Call of Duty’s getting a kernel-level anti-cheat system to combat cheaters

Call of Duty's getting a kernel-level anti-cheat system to combat cheaters

Call of Duty’s getting a kernel-level anti-cheat system to combat cheaters

Activision is cracking down on Call of Duty: Warzone’s cheaters, revealing today that a new anti-cheat system called Ricochet will soon be added to the game alongside new machine learning algorithms that will track cheaters using gameplay data from servers. 

Ricochet Anti-Cheat is a kernel-level anti-cheat system that monitors applications that interact with Call of Duty: Warzone. The driver will only be active with Call of Duty Warzone is being played and is “not always on”. 

This new anti-cheating system is designed to combat widespread cheating within Call of Duty Warzone. This anti-cheating system will be implemented first in Vanguard and be added to Call of Duty: Warzone as part of the game’s planned Pacific update. 

While most Call of Duty players will welcome this new anti-cheating mechanism, the prospect of Call of Duty using a kernel-level driver is controversial. For starters, such a driver has privacy concerns, as the driver will have live levels of access to Windows. While the driver will only be used to track software that interacts with Call of Duty, some players will not trust Activision with that kind of access to their PCs. 

Many PC games have implemented kernel-level anti-cheating systems to combat cheating, with Valorant being an example of a game that has used this method to combat cheating successfully. That said, Valorant isn’t entirely free of cheaters. 

Below is what Call of Duty’s developers had to say about their updated anti-cheating system. 

    Cheating in Call of Duty is frustrating for players, developers, and the entire community.   

Our teams have made great strides in combatting this persistent issue that affects so many, but we know more must be done.

We are proud to introduce RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, a robust anti-cheat system supported by a team of dedicated professionals focused on fighting unfair play.

The RICOCHET Anti-Cheat initiative is a multi-faceted approach to combat cheating, featuring new server-side tools which monitor analytics to identify cheating, enhanced investigation processes to stamp out cheaters, updates to strengthen account security, and more. RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s backend anti-cheat security features will launch alongside Call of Duty®: Vanguard, and later this year with the Pacific update coming to Call of Duty: Warzone.

In addition to server enhancements coming with RICOCHET Anti-Cheat is the launch of a new PC kernel-level driver, developed internally for the Call of Duty franchise, and launching first for Call of Duty: Warzone. This driver will assist in the identification of cheaters, reinforcing and strengthening the overall server security. The kernel-level driver launches alongside the Pacific update for Warzone later this year.

While the kernel driver, which is only a part of RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, will release to PC, by extension, console players playing via cross-play against players on PC will also stand to benefit. The kernel-level driver will subsequently release for Call of Duty: Vanguard at a later date.    

Call of Duty's getting a kernel-level anti-cheat system to combat cheaters  

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