Banning cheaters doesn’t always work because they can usually make another account. So games like Call of Duty are increasingly looking for ways to make it less fun for people to exploit their games — and the latest idea gives honest players a cheat of their own. The new “Damage Shield” in Call of Duty Warzone’s new Ricochet anti-cheat software makes a cheater’s bullets bounce right off you, so you can close in while they hilariously flail around and then destroy them yourself.
You can see YouTuber TimTheTatman show it off right here, roughly a minute and 13 seconds into this video:
In a blog post announcing the feature, Activision says it only activates “when the server detects a cheater is tampering with the game in real-time,” and that there’s “no possibility for the game to apply a Damage Shield randomly or by accident,” in case you’re wondering about that.
“We will never interfere in gunfights between law-abiding community members,” Activision adds. So if you see this happening when you’re not cheating, well, you’ll probably have questions.
The company’s also putting cheaters on notice that it’ll begin banning them across the entire Call of Duty gaming franchise, not just on a game-by-game basis, and that bans will extend to future Call of Duty games as well. It writes:
Going forward, extreme, or repeated violations of the security policy – such as in-game cheating – may result in a permanent suspension of all accounts. Additionally, any attempt to hide, disguise, or obfuscate your identity or the identity of your hardware devices may also result in a permanent suspension.
Cheating has increasingly become a scourge on gaming over the past couple of years, leaving no popular game untouched, to the point that pro gamers wound up abandoning some titles and console players are rejecting cross-play with PC because of the prevalence of cheaters there. Epic won’t update Fortnite to run on the Steam Deck for fear of cheaters as well.
Companies like Activision have been reacting with huge new anti-cheating initiatives, including their own original kernel-level drivers for PC, but they’re also fighting cheats with legal action, suing or threatening to sue their makers into the ground.
Trolling cheaters is also a fun tactic, though. In addition to the new Call of Duty shield, we’ve seen League of Legends and Apex Legends developers suggest they would make cheaters exclusively fight one another, condemned to battle it out in cheater hell.