Call of Duty: Warzone outflanks thirdparty stat-tracking apps with a change to privacy settings

Call of Duty: Warzone Rebirth Island
(Image credit: Activision)

Warzone is never without controversy. A particularly contentious recent development has been the emergence of various stat-tracking apps, including COD Tracker and Warzone Companion, which allow players to check out the composition of their lobbies in realtime and, some argue, manipulate the game's matchmaking by pulling out of 'unfavourable' lobbies.

Players get very angry about skill-based matchmaking in Warzone, not always with good reason, and these apps arguably did little other than pour fuel on the fire. If you want to know how SBMM actually works, here's the primer.

Activision has now put a stop to this by making a change to the basic privacy settings for every player, meaning that the information these apps relied upon can no longer be accessed by default.

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While the change will be rather ruinous for the Tracker and other apps, Activision does allow players to set their permissions to allow API access. But from now on, all player profile privacy settings default to "Friends & External Tournaments" only (which arguably should always have been the case.)

It means that people who want to use such apps to analyse their own and friends' play can have at it, while the rest of us can just get on with playing the game. And calling for the stim glitch to be removed.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."