Big picture: Call of Duty is one of the most popular gaming franchises. Unfortunately, it is also a magnet for scammers looking for an unfair advantage over their peers. The relationship between cheat makers and game developers largely mirrors what we see in the software security industry between nefarious code writers and antivirus vendors.

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In short, developers are constantly coming up with new ways to detect and block those who don’t play by the rules; the scammers respond with new tactics to gain the upper hand. Rinse and repeat.

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Call of Duty Anti-Cheat Team – Ricochet – hires various means of protection against fraudsters. They are usually designed to keep cheaters in the game longer so they can better analyze their tactics and strengths while making their presence less impactful for legitimate players. It also, no doubt, frustrates scammers.

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One popular example is the damage shield. If you’re getting shot at and you notice your health slowly deteriorating, you’re probably playing against an identified rogue who has had his weapons heavily nerfed. It is hoped that a legitimate player can easily identify and eliminate the cheater, and publicly shame the cheater.

Another mitigation tactic is called masking. When a rogue is hit by a disguise, his bullets make their opponents disappear. Suddenly, the enemy becomes invisible, leaving them to wonder what just happened. Again, this makes it much easier for a legitimate player to “do business on their own”.

The last softening of the command is called disarmament. As the name suggests, rogues hit by this tool will have their weapons taken away. They won’t even be able to use melee attacks. The team equates this to a cheater timeout.

The mitigation appears to be affecting cheater matches, but as you can see, there are still ebbs and flows of ups and downs as cheaters thwart methods and developers react accordingly.

The Ricochet team said additional mitigation measures are active and some new ones are in the works.

It’s also worth noting that these measures are in addition to their biggest deterrent to fraud: bans. Since the last update on April 26, the team has issued over 180,000 more bans in Vanguard and Warzone combined.

Ricochet shared useful links to support pages that describe how to file a complaint about cheating in the game for Vanguard as well as war zone. In addition, they recommend enabling two-factor authentication to protect your account from those who have been banned and want to return to the game with a new ID.

Looking ahead, the team said that its anti-cheat technology will be active on the first day for both. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II as well as Warzone 2.0. MW II is scheduled to release on October 28, 2022, with Warzone 2.0 following shortly thereafter.