Warzone Ricochet anti cheat system explained

The Warzone Ricochet anti cheat system is a Call of Duty kernel-level anti cheating system that’s been added to Vanguard and to Warzone itself that looks set to restrict and restrain certain accounts associated with cheating. And from what we understand, it’ll also pair suspected cheaters together so they all end up playing together, a process known as shadowbanning in Call of Duty Warzone

It’s a big change for Warzone and Vanguard, which have been affected by hackers, cheats and aimbots for a while, and which sounds like it should be a good thing for the games overall. But how does it work? In our guide below we’ll explain everything we know about the new Warzone Ricochet anti cheat system, and what the implications of it might be for your game and potentially your privacy.

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Warzone Season 6

(Image credit: Activision)

Warzone Season 6

(Image credit: Activision)

What happens if Warzone Ricochet says you’re cheating?

Warzone Season 5

(Image credit: Activision)

If the Ricochet system marks you as a cheater, it’s not exactly clear what the ramifications are. Warzone has historically been more than happy to ban accounts associated with cheating in the past, but a Q&A between Activision and content creators recently revealed that Ricochet would create matchmaking pools separating “trusted” and “untrusted” accounts (thanks CharlieINTEL), which may mean that those who have suspicious files but aren’t officially confirmed as cheaters may end up in the untrusted pool? Activision have said they don’t plan to share the details of their rating system, so we may not know at all going forward. 

As part of the Q&A, Activision mentioned that RICOCHET will create “trusted” and “untrusted” matchmaking pools to prevent those who are suspected of cheating from playing against those who aren’t. Activision says they don’t intend to share publicly how it rates each player.October 14, 2021

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Is Warzone Ricochet safe to use for privacy?

Warzone Season 6

(Image credit: Activision)

Kernel-level systems like Ricochet have been viewed pretty unfavourably by many, owing to the fact that their function is basically to go through your computer or console and send data back to the creators – something many view as an infringement of privacy.

That being said, Activision have made these claims regarding privacy safety while using Ricochet:

  • RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s kernel-level driver operates ONLY while playing Call of Duty: Warzone on PC.
  • RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s driver is not always-on.
  • RICOCHET Anti-Cheat’s driver monitors the software and applications that interact with Call of Duty: Warzone.
  • When you shut down Call of Duty: Warzone, the driver turns off.

Activision have also stated that “player privacy is extremely important“, and emphasise that protection of that privacy is a priority. However, don’t consider this guide either an endorsement or renouncement of Warzone and the Ricochet system – we don’t have it yet, so we don’t know to what extent it interacts with your computer.

Do you have to download Ricochet to play Warzone?

Warzone Season 5

(Image credit: Activision)

Yes, Activision have made it clear that the Ricochet anti cheat driver will be an integral part with this statement: “Once the kernel-level driver is deployed; it will be required to play Warzone.” 

Will the Warzone Ricochet system be on consoles? 

Call of Duty Warzone

(Image credit: Activision)

No, at time of writing it appears that the Ricochet anti cheat driver will be exclusive to PC, though Activision have said that “by extension, console players playing via cross-play against players on PC will also stand to benefit.” Whether PC players will consider this a victory over console players remains to be seen.

Warzone Ricochet release date

Warzone Season 6

(Image credit: Activision)

Activision have stated that the Ricochet anti cheat system will launch for Warzone as part of the Pacific update coming later this year; and will presumably be the point where the system becomes mandatory to play the game. Though there doesn’t appear to be an official release date for the Pacific map at time of writing, Warzone Season 7 is expected to start on Thursday 2nd December, owing to the end date of the Season 6 Battle Pass. Whether these two events are synonymous remains to be seen, but it seems likely, considering that Seasons in Warzone are usually marked by major changes to the game.

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