There's been a thread similar to this one on Evo-Web before, so I apologise if it seems repetitive. However, I'd like to ask this question again, to see if I'm in the minority or the majority. When I buy a game for the XBOX 360, I usually try to finish it in single-player mode before I play it online (which often means I don't get to play a game online - I doubt I'll ever play Tiger Woods online, for example). I've always seen online play as the ultimate challenge; beating the CPU is hard enough in a game like Gears Of War or Rainbow Six: Vegas, trying to beat some of the online players you meet is like trying to get blood out of a stone. Lately, though, I've noticed that I'm rarely having fun online. My favourite online games so far have been Gears Of War, FIFA 07, PGR3 and Burnout Revenge (if you include PC games in this, then Battlefield 2142 as well). So why haven't I been having fun with them? In Gears Of War (or BF2142), the opponents are so good that I usually finish last in each round - it's a waste of time. In FIFA 07, you get players pressing long-pass from the half-way line, exploiting a glitch that means the pass will usually find a team-mate close to goal - meaning that each game is just constantly boot, boot, boot, no real gameplay at all. In PGR3, you get cars banging you off the road, wheel-spinning you from behind, and you even get cars trying to form a road-block. It's supposed to be a racer, not an arcade racer, and it totally ruins the game for me. In Burnout Revenge, you get the kind of cheat that PES players hate the most; lag-cheats. This gives the effect that their car stops dead in the middle of the road every few seconds, meaning that if you go within FIVE FEET of it, the physics engine thinks you're going to drive into a stopped car, and so makes you crash and burn. So, in those games, it's very rare that I get an online game with no morons and/or no cheats. I've mentioned before that when I've played PES, at least a third (and I'm being kind, I'm sure it's a hell of a lot more than a third) of the people that I played were either lag-cheats, or freeze-cheats. Meaning that one in every three games you play, you get a cheat. So, tell me, unless you're happy to play non-competitively (as in play endless friendlies and not play in the "divisions" that they have), what is the point? What is the point of playing in an online league where a huge percentage of players are cheats - meaning that whatever position you get in the league is skewed totally by the fact that you have a thousand cheats above you and half of your results have been losses because of those cheats? It's not a fair reflection of your ability and so in my mind you might as well not know your position in the league and just play endless friendlies for no ranking points. The games companies seem to be reluctant to step in; if you say a third of PES players are cheats - or if you be extremely kind and reduce that fraction to a fifth - that's 20% of their sales going to cheats. If Konami lock the cheats out, then either with PES6 or PES7, they will potentially lose out on 20% of their profits. I should say at this point that my girlfriend is also a big gamer, and she plays Battlefield 2 online daily. She very rarely complains, and says that in games like Battlefield, I should join a clan. This isn't something I really want to do, but she says that if you join a clan then you get support from your team-mates (rather than just watching them run off in seven different directions and getting killed along the way), and you get better at the game as a result. But as a casual gamer (as in I will play five different games a day) rather than a heavy gamer (as in playing one specific game every day), I don't think it's fair that I should have to join a clan when I just want to pick the game up and play. I should also say that there seem to be games (such as the Battlefield series) that come with very few methods of cheating (if you play on official servers with Punkbuster installed then you don't have many problems). I commend the developers of these games and the Punkbuster system completely, as they even patch their products if any glitches are found (unlike the guys behind PES and Burnout). Which makes me wonder; why are some games seemingly designed to be so open to cheats and others not? For example, there don't seem to be lag-cheats in PGR3 (meaning that it's either impossible to do or they've thrown out the people who do it) - so just why is there a thousand in Burnout Revenge? Is it purposefully done or is one set of programmers simply better than the other? So, finally, with all of this in mind, what do you think of online gaming? Do you think that people like myself should just get more practice? Do you think we should shut up and join clans? Or should we even go as far as to cheat like everybody else? What do you think the future of online gaming is?