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10/13/22

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat™: Call of Duty’s Anti-Cheat Initiative

A complete overview of the anti-cheat initiative developed for Call of Duty

1. What is RICOCHET Anti-Cheat?

The RICOCHET Anti-Cheat initiative is a multi-faceted approach to combat cheating, featuring new server-side tools which monitor analytics to identify cheating, enhanced investigation processes to stamp out cheaters, updates to strengthen account security, and more.

RICOCHET’s PC kernel-level anti-cheat security driver has been released globally for Call of Duty®: Vanguard and Call of Duty®: Warzone™ Caldera and will be available in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® II and Call of Duty®: Warzone™ 2.0 at launch.

2. What changes are coming to RICOCHET Anti-Cheat?

With the launch of Modern Warfare II, RICOCHET Anti-Cheat will operate on a new, unified security platform that will provide better detection capabilities, additional access to develop and deploy new mitigation techniques, and expanded freedom for more frequent updates.

3. How does the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat kernel-level driver work?

The PC kernel-level driver monitors and reports applications that attempt to interact with a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, allowing the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat team to determine if a machine is utilizing unauthorized processes to manipulate the game.

4. What is a kernel-level driver?

A kernel-level driver is computer code that operates with high privileges on your computer, able to access all resources on your system while it is running. Kernel-level drivers are generally used to allow access to your overall computer hardware, such as drivers for your graphics card. Typical software, such as games, operates on the user-level and has limited access to the kernel-level and other user-mode processes.

5. Why does RICOCHET Anti-Cheat use a kernel-level driver instead of software from the user level of access?

Cheating software has become more sophisticated, allowing cheaters to circumvent traditional approaches to security. A kernel-level driver allows for the monitoring of applications that may attempt to manipulate game code in a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat while it is running.

User-mode applications have limitations on access and monitoring, making it more likely for unauthorized software to manipulate game code or to circumvent security features.

6. When I launch a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, what will I see?

When you boot up a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, you’ll see the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat logo as part of the game’s loading screen. The kernel-driver installation process is automatic; the driver will launch with the game. When you exit the game, the driver will shut down.

7. Why is a text-enabled mobile phone number required to play certain games on PC?

SMS verification helps our security team to maintain account and game security in order to provide a safe, fair, and fun gaming experience for all our players. The SMS requirement for game access is used for security purposes only. Call of Duty does not use SMS verification data for marketing purposes.

If you need help with your SMS verification, please reach out to your PC account provider (Battle.net or Steam) for assistance.

8. What can I expect from RICOCHET Anti-Cheat?

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat is an evolving initiative that will grow stronger as its systems learn more about cheating behavior. #TeamRICOCHET is committed to continuously monitoring and updating our security measures to fight unfair play. Every update we make forces cheaters to change their tactics, which provides us with more information to identify and expel them from the community. You can help the team by reporting cheaters as they happen:

9. Is the kernel-level driver in RICOCHET Anti-Cheat always-on, even when I’m not playing a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat?

No. RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s kernel-level driver will only operate when you play a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat on PC. The driver shuts down when you exit the game and turns on when you start a new game.

10. What data does the driver examine on my PC?

The driver monitors the machine and processes interacting with a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat to determine if they are manipulating the game. This data helps identify cheaters as well as helps the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat team to strengthen the overall anti-cheating security.

11. What testing has been done to test the kernel-level driver?

Testing for the new driver has been done to ensure system stability across a large range of PCs. The RICOCHET Anti-Cheat team is committed to continued testing and is committed to iteration after launch.

12. Can I opt out of using the driver to play a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat?

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s kernel-level driver will be required to play a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat on PC.

13. What is Damage Shield, and how does it work?

Not only does RICOCHET Anti-Cheat use data collection and machine learning to reduce cheating, the system also includes several in-game mitigations to identify and thwart cheaters. One such mitigation, known as Damage Shield, can detect in real time when a player is attempting to manipulate game data. Once Damage Shield identifies a cheating player, it will disable the player's critical damage on other players, leaving them vulnerable to attackers who are playing fairly. #TeamRICOCHET will then analyze information collected about the cheating player's system while they were in this vulnerable state.

Damage Shield will never be applied randomly or to a player who is playing fairly. The only players who will be impacted by Damage Shield are those who are tampering with the game.

14. What is Cloaking, and how does it work?

With Cloaking, players who are detected to be cheating can find themselves unable to see opposing players in the game world. Characters, bullets, even sound from legitimate players will be undetectable to cheaters. Legitimate players, however, can see cheaters impacted by Cloaking and can dole out in-game punishment. Similar to Damage Shield, Cloaking gives legitimate players a leg up on cheaters.

15. Will this solve cheating issues?

There is no single solution or policy to cheating. The RICOCHET Anti-Cheat team’s commitment is the relentless pursuit of fair play, which is fought against the sophisticated issue of cheating. We are dedicated and determined to evolve the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat System, fighting for the community against those that aim to spoil their gaming experience.

Players are also an important element to anti-cheat measures, as it’s critical you report suspicious behavior using in-game reporting tools.

16. Should players report others in-game for cheating?

Yes. Players should always report issues they encounter. In-game reporting is critical to identifying issues and gives our team the foundation to develop iterations as part of the evolving RICOCHET Anti-Cheat system.

17. Are there additional system requirements for the kernel-level driver?

No, there are no additional requirements.

18. How do I uninstall RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s PC kernel-level driver?

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s PC kernel-level driver is a part of the installation process for a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, and only operates when you are running the game. If a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat is uninstalled, the kernel-level driver will be removed from your machine. Subsequent installations of a game using RICOCHET Anti-Cheat on PC will include the kernel-level driver.

19. Will RICOCHET Anti-Cheat be available on consoles?

While the kernel driver, which is only a part of RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, will release to PC, by extension, console players playing via cross-play against players on PC will also stand to benefit.

20. How else can I protect my account?

Two-factor authentication is extremely important for your account security. We strongly recommend two-factor authentication for Call of Duty, log into your account and learn how to enable two-factor authentication.

21. Where can I find more information about the penalties for cheating?

Please review the Call of Duty Security and Enforcement Policy for a complete outline of offenses that can lead to enforcement.

The Software License and Service Agreement will be updated. Please follow this link [https://www.activision.com/legal/ap-eula] in order to see these changes.

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