Warzone has a notorious reputation concerning it’s cheaters. The free-to-play FPS has had a cheating problem since release. With various folks using an assortment of cheats to enhance their own gameplay whilst ruining it for all others. Considering the wide variety of ‘cheats’ available, it’s no surprise that the worst players among us feel the need to get cheats to protect their pride.
Even worse, it’s so easy to get cheats. When you search for them, you’re met with a sea of cheats. There are some that are free, but anyone who would allow a free third-party software into their computer might be deserving of what comes next. Then there are those who are even more sad and pay for a cheating program.
You’d think that detecting these cheaters would be easy, after all… It’s not hard to spectate someone who killed you from across the map and see their suspicious gameplay and report them. Sure, you can hope that this will result in that player’s ban but most cheaters are sneaky about their hacks. Not to mention, when you get killed in a battle royale, rarely will you stick around to spectate.
On the 13th of October, Call of Duty developers made a public announcement that they are launching a new Anti-Cheat programme dubbed RICOCHET to combat the cheating problem in Warzone.
A new kernel-level driver
In addition to server enhancements with RICOCHET is the launch of a new PC kernel-level driver. This kernel will be developed internally for the Call of Duty franchise and launching first with Warzone. This driver will help identify cheaters and strengthen the server security. But you might also be wondering:
What is a kernel level driver?
Knowing what a kernel-level drive is important to any PC player. The kernel is essentially a computer program that has access to your entire system.
When you turn your PC on, the kernel will load in immediately. The kernel’s code has its area in memory and it’s protected from application programs. This means the kernel and the apps you have installed can work in parallel without interference or issues like a browser accessing kernel memory and changing how your operating system works altogether.
Although the kernel’s main intention is to safeguard games from third party cheating software programs; it can sometimes affect other aspect of your PC. For example, the kernel will boot up during start-up and can and will block certain drivers from loading or running on your computer if it deems it ‘unsafe’.
Some examples include overclocking tools, temperature monitors, fan controllers, and, of course, game cheats that also operate on the kernel-level.
One of the other concerns of kernel-level drivers running on your computer is that it does have access to your entire PC. Both Genshin Impact and Doom Eternal have seen their share of controversy surrounding their anti-cheat kernel programs.
Futhermore, and this should be taken with a grain of salt, there are some who are worried about some more spy-level problems. Riot is owned by Chinese conglomerate Tencent who also own a portion of Activision Blizzard and Epic Games. And a few theories are circulating about new cold war spying in everyday PC usage. In response to this, Riot has started the the driver: “does not collect or send any information.”
But all that being said, Call of Duty wants to tackle the cheating problem, and if that requires these more extreme measures then so be it. A reddit commenter had a similar thought, saying: “Something about giving Activision kernel-level access to my computer doesn’t sit right with me… but at the same time I’ve been killed by so many cheaters I could honestly give a shit at this point.“
At the end of the day, the main intention is to stop cheaters. Fingers crossed it will, but then again… cheaters are like cockroaches, they end up everywhere.