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Call of Duty: Warzone bans 60,000 cheaters in one massive wave

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(Image credit: Activision)

Update: In a blog post posted today, Activision confirmed that it banned over 60,000 accounts for cheating in a single wave. The post also mentions that, to date, over 300,000 cheaters have been banned since Warzone's launch.

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Original story: It sounds like Call of Duty: Warzone hackers are having a bad day. According to Vice, speaking to multiple sources familiar with the situation, Activision issued a ban wave to over 60,000 accounts using cheats in Warzone. The publisher has yet to confirm as much, but customers of one cheat distributor are saying their accounts are permanently banned.

"Anyone that used EngineOwning since the last banwave was wiped out," a source told Vice. EngineOwning was also at the center of Warzone's last big ban wave, which banished over 20,000 accounts in September 2020. We haven't heard much about the topic from developers Infinity Ward and Raven Software since then.

EngineOwning status page

EngineOwnings status page currently reads "updating" for Warzone, suggesting its cheats have been compromised.

It's been clear for a long time now that Warzone has a major cheating problem. Whether you're a casual player or a high-level streamer, it's not uncommon to run into players running third-party aimbot and wallhack software. Right now, you can't scroll Warzone's official subreddit without seeing numerous clips of players cheating their way to victory.

All the while, Warzone still doesn't appear to utilize any dedicated anti-cheat software. We know from an April 2020 blog post that a 24/7 security team reviews player reports and monitors potential new cheats as they appear. That information is almost a year old at this point, so I wouldn't be surprised if Activision's process has evolved since then.

Hackers are making Warzone unbearable. Please, Activision, do something about this. from r/CODWarzone

Considering Warzone has millions of active players across three platforms, it's hard to believe 60,000 fewer cheaters will be felt overnight. After all, many cheaters hold several accounts and source their cheats from multiple distributors for situations like this. Still, it's a step in the right direction.

We've reached out to Activision to confirm the details of the apparent ban wave and will update the story if we learn anything.

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Morgan Park

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.