Ghosting in Sauerbraten – A Guest Column by Acuerta

As of late, the exasperating topic of “Ghosting” has been brought to my attention once again.
Many of you will probably wonder what it even is so I’ll try to explain the best I can:

Pertaining to games (Sauer), “Ghosting” describes the act of spectators helping their clan/team by floating around the map and giving away important information (e.g. enemy location/health, item spawn times etc.).

Ghosting has a long tradition in Sauer. When I started to play the game in 2009 and got into TC, one of the game’s most reputable / skilled clan at that time, it was already being practised systematically.
Just like we had our fixed lineup for 3v3 or 4v4 games, we also had designated “callers“.
Trained people who would connect to the server, sit in spec and give us valuable shouts like “incoming right”, “one in our base” etc on Mumble/Teamspeak. I know for a fact that this was in no way exclusively a TC thing; basically any clan who was capable of doing it also did it.
(I got that confirmed by numerous sources).
Considering how well-established this system already seemed to me back then I am tempted to assume that it had already existed for a long time.

At some point in late 2009, the uproar got too big to simply shrug it off any longer.
As far as I recall, the PSL league (classic case of RAS syndrome btw) was the first to react to the scores of complaints and introduced a server-side spec delay feature. The server would hold back all data for specs for a certain amount of time (~10-30 seconds) so that they would see the game with a delay, thus being unable to “ghost”.
This feature was successfully adopted by various league successors such as SDMC and SWL.

However, 99.9% of the action in Sauer happens outside of leagues.
Outside of regulated servers with spec delay.

It’s up for debate whether ghosting should be considered cheating or not, naturally the opinions vary a lot.
Anyway, here’s a small list of pros and cons:


  • It’s part of a clan’s skill as a team
  • You can’t do much about it unless you have special servers or want to shut out specs
  • It brings the teamplay to a higher level


  • It is highly unfair towards smaller, more casual clans who can’t / don’t want to use voicecom
  • It takes away many elements of the game, such as surprise attacks, sneaking in and out etc.
  • It creates an atmosphere of distrust among clans
  • It’s somewhat cheating; similar to playing with a wallhack if you have a good caller

Ultimately it’s up to the clans to decide whether they want to put up with ghosting or not.
You can always ask to go to a server where you can set mastermode 3 and shut out the callers.
Or you could simply stop ghosting and just enjoy the game. You really could.

Voice your own opinion. Participate in this strawpoll and/or write a comment below!


  1. TheLove

    well, i used it once with fraggsta 0815 ulului on SWL i think on our first title game there and they shout at me &quot;SHUT UP&quot; .. i didn&#39;t know about the delay and never done that again :D<br /><br />for me, i can predict %70 of the enemy movements also communication with team give you eagle eye and high advantage, i don&#39;t recommend people to use &#39;ghosting&#39; as you described

  2. Star of vaQ'

    &#39;vaq guys again&#39; <br />It&#39;s still hilarious that it was assumed that we would do ghosting, when nobody was in mumble … <br />Maybe weaker players should realize their lack of skill and stop shouting &#39;cheats&#39; on every loss, but start training when they want to get better. Else learn to deal with it, please, for fucks sake. <br /><br />Still, my opinion on this matter is that

  3. Star

    you&#39;ve always been a bunch of excentric lowskill cunts.<br /><br /><br />after all what you are doing is to complain about putting thoughts into the game to establish tactics in order to win. when JG scouted the spawnpoints on every map, developed trickjumps and clocked the time of individual flagruns, nobody complained about cheating.<br />It is just a way of using what you get. <br />There

  4. A Stranger

    Well it seems like you can define pretty much whatever you want as cheating nowadays, as long as you&#39;re intelligent enough to come up with a half-decent reason to back it up with.<br /><br />Personally, if I&#39;m using an expensive headset I automatically gain an awareness boost because I can hear more things and in a more precise location. Is this cheating?<br />If I buy a new monitor with

  5. Anonymous

    Ghosting with a communication on &quot;code&quot; (simplified and tactics) is a big plus<br /><br />&quot;hack&quot; for me

  6. Agalloch

    If you can say your mate, how much health he have, its cheating. Its even worse than wallhack. You can inform your mate about a LOT of things while without it the game is fair. Full fair. Considering it with expensive headphones is shit.<br /><br /><br />For me its cheating and nothing like Profesionality of teamskills. 3vs3 is about 3vs3 etc. Doesnt matter if you use mumble/ts/ or clan chat. Its

  7. ade

    +1 to everyone who says this is no cheating.<br />especially to star, because wtf, what is this bitching now? teamchat illegal, communication illegal, wtf do you guys have nothing better to do than searching excuses? :D <br />and to &quot;ghosting&quot;: its definitly more a disadvantage than an advantage. A good Team with a good communication over TS or Mumble wont grow together when they always

  8. Acuerta

    I am involved with SauerCom but since I was sharing personal opinions / experiences it&#39;s a guest column.<br />SauerCom is impartial, I am not.

  9. Agalloch

    Star, reSTAR or Retard,.<br /><br />dear vaQ, always fighting for his trú.<br /><br />Where is said by me, that TEAMCHAT is illegal? <br /><br />BREATH yea ;)<br /><br />Ade detto, you read everything or just what you like ?<br /><br />But ok ill say about teamchat too. Teamchat is ok while only playing team can talk there. Star, ty, you prooved me once again your idiotism. Gj, pls continue :D I

    1. ade

      I understand your concern but just because its unfair you can not force them To stop it because its not illegal, its just not nice. Like ragequitting when you lose.<br />Same for the healthscripts they use: why should you mind? You can do that without scripts too and you wont learn it to do it when you always rely on the scripts and one day youre fucked ;)<br />So why fucking care, dont worry be

  10. MaRie

    Star: &quot;Bitching will always be followed by bitching back&quot; <br /><br />You and 90% of your mates are always the first who start to bitch to the others, it&#39;s hilarious that u say that, seriously.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.