“Call of Duty”: Anti-cheat system with kernel drivers on the way

Activision has announced an anti-cheat system that will first be used in the battle royale title “Call of Duty: Warzone”. “Ricochet” sees itself as a holistic set of anti-cheat measures. This includes a team of human auditors, server algorithms for cheat detection and a driver that is supposed to run on Windows at the kernel level.

This kernel driver is supposed to track down when other applications or processes want to feed into “Call of Duty: Warzone”. In the meantime, many multiplayer games rely on such kernel drivers to protect their gaming activities from wallhacks and aimbots, for example. These include “Valorant”, “PUBG” and “Apex Legends”.

Such anti-cheat systems are regularly discussed in the respective communities: On the one hand, they offer better protection against cheating than other anti-cheat measures, on the other hand, the comprehensive access rights at the kernel level cause skepticism. The anti-cheat program developed by Denuvo was so controversial among “Doom Eternal” players that the developers subsequently removed it.

Activision relies on a compromise here: The “Ricochet” kernel driver is not automatically executed when Windows starts. Instead, he starts the game together. If the game ends, the kernel driver should also be closed, the company promises. The driver should also only record the apps that interact directly with “Call of Duty: Warzone”. The driver was developed by Activision itself, it says in one blog entry.

First, the anti-cheat system “Ricochet” is introduced with the “Pacific” update for “Call of Duty: Warzone” – there is no way to continue playing without the kernel driver. At a later point in time it will also be used in “Call of Duty: Vanguard”.


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