complexity on hacker. So they don’t realise that the game has a virus script inside. The script can be called something generic like “script” or " "(space) so making it harder to search in explorer. The script itself could do something like having a loop which kicks everyone, effectively shutting down the server each time it’s played; deleting everything in workspace and rep storage; or doing something really laggy that breaks the game each time a server is created. A few upsides is that it stops people from being able to use the game even if they steal it. However, experienced scripters will be able to find the script with ctrl shift F. So it’s more of a bandaid than an actual solution. It also does not stop hackers from just taking your models and leaving the game.

  2. Having models only spawn in from the serverstorage to repstorage when player needs them. And then cloning the models from rep storage to workspace in the client side, and deleting it in rep storage immediately after inserting in Workspace. The upside is that even if the hacker takes everything in workspace and repstorage, they just get an almost empty game with a few models loaded in. Downside is that it lags your own game due to all the client to server interactions, and doesn’t stop hackers from stealing specific models.

  3. Making your game have so many parts that it literally breaks the computer of anyone trying to steal it. Either making your game super big, or have a script that spawns in a bunch of unnecessary blocks in a really far off corner of the game that it will hardly affect gameplay. This prevents hackers with bad computers from downloading client side, or cause them issues and make their life miserable while they steal your game. However, it lags your game as well. I’ve experimented and noticed that if you spawn the parts into rep storage, it still makes it hard to download, but the gameplay will be less effected. It does slow down initially loading servers in if you are creating a bunch of instances. Again, this is not a perfect solution since someone with a good computer and lots of patience can still steal your models.

  4. Make your game so popular and famous that anyone stealing it will be called a rip off the moment they do. This is what most triple A games do. Their games are completely open source, and everything is downloaded client side anyways. Yet, nobody really steals off them since their games are so famous that anyone trying to steal can be seen as an immediate fake. (And because they have top notch lawyers.) There is no real downsides to this, but good luck getting your game famous enough.

  5. Get a lot of money, make use of DMCA/ hire a lawyer. Again, it works, but it is a lot of hassle and takes money on your part, all for the cause of a Roblox game. I understand if the bigger games would take use of this, but for smaller hobby devs, it’s just not feasible.

The above is just some solutions I was able to brainstorm. Sorry for the lengthy post. If anyone have their own solutions, as again, I am very happy to hear them.

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I dont think there are any AAA games on roblox.

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This is not a debate! There is no way to stop exploiters from stealing the client-side of your game! The most you can do is file a copyright claim but that would probably not stop exploiters from doing it anyway!

I explained this a bit earlier in a different post.
https://devforum.roblox.com/t/notice-your-game-can-be-opened-up-in-roblox-studio-and-get-copied/882964/2

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I was talking about triple A games outside of Roblox. They have nowhere near the security Roblox has, such as having everything online and nothing downloaded. Triple A games like Call of Duty have you download all the content into your computer first before you play. Therefore you pretty much have a leaked version the moment you buy the game. But still, nobody can really make a fake CoD and sell it off as their own since it is so famous with branding anyways.

This is similar to nobody really being able to steal phantom forces since it is such an iconic game that people will realise it’s stolen the moment they see it.

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Research thepiratebay. You will see why you are mistaken.

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Not sure if this is even good advice. If your game has too many parts players won’t be able to play it, plus exploiters can copy the game slowly with success. Especially mobile players could be killed off with this

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I agree with you that there are sites for them. But Triple A games gain so much revenue anyways that a few websites like those hardly affect actual revenue.

Anyways the topic of this discussion is for ideas to LIMIT game theft to as much of a degree to prevent amateur hackers or people buying synapse to steal. ie, making the game so that less people are able to steal it and market as their own. The above use of AAA games is just an example, and the last two points can be seen as jokes anyways.

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This is probably the most effective, you can contact roblox support to take down a copied game. Without a lawyer or anything assuming the copied

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Having parts in rep storage, or having transparent parts reduce the performance loss. But I agree that it does slow down performance. However it’s balancing act of how much performance you are willing to sacrifice to make it harder for the hackers.

I have seen this working even with myself trying to download some of my own larger games, which don’t lag a lot in game as many of the parts simply don’t render due to their distance from the player. But, either my connection is bad, or the game being simply too large, it takes me nearly an hour to download another copy of it.

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Well hackers will take the hour if they really want your game. Also it’s not too hard to write code that bypasses those parts. Especially if they have similar properties. I.e. create a copying script that doesn’t copy rep storage parts that are transparent

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Yeah, as I’ve said. It’s impossible to completely stop hackers stealing your games. But you could still make it as hard for them as possible by having viruses in your own game, increasing instances needed to be downloaded, and having only the most necessary instances put into client side, with the rest being held at serverstorage.

Even if it doesn’t completely prevent people leaking your games, it does stop many of the amateurs and those who don’t have the will to stay an hour to hack.

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Maybe to add onto the ways to stop leaking, i recommend tracking memory usage.
Usually when an hacker downloads the game via their script kiddie software, they have to render EVERYTHING in the game and that makes their memory usage go up.
I recommend trying to find a place in your game that’s most resource intensive and make the memory usage the maximum it is shown in task manager / script.
To calculate it you’ll need to take advantage of the ‘Stats’ service.

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Ah yes, I totally forgot about this.
But this is a brilliant way as well, though sometimes people have fluctuating memory usage due to pings or a lag spike in the actual game. So it does come with that caveat.

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perhaps maybe when that occurs, there could be a script that automatically lowers part graphics on detected lag, it can be done by putting it in some FPS calculator.

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Please, do not try to stop leaking, it’s not something you can prevent right now, the best you can do, it’s just to not give attention to it… if they get players with a leaked game, claim DMCA :smiley:

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huh. speaking of DMCA, where would i do that? would be pretty helpful since i’m getting threats of my game being leaked.

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DMCA is usually the last thing lawyers will recommend you to do due to all the strings attached to it. Filing for DMCA is not free either. With the majority of roblox devs being children or teenagers, having even the pocket money to file for DMCA on smaller scale games is not even possible.

People can also take your game and not upload it, instead selling it to clients via GRP or HiddenDevs. Making it impossible for you to track down anyone who took it in order to claim DMCA.

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here you can see information in a DevForum post by Roblox.

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Roblox will just take down game, no need to take it to court :laughing: (I mean… if you come to court and mention Roblox they’re gonna laugh lol)
Just email Roblox, then the owner of game gets punished along with group/game

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IMO (in my opinion) you could spend hours and days creating the most robust anti hacker stealy stealy game on roblox. You could get technical and store functions on the server and get them through remote functions, heck you could create a custom rendering engine to prevent map theft. But at the end of the day, really people worry too much about games being stolen, and sometimes you’re better off just contacting roblox support if someone steals some stuff and calling it a day. It’s more important to prioritize player experience than try to remove the ability for people to copy your game, cause they will eventually be able to if they try.

Edit also to get a game taken down isn’t too hard, just emailing roblox support with proof and some game links

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