How Warzone's new kernel-level anti-cheat "RICOCHET" works

Warzone and other Call of Duty titles are finally getting a new kernel-level anti-cheat system called RICOCHET. Activision revealed new information about the previously announced anti-cheat system in a blog post on Wednesday, including the new RICOCHET name. The new system will be dropping with the pacific update later this year, and will apply to both the new title Vanguard as well as Warzone.


TL;DR - The new RICOCHET anti-cheat is kernel level, it only turns on when you run the game, it turns off when you end your game, and it will only look at applications that are related to Call of Duty, according to developers.


How RICOCHET anti-cheat works in Warzone

The new anti-cheat system will be a kernel-level driver, dropping first to Warzone. Kernel-level driver means it is the highest level of access to your system, to help prevent cheats that run on higher levels of permissions. Similar kernel level systems have been implemented into VALORANT and EA titles like Apex Legends in recent years. The system will also use server side tools, according to Activision.


"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," the company explained. "The driver element of the RICOCHET Anti-Cheat system will check the software and applications that attempt to interact and manipulate Call of Duty: Warzone, providing the overall security team more data to bolster security. Once the kernel-level driver is deployed; it will be required to play Warzone"


Unlike VALORANT's kernel level anti-cheat, this one will only run when you are using Warzone or Vanguard, and will shutdown when you are finished with your game. They also attempted to reassure players that it will only monitor activity related to Call of Duty while active.


Developers also said they will be using machine learning algorithms going forward in an attempt to identify suspcious behavior via patterns in the future, in addition to the new anti-cheat and current player-reporting measures.


The cheating problem has been severe in Warzone for a long time now. It is so bad, in fact, that some streamers like Nick Mercs jumped ship to Apex Legends until Warzone addressed the cheating issues. While many players are skeptical about whether the anti-cheat will be effective, many are still hopeful that this system will reduce cheating and improve the Warzone play experience.




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