Activision – still embroiled in increasingly messy legal battles following the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing’s lawsuit alleging sexual discrimination, harassment and a “frat boy” culture at Blizzard Entertainment – has finally shared details of Ricochet, its previously teased new anti-cheat solution for Call of Duty.
Ricochet is described as a “multi-faceted” approach to combatting cheating, and includes “new server-side tools which monitor analytics to identify cheating, enhanced investigation processes to stamp out cheaters, updates to strengthen account security, and more.”
One major part of this new anti-cheat solution is a a kernel-level driver for PC that’ll sit on players’ computers and monitor for applications “that attempt to interact and manipulate Call of Duty” in an unsportsmanlike manner. “While the kernel driver…will release to PC,” notes Activision in its announcement post, “by extension, console players playing via cross-play against players on PC will also stand to benefit.”
Kernel-level anti-cheat solutions, such as those seen in Doom Eternal and Valorant, have proven controversial in the past, given the high degree of access they have to a player” system. However, Ricochet differs from similar implementations – in its “initial rollout” at least, to use Activision’s phrasing – in as much as it isn’t always-on. “The software turns on when you start Call of Duty: Warzone and shuts down when you close the game,” says Activision. “Plus, the kernel-level driver only monitors and reports activity related to Call of Duty.”
Considerably more time is spent attempting to assure PC players that Ricochet’s kernel-level driver is safe and no threat to their privacy in Activision’s introductory post and accompanying FAQ, should you wish to learn more.
Ricochet’s server-side anti-cheat backend will initially launch alongside Call of Duty: Vanguard on 5th November before making its way to Warzone as part of the Pacific update. Conversely, Ricochet’s kernel-level driver will debut in Warzone, again with the Pacific update, and will release for Vanguard at a later time.
“The Ricochet Anti-Cheat team’s commitment is the relentless pursuit of fair play, which is fought against the sophisticated issue of cheating,” Activision concludes. “We are dedicated and determined to evolve the Ricochet Anti-Cheat System over time, fighting for the community against those that aim to spoil their gaming experience.”