However, certain characteristics will always be apparent in these screen shots, and if you just keep and eye out for these, you will always be able to spot a real from a phoney.
1) A extended delay from the time of request, to the actual delivery of the screen shot.
Faking takes time, so if your screen is supplied instantly, that's one of the best ways of knowing its real.
2) A solitary screen shot.
Fakers usually always supply a single screen shot, the reason is it gets quite difficult trying to replicate the sequence of events and the shroud patterns in skirmish mode, which is where the shroud will be generated and pasted from.
So if a player has posted multiple screens, of different areas of map, all containing shroud, those screens will almost certainly be real.
3) Overlapping shroud.
The natural gradient the in game shroud produces is surprisingly difficult to replicate, impossible infact with basic programs like Paint.
So if the supplied screens have shroud that overlaps with unique characteristics of that game (buildings, units, depleted tib fields, explosions or text), they will almost certainly be real.
Screen text is only of value if it overlaps with shroud, once again because having that natural gradient the shroud produces crossing over the text makes it virtually impossible for anyone to replicate that effect in a sensible period of time.
Text on solid shroud, solid terrain is relatively easy to replicate.
So if you always look out for those 4 basic things, you will always be able to spot a fake screenshot, from a real one.
Because the fake screen are usually faked to 100% accuracy, relying on this circumstantial evidence is really the only method we have to detect fakers.
Also, watch out for players that have consistent patterns of providing screens that always fail to meet the above criterias.
Here is a recent example of a screen shot the newly appointed cheat moderator on another TS site posted, when someone suspected him of map revealing.
Use the methods above to determine if its real or fake, the answer is at the bottom for those that need help.
1) Delay In Posting? - FAIL
2) Multiple Screen Shots? - FAIL
3) Overlapping Shroud? - FAIL
4) Overlapping Text? - FAIL
Edited by SkeletonNod, 19 April 2010 - 11:55 PM.