Activision has introduced a new strategy to combat cheaters in its Call of Duty games. Dubbed “Hallucinations,” this method involves creating copies of real players that only cheaters or suspected cheaters can encounter. These copies behave exactly like real players, but they exist solely for the purpose of catching cheaters. If a player shoots at one of these phantom opponents, they are deemed a cheater and can be banned. Activision states that the intention behind this strategy is to disorient cheaters. They have outlined the exact procedure in a white paper, referring to the fight against cheaters as a “cat and mouse” game where hallucinations can provide a significant advantage to the manufacturer.
Activision has always been innovative in its methods to detect and punish cheaters in games like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II” and “Call of Duty Warzone 2.0”. In addition to the Hallucinations strategy, they have implemented other measures as well. For instance, if the system detects a player using cheats, other participants in the game are automatically shielded from their actions. Ricochet, another method employed by Activision, can conceal other players from cheaters or even disarm them completely. These different methods, including the use of kernel drivers, are collectively known as the Ricochet anti-cheat system. Furthermore, consoles have penalties in place to discourage players from gaining an unfair advantage by using a mouse and keyboard against gamepad players.
By publicly announcing these new systems, Activision aims to show the gaming community that they take cheater issues seriously. The case of “The Cycle,” a multiplayer title developed by German studio Yager, underscores the importance of combating cheaters. The game initially garnered success but rapidly lost players due to the prevalence of cheaters. Unfortunately, “The Cycle” was unable to recover from this setback and will soon be discontinuing server operations.
Overall, Activision’s introduction of Hallucinations and other anti-cheat measures underscores their commitment to fair gameplay and maintaining an enjoyable gaming experience for all players.