Call of Duty anti-cheat is making hackers hallucinate

Call of Duty anti-cheat is making hackers hallucinate
Images via Activision

Written by 

Alex Garton

Published 

30th Jun 2023 14:00

One of the biggest problems for any multiplayer shooter is cheaters, and Call of Duty is certainly no different.

Problems of hackers abusing third-party software to gain an unfair advantage over their foes have plagued MW2 & Warzone 2 since their release, but Activision does have a weapon to combat them.

This comes in the form of their RICOCHET anti-cheat, which is constantly being improved in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the hackers.

Well, the latest feature in Call of Duty RICOCHET anti-cheat apparently causes cheaters to hallucinate fake enemies, making them easy to detect and ban.

CoD anti-cheat now deploys hallucinations to trick hackers

RICOCHET anticheat
Click to enlarge

In the latest Call of Duty blog, discussing the updates to RICOCHET in Season 4, the devs revealed that 'hallucinations' will be implemented as an active mitigation system.

"Hallucinations place decoy characters within the game that can only be detected by cheaters that have been specifically flagged by our system... These false characters are undetectable by legitimate players, and they cannot impact a legitimate player’s aim, progression, end of match stats."

These decoys not only trick cheaters, but also give Activision a chance to catch them because any interactions with the clones indicate a player is using third-party software. This means after investigation, these hackers can be punished with a ban.

It's worth noting that a hallucination is not AI because they're a "clone of an active user in the match." This means they "look, move, and interact with the world like a real player."

In-game reporting update to prevent false submissions

MW2 Operators
Click to enlarge

The report also included that RICOCHET's Security and Enforcement Policy now includes malicious reporting, after a recent influx of false reports.

In attempts to combat this, the devs have made it clear that "knowingly submitting false reports or spam reporting legitimate players may lead to account penalties, up to and including warnings or permanent account suspensions."

On top of that, automated penalties including voice and text restrictions have been disabled while the team adjust their systems. It's a big improvement on the previous cheater clampdowns, which did seem to do much - despite engaging a so-called God Mode against them

On the whole, it's clear the RICOCHET team is looking to combat cheaters with more brutal methods than ever before. It'll be interesting to see how much of an impact hallucinations have, or whether it's just another botched way to eradicate the series' swarms of cheaters. 

Alex Garton
About the author
Alex Garton
Alex is a Senior Writer at GGRecon. With a BA (Hons) in English, he has previously written for Dexerto & Gfinity. Specialising in Call of Duty & Apex Legends, he loves (attempting) to improve his aim in competitive shooters and will always make time for a single-player RPG.
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