Call of Duty’s new anti-cheat makes cheaters “hallucinate”

by Danny Craig  · 
Call of Duty’s new anti-cheat makes cheaters “hallucinate”

Activision has announced that several improvements are being made to Call of Duty’s (COD) Ricochet anti-cheat to help detect in-game cheaters across Modern Warfare II and Warzone, including the introduction of decoy "hallucinations."

The details:

  • Activision has detailed the improvements it is making to COD's anti-cheat systems in a new progress report to combat the ongoing issue that plagues both MWII and Warzone. Aside from outright account bans, the developer has once again provided some insight into the decision to use "mitigations" to make cheaters' lives in-game more difficult, such as taking away their weapons and making players invisible to hacks. Instead of directly banning them, these methods are used to collect data about the software being used to cheat while making it difficult for those cheating to harm other players so that the Ricochet team can improve anti-cheat before banning accounts.
  • With the anti-cheat system update and the release of Season 4, a brand new mitigation has appeared, this time creating "fake players" to catch those using aimbot and other wall hacks. The "Hallucinations," or decoy characters, are placed within the games of those suspected of cheating and can only be detected by external software. To appear as realistic as possible, the decoys are not AI but instead mimic the movement of another player within the game while also providing the cheater with information that would also be attached to every other legitimate player, making them almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
  • The reasoning for the new mitigation is described as the "first but foundational step in one of many efforts to combat what the community refers to as 'non-rage' hackers." These "non-rage" cheaters use the software to appear legitimate while gaining an unfair advantage in terms of player information, with the hallucinations leading them to self-identify as cheaters when it would be difficult to spot otherwise.
  • The team also revealed in the update that another mitigation, "Quicksand," has been removed from Ricochet's arsenal. The system was designed to slow and eventually stop cheaters' physical movements in-game, leaving them vulnerable to other players. It could also change keybindings, aiming sensitivity, and analog controls in-game. The reasoning behind the removal is that it was seen as "very visually jarring" to legitimate players, as it could "trip [players] up" if they spotted someone stuck in place randomly in the middle of nowhere.

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