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02/25/22

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat™: Call of Duty’s New 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 Anti-Cheat’s backend anti-cheat security features have launched for Call of Duty®: Vanguard and Call of Duty®: Warzone™. Alongside the launch of Call of Duty®: Warzone™ Pacific comes a new PC kernel-level driver, developed internally for the Call of Duty franchise. The driver will arrive first for Warzone players in the Asia-Pacific region before expanding worldwide. The driver will launch for Vanguard at a later date.

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

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

3. 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.

4. 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 Call of Duty: Warzone game code, 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.

5. When will the kernel-level driver be available for Call of Duty: Warzone?

The PC kernel-level driver, which is one element of the overall RICOCHET Anti-Cheat initiative, will begin its launch with Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific. Initial rollout will begin first within the Asia-Pacific region.

6. When does the rollout expand to my region?

#TeamRICOCHET will provide updates following the driver launch, including when additional regions will be live with kernel-level driver support across our social channels.

7. When Warzone Pacific launches, what will I see?

When you boot up Warzone Pacific, you’ll see the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat logo as part of the game’s loading screen. The kernel-driver installation process is automatic. Once available, when Warzone Pacific launches, the driver will launch with the game. When you exit the game, the driver will shut down.

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. Will the kernel-level driver be available in Call of Duty: Vanguard?

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat will enhance anti-cheat security for both Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone when it launches later this year alongside the Pacific update for Warzone. The PC kernel-level driver will arrive first for Warzone and subsequently release for Call of Duty: Vanguard at a later date.

10. Is the kernel-level driver in RICOCHET Anti-Cheat always-on, even when I’m not playing Call of Duty: Warzone?

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

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

The driver monitors the machine and processes interacting with Call of Duty: Warzone 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.

12. 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. Initial rollout of the driver will begin first within the Asia-Pacific region.

13. Can I opt out of using the driver to play Call of Duty: Warzone?

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s kernel-level driver will be required to play Call of Duty: Warzone on PC when it launches later this year.

14. 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.

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. Find out how to report a player in Call of Duty: Warzone.

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. Find out how to report a player in Call of Duty: Warzone.

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

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s kernel-level driver will be added to Call of Duty: Warzone via an update alongside the release of the Pacific update for Warzone later this year. 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 Call of Duty: Warzone, and only operates when you are running the game. If Call of Duty: Warzone is uninstalled, the kernel-level driver will be removed from your machine. Subsequent installations of Call of Duty: Warzone 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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