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Call of Duty: Warzone has banned over 475,000 cheaters to date

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Activision is continuing its campaign against Call of Duty: Warzone cheaters. In an anti-cheat progress report (opens in new tab) published today, the publisher announced that over 475,000 Warzone accounts have been permanently banned since the game's release in March 2020. That's an average of around 36,500 bans per month, or about 1,200 bans every day.

Just yesterday, Raven Software completed another ban wave penalizing 30,000 Warzone more accounts. Activision says this was the "seventh high-volume set of bans" (which have ranged from 15,000 (opens in new tab), 30,000 (opens in new tab), and 60,000 (opens in new tab)) issued since February. For reference, Warzone reached over 80 million total players across all platforms in October 2020.

The progress report also clarifies that, in addition to daily individual bans and future waves, Activision is setting its sights on repeat offenders—those who get banned for cheating and quickly return to the game with a new account. Over 45,000 "fraudulent, black market accounts used by repeat offenders" were recently banned, though it's not clear if this number is included in the latest ban waves or part of a separate effort.

"Removing cheaters and taking away their ability to move to alternate accounts is a key focus for the security teams." To keep habitual cheaters out of Warzone for good, Activision issues a hardware ban that targets the unique IDs associated with your PC's components.

Hardware bans are harder to work around than a simple IP or account sanction, but according to one cheat distributor, the most popular cheating programs can bypass this hurdle by automatically spoofing your machine's hardware ID while the software is running. This makes it all the more important for Activision to go after the cheat developers and distributors in addition to players. Back in August 2020, the publisher successfully shut down (opens in new tab) one cheats site after threatening a lawsuit, though players looking for Warzone cheats and hacks (opens in new tab) don't have to look far.

Short of a major crackdown on distribution or a comprehensive detection tool like Valve employs in CS:GO (opens in new tab), Activision will seemingly continue this whack-a-mole war against cheaters indefinitely. "Delivering a fair and fun experience for all players is our top priority," Activision says. "We will not rest, and we appreciate your patience."

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Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.