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What Does DDoS Mean In Gaming?

You’re having the time of your life for this particular game night. You’re getting “Winner winner, Chicken Dinner”, Aces, and more clutch than you could ever imagine. You’re thinking this might be your lucky night.

When all of a sudden, a massive lag spike hits you in game. Your ping hits numbers you didn’t even think was possible for your Internet speed. You get disconnected from your online game and you can’t connect again.

Well, your first thought you probably have terrible Internet connection but you checked and everything was all right. What could possibly have happened to your gaming session? Well, you just became the victim of DDoS attacks, and it’s a terrible part of playing online games.

This article will tell you everything there is to know about DDoS in gaming, and what they mean for online gamers all over the world.

What Does DDoS Mean In Gaming?

DDoS Flowchart What Does DDoS Mean In Gaming

DDoS stands for distributed denial of service. DDoS attacks are targeted towards websites most of the time, but online gaming aren’t exempted from such an attack.

DDoS attacks only have one goal and that is to cut off or disrupt your Internet activity. They do this by making it impossible for you to enjoy the game through high latency pings or sudden disconnections even if your Internet traffic is fine.

How Is A DDoS Attack Launched?

A DDoS attacker sends out illegitimate requests to a web server, which would cause the server to slow down or crash. These requests are usually normal and part of whatever service is being provided. Normally, you’d get one user to interact with the server and their requests would be sent to the server.

Think of it this way. Legitimate users line up properly at the front door with their individual requests. A DDoS attacker carries with it thousands of requests. The server would slow down or crash. Once a game’s servers go down, normal and legitimate users won’t be able to carry on with whatever online services they wanted to avail of.

How Do Hackers Launch A Service Attack in Gaming?

DDoS Attack What Does DDoS Mean In Gaming

Without going too much into details, there are two ways on how DDOS attack work: launch attacks against an individual, or against an entire company.

When a person is attacked, their online session is completely disrupted, even to the point of ruining your gaming experience 100%. DDoS attackers would need your individual IP address, which they can easily get if you download their malware.

Once they have your IP address, they’ll need huge network resources, or computers called botnet, to send requests to your network. Once this happens, you can’t play properly up until you disconnect from the Internet through a router reset or if you protect yourself with VPN providers.

On the other side of the spectrum, large companies’ game servers aren’t exactly fully protected from DDoS attacks either. In fact, their DDoS protection doesn’t really kick in up until it’s already happening to them. Their games would then have massive lag spikes for some players and then disconnections for other players.  

DDoS Is Cheating

When DDoS attacks happen against individual players, the victims find themselves being on a complete disadvantage. Lag spikes are the least of their concerns, especially if requests are carried out in large volumes against them.

But in reality, DDoS attacks against users aren’t as uncommon as you’d think. Players from games such as Apex Legends and Rainbow Six Siege often get targeted for individual DDoS attacks and the companies behind these games have found a way to protect the integrity of their game by banning these hackers. DDoS attacks affect the way games are supposed to be played out. Now you have certain players trying to get unfair advantage by forcibly giving the opponents massive lag and sudden DC.

In rare cases, DDoS attacks are also used to ransom certain players. These attackers would send out a message to these players, telling them they’d become a victim of a DDoS attack. But they’ll tell them that they won’t proceed with the account if they’re paid a certain amount. Successful DDoS attacks against a person or on a game server are unpleasant for everyone.

DDoS Is Spying Too!

Individual DDoS cyber attacks are also cause for concern because they are also linked towards spying on you, or the gaming community. A DDoS attack only needs your IP address, but hackers will always find a way to use this to their advantage.

Your Internet traffic becomes exposed and these hackers will know what you’re logging into, and worst case, they might steal your information as well.

DDoS Is A Service?!

DDoS attacks, believe it or not, are now becoming services offered by these nefarious hackers. A DDoS attack can be hired or rented online for as little as $10, with technical support and all.

How does this affect the online gaming community? For a measly price, you can cause havoc and chaos on gaming servicers, individual gamers, or even an e-sports team. But before you consider doing something like this, note that you can actually go to jail for DDoS attacks.

Are You Susceptible To DDoS?

The short answer here is yes. Anyone can be a target for a DDoS attack. But thankfully, DDoS protection isn’t uncommon, nor is it that expensive to begin with. You can use a VPN server or VPN service provider to protect you against successful attacks.

A VPN service protects your privacy online and hides your IP address as you surf the Internet without affecting your Internet speed. VPN servers are also secure, so individual gamers like you don’t have to worry about being attacked.

What Should You Do If You’re Being DDoS’ed?

Now massive lag spikes here and there don’t necessarily mean that you’re being DDoS’ed. But if you feel that it’s happening way too often even with a strong and stable Internet connection, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Unplug your router at the source and the Internet cable
  2. Turn off your PC or console
  3. wait for at least five to ten minutes before you turn it on back again

Cutting off your Internet service should immediately stop the attack because you get a new IP address assigned to you. Your cyber attacker won’t have access to this just yet. Botnets will only continue to operate as long as the IP they are attacking is still active.

How Can You Protect Yourself From DDoS Attacks?

Protecting yourself from DDoS attacks is as easy as 1,2,3.

  1. Don’t click on malicious links or apps. They might install a malware in your PC and these hackers will be able to find your IP.
  2. Install a VPN or virtual private network service or software. VPNs are great for hiding your IP address while you surf the Internet. You can install VPNs on your laptop and mobile phones too. ExpressVPN and NordVPN have the best prices for VPN services right now.
  3. Update your computer security. Install anti-malware software and anti-virus programs, or update what you already have. Be sure they’re always turned on when you’re gaming or surfing the Internet.

What Are Key Takeaways?

DDoS attacks are meant to overload servers, so you won’t be able to get a response from them when a DDoS attack is in place. But there are several DDoS protection in place for individual gamers like you so you don’t become a victim.

While DDoS attacks are used mostly to target big companies, networks and websites with large infrastructures, gamers have found their personal computers and networks to be a prime target for attackers in recent years. Attackers also target the infrastructure of large online gaming platforms, making it impossible for gamers to use them.

Remember large companies and corporations may find themselves at the receiving end of a DDoS attack far more frequently than your average user, but it doesn’t mean that you should be lax as well.

James Stephenson

james stephenson profile picJames is a gaming and tech enthusiast. He has been playing computer games since the Commodore 64 days in the 80s. He has worked as a Broadcast Engineer with BBC News and knows a thing or two about building, fixing, and playing with PCs.