As explained in Team Ricochet’s latest blog, these hallucinations are decoy characters that can only be detected by cheaters, but are undetectable by legitimate players. To the cheaters, though, they look and behave like real players on the opposing team; they’re not AI characters, but clones of another active user in the match, mimicking that player’s movement. They also appear genuine to the cheat hardware and software being used, supplying the cheating player with all the illicit information they would expect.
Not only do these hallucinations make the game unplayable for cheaters, but it also marks them with a Scarlet Letter. Richochet’s systems can then either ban these players or keep them in lobbies to test other anti-cheat measures on these unsuspecting losers.
Even more deliciously, the hallucinations can be used to detect and verify cheaters. If Team Ricochet suspects a player of cheating, they can place a hallucination near them that’s only visible to their cheat tools. If the player then interacts with the cloned hallucination in any way, they’ve just “self-identified” as a cheater, in a poetic self-own.