Hey fellow Head,Eyes enjoyer.
I play labs main and I learned a lot of things the last years in 5500 hours to dodge the cheaters. There are some common mistakes people do that will make you actually more targetable by cheaters. I usually never run into a cheater outside of labs.
Tip Number 1: Don't play on low populated servers.
This is something I always tell my friends. These Servers are no secret. You don't really outsmart other players for easy loot, in fact, they actually spawn less loot. ( tested over wipes with friends low pop servers spawn less AI / Raiders & lose loot ( which is the highest value loot )
Cheaters, especially the real money traders, play on these servers. Why? Because less reports – it's that simple. They lose a lot getting banned actually. The cheaters that shoot you through walls are rage cheaters that only do carry service. If they get banned, they don't really lose a lot beside their account. Real money traders however, lose all the value they farmed + the account + way more progress ( since they usually play "less effecient" to not get reported and play on a single account way more / farm more ) .
If you play on High populated servers you also have a way higher chance to not run into a cheater at all in the lobby. Best example : Labs being free last wipe. I ran labs only the days before that event and ran on average into a cheater every 3-5 raids. The day labs was free? 6h of 0 cheaters. I'm dead serious.
6 hours equals around 30 raids of no cheaters at all. It blew my mind.
Tip Number 2: Try to play on central NA servers or high populated servers only. East and West Coast servers are targeted by carry service ( because most RMT cheaters are coming from countries where you can make a living of cheats which is usually eastern europe or asia ) These can't connect on central servers. Additionally to that I recommend to not play early in the morning or at night on west coast servers since it's daytime in Asia then and yea…
Tip Number 3: Don't run meta loadouts if you don't wanna die to a cheater. This was huge this wipe with the Flea Market being level 20. I tested it personally and I died 5 raids in a row on any map ( customs,shoreline,woods ) to cheaters. Why? Because it was hard to make money with very slow flea market traffic and they can see with their cheats what value a player has on him. Meta mutant + slick + exfil? Easy 600k+ for a cheater selling to traders. As soon as I ran lower tier gear to run my tasks I survived every single raid – no cheaters at all. Especially shoreline is huge when it comes to this. Why? Because they spawn and see : no ledx, no red keycard, no blue keycard, no bitcoin – oh look! a TTV meta gear pmc with 600k worth of gear! Guess that's my goal for this raid!
Tip Number 4: If you really don't wanna die to cheaters because you are low on money – dodge top tier loot items early wipe. This is huge. I tested it running reserve for tank batteries and guess what – no cheaters the entire raid until I opened that room with a tank battery inside. 1-2 Minutes later a rage cheater pushed me. They don't want you to extract with it and wouldn't turn on their cheats unless the loot is in "danger" and not reachable for them without cheats.
Tip Number 5: Just don't play labs. Seriously, Labs is the highest value map IF you survive ( because of the keycard price ) and IF you have the keycards ( red,violet,blue,green,black ) Cheaters never die and have all keycards / access to the rooms. Labs is not the best loot map if you don't own the keycards I promise you. No matter the time of wipe – just raiders and lose loot is not worth the risk of running into top players, fighting crazy Raiders & paying 200k+ to enter the map. Surviving on other maps is way more valueable – especially Interchange. If you play shoreline and loot the village or woods and just survive most of your raids you will make crazy amount of money. I think a lot of people hard underestimate how much money you can make that isn't tech store interchange, Labs or Reserve tank battery / marked room. There is a reason why more and more cheaters actually target interchange over Labs recently. A friend of mine was sitting on 100 million+ roubles by maining Woods early wipe. Why? Because 90% survival rate. Moonshine,Sthurman, Violet Keycard spawns and huge amount of food & loot spawns in the towns and new loot locations are super underrated for money.
Yea cheaters suck but there are ways to have a close to cheater free experience for weeks in this game. If you follow these steps you will most likely never experience a cheater if you are lucky – I promise.