Gamers Are Paying Thousands for High Scores in Yuga Labs’ Dookey Dash
Every game has its cheaters and boosters—and Yuga Labs’ “Dookey Dash” is no exception.
Reports have surfaced that some players are cheating on the mint-based game in hopes of logging higher scores on the leaderboard. Elsewhere, some Dookey Dash “boosters” are still boasting about how their clients have yet to be detected.
In video games, boosters are for-hire players who log onto clients’ accounts and pump up their rank, often using cheats or exploits of some kind.
One such “boosting” service told Decrypt that it charges a minimum of 0.25 Ethereum, about $420, for a score of 250,000 or higher, with prices going as high as 2.5 ETH (roughly $4,200) for a score of over 700,000. The boosting service in question claimed it did not use cheats to obtain such guaranteed high scores.
Another booster told Decrypt that they charge 0.2 ETH ($330) for scores over 200,000.
Three weeks ago, the makers of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) Ethereum NFTs launched the endless runner game Dookey Dash with the promise that the highest-scoring gamer will receive a mysterious reward.
On February 15, “validated” Sewer Passes—which could only be claimed by BAYC or Mutant Ape NFT holders—will be “eligible to transform into a mysterious new power source.” The Sewer Pass NFTs have been immensely popular since their release on January 18, seeing over 36,000 Ethereum (over $60 million) in secondary sales in just three weeks.
Whether these boosted scores are legitimate or not will soon come to light, says Adam Hollander, owner of BAYC #3987.
“I just heard from one of the top players on Dookey Dash that lots of the folks advertising paid high scores are using botted code. Cheating is apparently rampant,” Hollander said.
I just heard from one of the top players on Dookey Dash that lots of the folks advertising paid high-scores are using botted code. Cheating is apparently rampant.
Be careful folks. When Yuga runs their audits, those passes will be disqualified & become worthless.
— Adam Hollander (@HollanderAdam) February 6, 2023
When asked for comment on the types of methods cheaters are using, Yuga Labs told Decrypt it did not want to publicize such methods as it might lead to users attempting such cheats in the game’s final moments. It is however monitoring the situation.
“We will not allow cheating. We’ve already noticed some Dookey Dash Sewer Passes associated with cheating. Those scores have now been removed from the leaderboard,” Yuga Labs said in a post Tuesday night.
We want Dookey Dash to be as fair as possible. As we’ve mentioned previously, we will not allow cheating. We’ve already noticed some #DookeyDash Sewer Passes associated with cheating. Those scores have now been removed from the leaderboard.
— Bored Ape Yacht Club (@BoredApeYC) February 8, 2023
How is Dookey Dash getting cheated?
Fabricant CTO Marco Marchesi shared a video showing gameplay of “hacked” obstacles, allowing the player to continue collecting points despite colliding into blockades and objects that would otherwise end the game.
Easy to hack the obstacles in #dookeydash
Less easy to validate a score (and no intention to try @samwcyo 😅).
I wonder if I should run a obstacle-less game as an artistic performance until the sewer closes in 7 days and see what score I can get live. pic.twitter.com/dmFkNp23gD
— rtx 👾 (@thatrtx) January 31, 2023
Others, like Orephelious, claim that cheaters are using “exploits” that allow them to force their scores to be posted and circumvent Yuga’s anti-cheat measures.
“When you play Dookey, every single mouse movement, every obstacle you see or hit, every Fragment you collect, every Dash, every millisecond is collected and submitted. Yuga’s simulator then replays your entire run on their server and if anything doesn’t match… CLOGGED,” they said.
When you play Dookey, every single mouse movement, every obstacle you see or hit, every Fragment you collect, every Dash, every millisecond is collected and submitted. Yuga’s simulator then replays your entire run on their server and if anything doesn’t match… CLOGGED.
— orephelious (@orephelious) February 6, 2023
While many fans believe that Yuga Labs will be able to detect and remove ill-gotten scores, others are less sure.
“Dookey Dash was widely botted,” wrote the hacker ClearHat on Twitter in a detailed, 43-part Twitter thread. “Our team shortly discovered that it was possible to plug in a ‘course seed’ and generate the exact architecture/map of the course, down to the very last obstacle, at the start of every game, and it is 100% undetectable,” they said.
ClearHat claims they figured out how to manipulate the game and that Yuga Labs did not encrypt a .js file that contained “the rules for the game.” By the time that file was updated, the game’s information had already been leaked.
For the time spent on it, it actually performed very well. (23/43) pic.twitter.com/0UdKL7SYPB
— ClearHat (@xClearHat) February 8, 2023
“If they do invalidate any of the scores, it would have to be based on their subjective assessment of whether it ‘looks’ like a bot or not, and that’s not a good strategy,” ClearHat added.