Call of Duty’s Ricochet Anti-Cheat team has developed some brand new methods and technology for combatting suspicious player behavior.
The Ricochet Anti-Cheat team is responsible for providing new techniques and technology to combat cheating in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2. In a progress report (opens in new tab) for Season 03, several new security measures have been unveiled, some of which make use of some seriously impressive technology.
The new tech is rolling out on every Call of Duty platform, so folks on PS5 will benefit just as much as Xbox Series X|S and PC users.
The two most impressive new tools in Ricochet’s arsenal come in the form of new methods for detecting third-party hardware as well as the development of a new replay investigation tool. The hardware detection tool allows the Call of Duty client to identify the use of banned hardware, which can be used to give a player an unfair advantage by mitigating recoil or providing aim-assist. Though the report didn’t go into detail as to how the technology works, any piece of software capable of tracking hardware in this fashion is likely to be impressively sophisticated.
The implementation of this feature came as a direct response to player feedback. In their report, Ricochet stated: “we know players have been asking us to examine the improper use of these devices and we’re happy to lay the foundation for this detection to protect against unfair play across PC and console.”
The replay investigation tool is more straightforward and allows members of the anti-cheat team to watch any completed match as part of their investigation process. The tool will automatically capture and store all match data for “the highest tiers of competition”, allowing the team to keep an eye on play at the very highest levels.
The long arm of the law
In addition to these fancy new tools, Ricochet is continuing to use “Mitigations” in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2. These are ironic punishments for cheaters that deliberately hamper a cheater’s gameplay experience.
As well as providing a form of poetic justice, mitigations exist as a short-term fix for the immediate problems caused by cheating in any given game. Players detected cheating during a match may well find themselves subjected to Cloaking, Disarm, or Damage Shield Mitigations. Cloaking and Disarm are straightforward.
The former robs the cheater of their ability to see rule-abiding players, while the latter gradually relieves the offender of their weapons. All in all, it’s pretty tough to play a first-person shooter when you have nothing to shoot with.
Damage Shield is a bit more creative, and provides regular players with a protective barrier against cheaters, ensuring that the playing field can be leveled in advance of any disciplinary action that may need to take place.
Combatting cheating in games as widely played as Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2 is no easy task, and it’s gratifying to see that Activision is taking steps to prevent unfair play. The new detection tools for illegal hardware are a welcome addition and will, hopefully, help Activision crack down on cheaters, allowing it to cultivate a healthy environment worthy of one of the best FPS games around.