A squad of alleged aimbotters has trapped a guy behind his riot shield. The particular suspected cheater we’re spectating, captured in the video below, continues firing at the shield guy’s protected head. Tiring of that, he finally tries to run up on him with a thermite grenade—but the shield wins out. It’s a lovely bit of schadenfreude, although the riot shielder’s victory against cheating is short-lived. The rest of the squad gets him in the end.
Infinity Ward worked to address Call of Duty: Warzone’s cheating problem earlier this year with a big ban wave and new reporting features, but many players don’t think it’s doing enough. Despite the issuance of another stern anti-cheat warning at the end of July, Warzone players continue to report cheaters with superhuman aim and the apparent ability to see through walls.
“I have 12,000 games played of Fortnite across 3 years. I’ve died to cheaters 3 times,” said former Call of Duty pro player and current Warzone streamer Jack “CouRage” Dunlop in a tweet. “I’ve played Warzone for 4 hours today. I’ve died to cheaters 6 times.”
While it’s difficult to find concrete proof that a player is cheating, Warzone fans claim that they can tell by how the player behaves. If they’re getting kills by shooting seemingly randomly into buildings, or appear to know where enemies are before they can see them, that’s taken as a sign that they’re using third-party software.
Posts about encounters with cheaters and other oddities—such as a guy named AlejandroH who has 661,568,246 wins according to the leaderboard—are common on Reddit, Twitter, and elsewhere. High ranking lobbies are especially affected as cheaters are able to rack up dozens of kills per game, sometimes killing more than a third of a 150-player lobby before the final few circles.
“We were in the final 15. I’m behind a counter and my friend is in a corner. Suddenly I got shot and killed through a wall and my friend died soon after,” said Redditor krFrillaKilla. “We spectated the guy and he killed me by walking by into our building, staring at the exact spot I was in and shooting through the wall, then he snapped at my friend and did the same thing … It’s sad how he can be max rank with Damascus weapons while clearly hacking and still be active in this game.”
“Cheaters are in pretty much every game,” said Redditor BerdxD. “Some of them are full squads of cheaters. Breaking kill records. Ruining games. If Infinity Ward doesn’t get their shit together by season 5, that’s it for my relationship with Call of Duty.”
Cheaters have gone as far to stream and post their exploits on places like YouTube and TikTok—sometimes mocking people who call them out. “I stream this shit on the same account every single day brother,” said YouTuber Jamain-Matton in a stream of him cheating on July 17. “He thinks I’m going to get banned. [I’ve had this account] for over four months.”
Please don’t cheat
Infinity Ward was gung-ho about its fight against cheating after Warzone launched in mid-March. The developer had banned over 70,000 players by April. It even pitted players who were cheating against one another in the same lobby to make them suffer their own medicine.
“It is something that’s really high on our list,” said Joe Cecot, multiplayer director and design director at Infinity Ward in an interview with US Gamer in May. “We have a team at Activision that’s dedicated to [anti-cheat] and finding those people, but it’s an arms race.”
Infinity Ward added a player reporting feature that notifies players when an account they’ve reported has been banned. It also included a block function that gives players a warning if they enter a lobby that has someone they’ve blocked in it. But these efforts clearly haven’t been enough to create the feeling that Warzone is relatively safe from cheaters compared to competing shooters.
Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds feature similar reporting tools, two-factor authentication, as well as anti-cheat software (Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye). Riot Games, meanwhile, uses an even more aggressive (and more intrusive) anti-cheat program called Vanguard for its team-based shooter Valorant. The program makes use of a “kernel mode driver” that runs as soon as Windows starts. Vanguard has been controversial: Many players don’t believe a game should have that level of access to your computer. The battle between game developers and cheaters is also a conflict between privacy and security.
Infinity Ward hasn’t made any announcement about implementing a countermeasure like Vanguard, or of any major changes to its strategy. In its July statement, the developer said that “cheating will not be tolerated” and that “more banwaves are coming.”
pic.twitter.com/G25uIEFcHdJuly 24, 2020
“Please do not use unauthorized 3rd party software to mod or hack,” the company wrote. “[This includes but is not limited to] aimbots, wallhacks, trainers, stats hacks, texture hacks, injectors, hex editors or any software used to deliberately modify game data or memory.”
We’ve contacted Activision to find out if there’s a new anti-cheat strategy ahead for Warzone, or if we’ll see one of the promised ban waves soon, and we’ll say so if we find out more.