Activision Announces Kernel-Level Anti-Cheating System for Call of Duty on PC

Activision launches Ricochet, a technology to combat cheating in Call of Duty. Part of the system is a driver for the PC version of the game. It works at the kernel level and should be released later this year.

The anti-cheat driver will be released this year for the PC version of Call of Duty: Warzone, along with the Pacific update for that game. It should also be released for Call of Duty: Vanguard at a later date. The driver helps detect cheaters and improve server security, Activision reports.

Although it is a driver for the PC version, it also indirectly helps improve the gaming experience of console players, the publisher further claims. That’s because they can play games with PC players via cross-play. Once the driver is made available, it will be required to play Warzone on PC. The same will likely be true for Vanguard later on.

The driver monitors for interaction and manipulation with third-party software that indicates cheating. In addition, Activision is making server changes to allow machine learning algorithms to analyze gameplay for cheating. The publisher emphasizes that the driver becomes active when running Warzone and also only keeps an eye on Call of Duty. The driver will shut down as soon as the player quits the game again.

The method is reminiscent of that of Riot Games. That company used anti-cheat software that worked at the kernel level for Valorant, but temporarily stopped doing so last year after criticism. That software continued to run in the background, even when Valorant itself was not active. The manufacturer adjusted this afterwards.

Cheating is a growing problem for online games. By April, Activision had already permanently banned 475,000 players from Call of Duty: Warzone.