Activision has provided an update on Call of Duty’s anti-cheat system, Ricochet, which was launched towards the end of 2021. This security was finally put into place after professionals and regular players alike complained about Warzone being plagued with cheaters.
In a recent blog post, Activision said cheating within Warzone reached an “all-time low” during the holidays, pointing to the success of Ricochet. However, Activision is well aware that battling cheaters is truly never-ending.
“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 within this blog post, Activision said that is released a new feature called Damage Shield, which can identify cheating in real time–preventing that player from doing “critical damage” to others. This feature will never impact “law-abiding” users, 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 just “one of many” new features that make up Ricochet, with more in development. Activision did say that since some of these features went live the past few weeks, the company has seen a decline in cheating reports. “But we know the work is never done,” the gaming giant stated.
Activision also teased what seems to be a potentially outlandish way to mitigate cheaters, saying, “You might start seeing clips of our new tricks soon, but we won’t ruin the surprise.”
The company said it wants to share as much detail as it can regarding its anti-cheat projects–but not too much (for obvious reasons).
Lastly, 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 be applied to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Black Ops Cold War, Warzone, and Vanguard, as well as upcoming titles like next year’s Modern Warfare 2 and the second Warzone title.