Call of Duty: Warzone now turns on hard guns in the fight against the seemingly indefatigable cheaters. Before the end of the year, »Ricochet«, the new anti-cheat system, should finally knock the door in the face of the fraudsters. But for this it relies on a kernel driver – a measure that has already caused heated discussions with games like Valorant.
We answer the most important questions about Anti-Cheat. When does it come, what can it do and what exactly does the kernel driver do on your PC?
All information about the Anti-Cheat of Call of Duty
What is ricochet?
The new anti-cheat system should protect Call of Duty from cheaters in the future by searching your PC for suspicious programs and blocking it if necessary. It was announced a few months ago and unveiled on October 13, 2021.
When does the anti-cheat appear?
The system will be part of Warzone at the same time as the update to the new Pacific map. There is still no specific release date for this, but it should be ready in 2021. Leaks speak of November 23, but this has not yet been confirmed. Ricochet will also be installed in Vanguard, but only at a later date.
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How exactly does the anti-cheat work?
Ricochet installs a kernel driver on your PC that has extensive access rights and looks out for cheat programs, so to speak. You can read more about this in the info box!
What actually is a kernel driver? Windows is basically structured in several layers that programs and drivers can access. The deeper the level, the more access rights you have to the system. A kernel driver can access the lowest level 0, but must also be programmed to be bombproof, since even the smallest malfunction can crash the entire system. In addition, it is of course also a question of security which driver is allowed to penetrate this deeply into the operating system.
The problem is that many cheat programs also gain extensive access to a PC and then have more rights than an anti-cheat, which can only access higher levels. This is why such defense systems often rely on kernel drivers.
What about data protection?
Activision Blizzard emphasizes that privacy is very important and that any concerns that players may have are taken seriously. The kernel driver should only be active while you are playing Warzone. When you finish the game, ricochet goes to sleep too. In addition, the driver should only search programs on your PC that are related to Warzone.
Can I uninstall the Anti-Cheat?
Ricochet will become an integral part of Warzone upon launch. That means you cannot uninstall the system individually. Would also make the anti-cheat obsolete. If you want to get rid of Ricochet, you have to toss the entire game from your hard drive. The same will apply later to Vanguard – and if the system proves itself, it will probably also apply to future CoDs.
Does this affect the stability?
Ricochet shouldn’t ask more of your PC than the current Warzone version already does. According to Activision, numerous different PC configurations have been tested with the Anti-Cheat and the stability should not suffer as a result. However, such problems sometimes only show up after the release, we will definitely inform you.
Are there any other measures against cheaters?
Yes, the system consists of more than just the kernel driver. Machine learning is also supposed to help identify suspicious behavior – Activision does not reveal any details. Furthermore, players should protect themselves by activating two-factor authentication for their account and reporting cheaters in the game.
Does ricochet appear on consoles?
No, it is a system that will only be added to the PC version of Warzone. Console gamers should still benefit from it by preventing cheaters from crossplaying.
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Players have hope, but also concerns
Since the announcements it has been buzzing on the forums and Reddits from Call of Duty. Fans have been waiting for effective help against the cheaters for a long time, who have become an extreme problem, especially in Warzone. Most welcome the anti-cheat, even if kernel drivers are generally viewed with skepticism. Developer Riot, for example, caused loud criticism with his system for Valorant.
But another concern seems to be much greater in the CoD community right now: Does the anti-cheat work at all? Even Activision is cautious and emphasizes that there is no perfect single solution for the massive problem.
Basically, such a strong defense system is of course an additional hurdle that should not be underestimated, but on the other hand there are numerous cheat sellers who earn a lot of money with their illegal programs and will certainly continue to try. Cheats are evolving, some even rely on the use of AI – you can read more about this in our large report.
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What do you think of anti-cheat with kernel drivers?
What is your opinion on the whole topic? Do you think the measure is okay or does the anti-cheat intervene too deeply in your system? Let us know your opinion by means of a survey:
Of course we will stay tuned for you and see if the situation in Warzone actually improves! Until then you can not only vote, but also express your opinion in the comments: Does an anti-cheat with a kernel driver go too far for you or do you find it acceptable if it repels fraudsters?