As teased earlier in the week, Activision has launched a completely new anti-cheat system to control / eradicate cheaters in its Call of Duty games. The new system is called Ricochet anti-cheat, and it is described as a "multi-faceted approach to combat cheating." I think the facets refers to how the technology stretches from server-side tech, AI and ML, as well as continued community and Activision employee action, plus a PC kernel-level driver.
Activision says that cheating in Call of Duty is a persistent issue that frustrates the enjoyment of many players. Thus, the robust Ricochet anti-cheat has been created – but Activision are quite keen to stress to PC gamers that its PC kernel-level driver is going to respect user privacy.
Ricochet is going to start rolling out this year, launching alongside Call of Duty: Vanguard, and later this year with the Pacific update coming to Call of Duty: Warzone. The PC kernel-level driver won't be implemented immediately, but is coming to Call of Duty: Warzone first, when the Pacific Update is launched, and "at a later date" for Vanguard.
Activision admits that the kernel-level driver will have "a high level of access to monitor and manage software and applications on a PC, such as your PC’s graphics card driver" but asserts that it will only run when you are playing CoD and "only monitors and reports activity related to Call of Duty".
I am not very familiar with CoD or the methods or levels of cheating, but Activision says the kernel-level driver for PC will benefit the whole community by making life difficult for PC cheats. This implies most CoD cheaters use the comparatively open platform of the PC to enjoy their wicked ways.
Is the PC kernel-level driver a sledgehammer to crack a nut?
As per our intro, the kernel-level driver for PC is just one of the multiple facets of Ricochet. Activision continues to recommend gamers use 2FA to protect their accounts, as well as take part in community reporting, to bolster the efforts of its anti-cheat team and new server-side AI and ML cheat detection technologies.
Of course, the Ricochet Anti-Cheat system will evolve and adapt over time. It wouldn't be surprising if this system itself had to be patched and updated for introducing some bugs and irritations to gamers, while it is in its infancy.