November 16, 2021

Call of Duty bans may now apply to all 'past, present, and future' games in the series

Cheaters in Call of Duty, take note: Activision has modified their security enforcement policy to warn that "severe or frequent violations" may result in the permanent suspension of all your Call of Duty accounts, including those that aren't even out yet.

Ricochet, Activision's new kernel mode anti-cheat mechanism, received a status update in October, revealing the heavier potential penalties. Although the kernel-level driver will not be available until the December release of Warzone's new Pacific map, server-side changes were made available on November 5 in conjunction with the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard.

"All our anti-cheat efforts are focused on fighting unfair play and protecting the player experience," the update states. "Launching the server updates as part of the Ricochet Anti-Cheat system is the first step in our new anti-cheat security initiative and we’re working hard to make things as frustrating as possible for cheaters."

Activision announced before of the kernel-level driver's release that it had began to roll banwaves more frequently than in the past. Cheaters who continue on pushing their luck may find themselves out of luck, according to the report.

"Extreme or repeated violations of the security policy—such as in-game cheating—may result in a permanent suspension of all accounts," Activision said. "Additionally, any attempt to hide, disguise, or obfuscate your identity or the identity of your hardware devices may also result in a permanent suspension."

"Permanent suspensions for security infractions may now apply franchise wide, including Call of Duty: Vanguard as well as any past, present, and future titles in the Call of Duty franchise."

An "extreme" violation of the policy, according to the full Vanguard security and enforcement policy, is "one in which a player has caused detriment to other players or has organised large groups of players to commit additional offences," while more specific offences that could result in permanent bans include spoofing and attempting to circumvent security measures.

It can be difficult to enforce a lifetime cross-game ban. Activision employs hardware bans against "repeat" cheats, which target a cheater's system rather than their particular account using a unique ID connected with PC components. These are tough but not impossible to get around—for example, many popular cheating applications fake your machine's hardware while they're operating, so an imposed hardware restriction has no effect on your machine. However, the new Trusted Platform Module 2.0 standard in Windows 11 may make such restrictions easier to enforce: For Valorant play on Windows 11, Riot, for example, has lately started demanding both TPM and Secure Boot.

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