No one likes dealing with cheaters in video games. However, Call of Duty’s Ricochet anti-cheat system is installing low-level drivers to Windows PCs, which might be going a little further than most users would prefer.
The cheat system for Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Vanguard uses multiple layers to catch cheaters, and it sounds like it’ll work quite well. A team of professionals and machine learning algorithms work in tandem with the kernel-level drivers that detect even the most complicated cheating methods.
“Cheating in Call of Duty is frustrating for players, developers, and the entire community,” said Activision in a blog post.
The issue, though, comes down to privacy. The non-optional cheat system with the kernel-level driver will arrive when the Pacific map update launches later this year, and it will make its way to Call of Duty: Vanguard at a later date. If you want to play the games, you need to accept that there will be a driver installed on your computer.
Activision says the driver will only run while you’re playing the game, and it’ll close as soon as you exit it.
See you tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/BAvAGPkTzx
— Call of Duty (@CallofDuty) October 12, 2021
However, that’s one game and one game company. This type of anti-cheat system is becoming a trend, which means gamers now have a slew anti-cheat of drivers installed on their PC from various games. Apex Legends uses Easy Anti-Cheat, which is a similar anti-cheat system. The same goes for Fortnite. Valorant has implemented a custom kernel-level driver with a decent level of success.
There are so many multiplayer games out there where cheating could be an issue, and having all of them running their own drivers for anti-cheat isn’t a great solution.
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Fighting cheaters requires a game of cat and mouse between the cheaters and game developers, and for smaller game companies, having a whole team dedicated to tackling cheating just isn’t feasible, so they have to turn to a third party like Easy Anti-Cheat. And that would be fine if Easy Anti-Cheat was the industry standard, but with larger developers like Riot and Activision using their own custom kernel-level drivers, that isn’t the case.
The obvious solution is something at the OS level from Microsoft, which the company briefly tried and gave up on in Windows 10. Having a single driver at the operating system level would remove the need for gamers to have tons of them installed on their PC. It could also let small developers outsource the manpower required to maintain an anti-cheat system to Microsoft (for a fee, of course).
Will any of this solve cheating? Only time will tell if they’re able to find a crack that gets around the new system, even with it installed as a driver. Hopefully, it works because cheaters have ruined many video games, and they’ve shown no signs of stopping.