Call of Duty's Ricochet anti-cheat feature has already been leaked by hackers

Cheat makers are already busy taking a crack at Ricochet weeks before Activision launches it for Call of Duty: Warzone.

Almost every game deals with cheaters. Unfortunately, the problem is worse for free-to-play games. Because the game's monetization design makes it easy for banned cheaters to create new accounts and continue playing, free-to-play games often suffer from cheating the worst. This explains why, despite having reportedly already permanently banned more than 500,000 users from Call of Duty: Warzone since the game launched in March 2020, Activision is still struggling to keep cheaters out of Warzone.

Activision's latest anti-cheat system for Call of Duty is not off to a good start.

Due to Warzone's prevalent cheating problem, Activision has been forced to adopt drastic measures. Case in point, its kernel-level anti-cheat system, Ricochet.

Unfortunately, weeks before Ricochet is set to release for Call of Duty: Vanguard first, it appears that hackers have already gotten their hands on it. To make matters worse, malicious individuals have already leaked the kernel-level files online for everyone to view.

Is Ricochet even going to work against cheaters in Warzone?

We wouldn't be surprised if Ricochet ends up proving ineffective against cheaters.

A kernel-level anti-cheat system isn't impenetrable, but it is harder to crack. Because it gives developers deeper insight into the communication between PCs and their game's servers, these anti-cheat systems make it easier to detect anyone who is cheating in the game. In a game like Warzone, where almost everyone can get their hands on a cheat and not have to suffer mightily for it, implementing Ricochet is a good idea.

So, when Activision announced that Ricochet was coming to Vanguard (and eventually Call of Duty: Warzone), fans couldn't help but rejoice despite the potential implications of the move.

According to several reports, the developers of paid cheat engines are already reverse-engineering Ricochet. This is bad news for Activision. In theory, it could render the anti-cheat system moot. Even though it could still work for certain users, those who can afford to pay for cheats from developers who have cracked the system will still be able to make life miserable for other Warzone players.

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The only silver lining to this is that the leaked code is a very early build. Activision still has time to make it better. After all, Activision did describe Ricochet as more than just a band-aid fix. In their words, the "Ricochet Anti-Cheat initiative is a multi-faceted approach to combat cheating". Not to mention, Activision has a dedicated team working on the said kernel-level anti-cheat feature. This guarantees that the anti-cheat measure is constantly improving and evolving.

Activision is hoping that this latest move will work, but only time will tell if Ricochet proves effective. Unfortunately, this early leak might spell doom for Ricochet before it is implemented.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.