Call of Duty: Warzone is the franchise’s take on the increasingly popular battle royale genre, and has proven itself to be a successful experiment. However, predictably for an online game, hackers have managed to get a hold of the game to a certain extent, creating problems for the playerbase.
The hacking seems to have gotten bad enough for Call of Duty staff to address the issue with anti-cheat measures. Whether these solutions will be satisfactory to the playerbase or not, Call of Duty: Warzone is offering something to compensate for the burdens offered by the hackers after months of enduring unfair opponents.
Call of Duty, Multiplayer Games, and Hackers
Other battle royale games such as Fall Guys have their fair share of cheaters, but what has happened in Call of Duty: Warzone is out of control. The kind of cheating one would expect to see in casual play spread to competitive environments as well, much to the ire of regular players and content creators.
The cheats were not restricted to anonymous players waiting to make their Call of Duty: Warzone experiences easier. Because of the exposure given to them by streamers, cheats and the technical issues that accompany them were made even more prominent. This proved to be so frustrating that several streamers and content creators could not handle it anymore and quit Call of Duty: Warzone over cheating.
Cheats have been common knowledge for a long time, but the responses and attempts at mitigating this issue by Activision and its stable of developers tended to be unsatisfactory. In the realm of video gaming, and especially online gaming, dysfunctional fandoms, toxic online lobbies, and similar communities are the norm. Cheats, while beneficial to a select few individuals, tend to pour gasoline on the fire. Even people that worked on the game, like Mara's voice actor Alex Zedra, have caught cheaters. Far from being incidents players could ignore and move on with their day, these cheats have made Call of Duty: Warzone near unplayable at times.
Call of Duty: Warzone's Solution
On October 13, 2021, the official Call of Duty website uploaded a page detailing the solution developers hope will permanently eradicate the cheating issue. At the very least, it should downplay their relevance.
The game’s way to combat hazards has been dubbed “RICOCHET Anti-Cheat.” It aims to implement a broader security system and enhance both Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone servers in the process. The fixes are prioritizing Warzone, with Vanguard getting them later on after the game releases. The kernel-level driver is intended to be implemented rapidly and update just as quickly because cheating and hacking can become more complex over time.
The kernel-level driver is meant to be a surveillance system of sorts. After being patched into games, it will be able to monitor a PC’s applications and software, as well as manage them. The Call of Duty website lists a PC’s graphics card as an example. The RICOCHET Anti-Cheat system analysis will be able to detect any attempts by hackers to cheat, and provide the security team with more information to protect servers, and by extension the game and its players. The kernel-level driver will be required to play Call of Duty: Warzone once it's patched into the game, which should also be especially useful for tournaments affected by cheating.
The integration with Call of Duty: Warzone will be meticulous, though developers say the kernel-level driver will not interfere with anything else on a player’s PC. It will only turn itself on when Call of Duty: Warzone is being played, and will be automatically turned off alongside the game. Reporting when cheating is spotted is encouraged, which hints at a hopeful situation even after the kernel-level driver was leaked early on.
Activision initially responded to cheating by banning players, especially those who used EngineOwning Cheats. However, this hasn’t been enough to prevent more malicious hacking and cheating. There have been reports by Activision that some cheats include hidden malware beyond typical tweaks to one’s advantage, instead having the potential to be a destructive force. Not only are the cheats becoming more problematic, but the fact it took months for Activision to properly address the issue made the situation more worrisome.
These new solutions being set up appear to be permanent. Because the kernel-level driver will be here to stay, Call of Duty: Warzone players can potentially sigh in relief, and will hopefully not see cheats so common they're being advertised on Google anymore.
Call of Duty: Warzone is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Related Forum: Call of Duty Forum