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Call of Duty games now prevent cheaters from seeing opponents

Call of Duty developers are turning to increasingly creative ways to discourage cheaters in online matches. Eurogamer notes Activision is rolling out its kernel-level RICOCHET anti-cheat system to Call of Duty: Vanguard, and has simultaneously revealed that the countermeasure punishes cheaters with “Cloaking.” Any detected cheaters will find themselves unable to see or hear opponents, even down to incoming bullets. They’ll be the ones at a disadvantage — and, hopefully, frustrated enough to leave the game.

Cloaking joins other “mitigations” for cheaters that include Damage Shield, which prevents cheaters from landing critical damage on rivals. Activision also made clear that anyone banned for cheating will be removed from the leaderboard for a given game, and that it bans users both daily and in waves. Its most recent crackdown culled 54,000 accounts.

RICOCHET reached the multiplayer-only Warzone in 2021. Unlike the anti-cheat technology in Valorant, the kernel-level driver for Call of Duty titles is only active while those games are running. That theoretically minimizes vulnerabilities and potential problems with other software. 

Anti-cheating measures like Cloaking aren’t guaranteed to work. Provided RICOCHET spots a cheater in the first place, it also assumes their hacks can’t auto-detect enemies. This nonetheless makes it harder for cheaters to prosper, and might be enough to discourage all but the most determined spoil-sports.

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