Activision Gives An Update On Call Of Duty Anti-Cheat, Promises More Measures Are Coming

"While anti-cheat is not a magic bullet, this is a battle we're committed to fighting."

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Activision has provided an update on Call of Duty's anti-cheat tool, Ricochet, which was launched in 2021 amid complaints that Warzone has becoming overrun with cheaters.

In a blog post, Activision said cheating within Warzone reached an "all-time low" during the holidays, speaking to the success of the Ricochet tools. However, fighting cheaters is a never-ending project, and Activision acknowledged this in its statement.

"As time has progressed cheat developers have looked for new ways to try to exploit the game. Some have succeeded, many have not. While a recent rise in cheating is not at the level it was during Verdansk, according to our data, any increase is frustrating," Activision said. "Our team is constantly monitoring and will continue every effort to prevent and combat this wherever possible. This back and forth is expected, and while anti-cheat is not a magic bullet, this is a battle we're committed to fighting."

Also in the blog post, Activision said it has released a new feature called Damage Shield, which can identify cheating in real time and prevent that player from doing "critical damage" to other players. This system will never impact "law-abiding" players, Activision said.

"When the server detects a cheater is tampering with the game in real-time, it disables the cheater's ability to inflict critical damage on other players. This mitigation leaves the cheater vulnerable to real players and allows ]Ricochet] to collect information about a cheater's system," Activision said. "We track these encounters to ensure there is no possibility for the game to apply a Damage Shield randomly or by accident, no matter the skill level. To be clear, we will never interfere in gunfights between law-abiding community members. Damage Shield is now out of testing and deployed across the globe."

Damage Shield is "one of many" new features that make up Ricochet, and more are in development, Activision said. Since some of the features rolled out in the past few weeks, Activision said it saw a decline in cheating reports. "But we know the work is never done," Activision said.

Activision also teased what sounds like potentially more outlandish or unexpected cheating mitigation efforts. "You might start seeing clips of our new tricks soon, but we won't ruin the surprise," it said.

The company said it wants to share as much detail as it can regarding anti-cheat projects, but it can't or won't always do this so as to not give cheaters a heads up.

Finally, Activision said its security enforcement policy will now permanently ban players on every account they have for "extreme, repeated" violations of the policy. "Additionally, any attempt to hide, disguise, or obfuscate your identity or the identity of your hardware devices may also result in a permanent suspension," Activision said. These "permanent suspensions" will apply to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War, Warzone, and Vanguard, as well as future titles, like 2022's Modern Warfare 2.

In addition to Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward is developing a new Warzone game.

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