Activision is cracking down on third-party hardware cheating in Call of Duty: Warzone and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II. Devices like XIM, Cronus Zen, and ReaSnow S1 have been widely used in Call of Duty to allow mouse and keyboard users to get the benefits of aim assist and reduced recoil from controller mixed with the benefits of movement from mouse and keyboard. Activision has now updated its Ricochet anti-cheat system to detect and eventually suspend or ban players using this third-party hardware.
“These devices act as a passthrough for controllers on PC and console and, when used improperly or maliciously, can provide a player with the ability to gain an unfair gameplay advantage, such as reducing or eliminating recoil,” explains the Richochet team in a blog post today.
The Ricochet anti-cheat system will initially display a warning to players it has detected using this hardware. “Continued improper use of these devices may lead to additional warnings, the deployment of mitigations, account or feature suspensions, or the banning of the offending account across Call of Duty titles, per our Security and Enforcement Policy,” says the Richochet team.
Activision’s crackdown comes just weeks after Ubisoft announced it will start messing with Rainbow Six Siege players that cheat by using XIM or similar devices to spoof controller inputs. Players that cheat in Rainbow Six Siege by using third-party devices will notice more input latency that will mess with their aim. Unplugging the devices will bring the latency back to normal.
Epic Games also started issuing permanent bans to players using Cronus Zen and Cronus Max last year, but cheaters have found ways to bypass Epic’s detection system. Epic Games, Ubisoft, and Activision are now in an ongoing cat-and-mouse game with the developers of this third-party hardware. The hardware is designed to be undetectable, and the gaming industry hasn’t nailed the perfect solution to combat these devices.
Destiny 2 and Overwatch are both suffering from cheaters using these devices, too. “This is something we are currently investigating,” said Bungie to The Verge in February, but the company hasn’t yet announced its own detection system for Destiny 2.