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About kernel-level anti-cheat systems

Castef

Banned
I was a frequent (and honest) player of Call of Duty Warzone, then I discovered that the latest update on PC came with a kernel-level anti-cheat system, as detailed here:

Now, the PC I use for playing is also used for other things work-related and I'm not that happy to install something like that, the very same reason I uninstalled Valorant.

Plus... I am not a cheater and I feel somehow frustrated to have to install something that invasive on my PC due to cheaters.

More details about concerns on using these kind of kernel-level drivers may be found in this discussion:

So, in the end the simple decision was to stop playing Warzone.

I was wondering what's your stance about these situations.
 

Robochobo

Member
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. PC community want cheaters to be caught and banned and the only real way to do it is through something like this, akin to Valroant. On the flipside you then have the PC community that doesn't want this level of invasiveness or potential inaccuracies that come with a safeguard like this. It's a shame, but it is what it is.
 

AGRacing

Member
Fundamental problem with the platform. You're going to have cheating or extreme measures to (ideally) eliminate it. Your choices are

1.) Play games with cheaters.
2.) Play games with kernel level anti cheat.... if it works
3.) Don't play.

I'm sure there are folks with gaming PCs who prefer option 1 and folks with PCs that do it all (including banking, sensitive work, etc) who prefer option 2 or 3.

The reality is if the game you like is popular... people will find ways to exploit it.
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
They should do their own VM, bundle VirtualBox should't be that much of extra data (specially for CoD) and run the game in there, basically drop some Linux kernel there...or just deploy Hyper-V image for windows (thus make it almost sort of something Xbox is doing) and that way you can ensure that everything is running as devs intent.
 

Castef

Banned
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. PC community want cheaters to be caught and banned and the only real way to do it is through something like this, akin to Valroant. On the flipside you then have the PC community that doesn't want this level of invasiveness or potential inaccuracies that come with a safeguard like this. It's a shame, but it is what it is.

Yep, the best solution would be having two distinct PCs, one for work and other activities, the other one just for gaming.

That is, this is not always possible, for various reasons.
 

Soodanim

Member
Damned if you do, damned if you don't. PC community want cheaters to be caught and banned and the only real way to do it is through something like this, akin to Valroant. On the flipside you then have the PC community that doesn't want this level of invasiveness or potential inaccuracies that come with a safeguard like this. It's a shame, but it is what it is.
This. People lose either way. There has to be a better solution. It might cost them more, but kernel level stuff isn't the way forward. You can't punish people because they have Cheat Engine, just assuming it's used for online games.
 

Fuz

Gold Member
I don't think that's the only way to fight cheaters. But it's probably the cheapest - and those companies don't care about your PCs, your privacy and your security.

If it really were the only way, I'd rather have cheaters. At least I can get out of a game, or only play with friends/acquaitances*, but when the PC is compromised I can't back out from that.


* i.e. discord communities with trusted members that get booted if caught cheating. This could actually help buil communities.
 
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HTK

Member
If you want to avoid kernel-level anti-cheats buy yourself a console or don't play the game.

More and more companies will start going the kernel-level route because all of the cheating software are kernel-level based so the only way to actually prevent or combat cheating is through a kernel-level anti-cheat to equal the playing field. That and legal route as well.

My stance as a console player is bring any Anti-Cheat you can to mitigate the rampant cheating or enable crossplay only between PlayStation and Xbox, this would basically kill the PC community so I don't see that happening.

Sorry there just aren't that many options:
  • Play on a console to avoid kernel-level anti-cheat software that can spy on you (but probably won't) but still run into cheaters.
  • Play on PC and accept the kernel-level software running (ONLY WHILE THE GAME IS RUNNING).
  • Don't play the game.
  • Community request for crossplay only between PlayStation and Xbox, this would kill the PC community.
 
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Castef

Banned
If you want to avoid kernel-level anti-cheats buy yourself a console or don't play the game.
Heh, which is exactly what I'll do, actually.

Yet, it is ironic that in order to punish cheaters you lose (few, I guess) honest players.
 
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IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
Nothing mentioned here even requires kernel level anti-cheat. Your computer can be scanned by any software you launch, as it executes under a context of "you" running the app. The app has "your" permissions; as Windows really only has 1 layer of protection, which is UAC, which only covers modification of system level files.

Beyond that Windows if you have Defender Firewall enabled will let you know if an app wants to use the internet, but of course, you always allow that for multiplayer games.

Don't do work for any serious company, on any computer you use for person use. In particular, don't store anything on that machine.. if you do only cloud stuff, you are fine.. but any file you save to your machine, can be read by applications you install/launch.
 
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Mithos

Member
Yeah I was planning to test Destiny 2 again, just to play some with a friend that just got a new PC that wants to test some games...
But because it use BattlEye now i just said NO to the install and deleted that game...

I know I'm a hypocrite though since I have played/playing games with EasyAntiCheat, they however do not install a program permanently, it starts up at the boot of the game and shuts it down after (at least in the game I've played).
 
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I haven't really done online multiplayer at all since the Halo 3 days. I guess cheaters were probably around then, but I don't remember it being a rampant problem.
Cheaters are a weird bunch. Having your fun by ruining other people's experience is a pretty strange way to get your kicks.
 

wtftad

Gold Member
I don't play warzone, but I do play other games that have similar tools for anti-piracy, I also understand the impact of piracy and support the implementation of anit-cheating tools.

**I fully realize that the following isn't available for everyone, I am simply sharing my approach**

All my gaming rigs (pcs) and Consoles are only used for gaming and they exist on a fenced network connection in my home and office.
I purchase PC games online (not using those PCs) and any console games as physical (if they exist) or online through direct distributors (PSN, Nintendo Eshop, Best Buy, Amazon, etc) also using a pc (not on the consoles themselves).

None of my personal or work email or other apps are on any of those systems.
 
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Excess

Member
What we really have here is just a loud minority of players who may have seen a cheater or even worse, they thought they saw a cheater. Now the whole community has to pay because these people who won't stop crying about it.
 
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Bavarian_Sloth

Neo Member
My stance as a console player is bring any Anti-Cheat you can to mitigate the rampant cheating or enable crossplay only between PlayStation and Xbox, this would basically kill the PC community so I don't see that happening.
This. Crossplay with PC should be deactivated by default for every game.
Gamepad vs. mouse and keyboard is a bad idea anyway in most games.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
What we really have here is just a loud minority of players who may have seen a cheater or even worse, they thought they saw a cheater. Now the whole community has to pay because these people who won't stop crying about it.
Warzone recently banned 300,000 cheaters (or rather, had banned that amount in 2021, as of April.. so.. how many by now? Probably million+.. quick google suggests it was around 800k in September.

It's pretty rampant.

I do agree some people exaggerate it; or just care too much.. but it can become really obvious in a lot of games.
 
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Excess

Member
Warzone recently banned 300,000 cheaters (or rather, had banned that amount in 2021, as of April.. so.. how many by now? Probably million+.. quick google suggests it was around 800k in September.

It's pretty rampant.

I do agree some people exaggerate it; or just care too much.. but it can become really obvious in a lot of games.
Over what size player base and what time period? A nominal amount doesn't mean much without some kind of baseline.
 

tygertrip

Member
I was a frequent (and honest) player of Call of Duty Warzone, then I discovered that the latest update on PC came with a kernel-level anti-cheat system, as detailed here:

Now, the PC I use for playing is also used for other things work-related and I'm not that happy to install something like that, the very same reason I uninstalled Valorant.

Plus... I am not a cheater and I feel somehow frustrated to have to install something that invasive on my PC due to cheaters.

More details about concerns on using these kind of kernel-level drivers may be found in this discussion:

So, in the end the simple decision was to stop playing Warzone.

I was wondering what's your stance about these situations.
I’m for them. Fuck cheaters. Obviously, I wouldnt install them on a sensitive PC. But I wouldn’t be using a sensitive PC to play online games to begin with. I also wouldn’t install any from a Chinese company, period, because of their government and their power over their companies (being sort of communist).
 
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Bavarian_Sloth

Neo Member
Warzone recently banned 300,000 cheaters (or rather, had banned that amount in 2021, as of April.. so.. how many by now? Probably million+.. quick google suggests it was around 800k in September.

This game is really bad at times.
Aimbot and Wallhack in particular are widespread. In observer mode you can immediately identify these two hacks.

I can still remember my Counter-Strike days well. Aimbot and Wallhack wherever you looked (although my 56k modem was probably the bigger problem at the time :messenger_poop: ).
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
Over what size player base and what time period? A nominal amount doesn't mean much without some kind of baseline.
That 300,000 cheaters comment was for a 3 month span basically Jan/Feb/March this year. Reaching closer to 1 million for the year most likely.

While Activision will claim 100 million players... that's everyone who has ever launched the game. But even so.. 1% of your players being banned for cheating in a year.. means that you'll run into cheaters quite often. Considering each game has.. what? 100 players? 150 players? lol

And that's just who they caught.

There's likely someone cheating in most Warzone games.
 
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tygertrip

Member
Fundamental problem with the platform. You're going to have cheating or extreme measures to (ideally) eliminate it. Your choices are

1.) Play games with cheaters.
2.) Play games with kernel level anti cheat.... if it works
3.) Don't play.

I'm sure there are folks with gaming PCs who prefer option 1 and folks with PCs that do it all (including banking, sensitive work, etc) who prefer option 2 or 3.

The reality is if the game you like is popular... people will find ways to exploit it.
Yep. It really is that simple. Edit: that sounds sarcastic, but its not. what you wrote is exactly how I feel.
 
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ShadowLag

Member
Over what size player base and what time period? A nominal amount doesn't mean much without some kind of baseline.

I dunno but I've been playing quite frequently since mid-2020 ish, and I see a minimum of 2-3 insanely obvious aimbotters per match since I began playing. They're in multiplayer too. It's a plague right now because of how easy it is to do, and the F2P nature of the game. Some nights I just quit entirely out of helplessness and the ease at which they ruin every game.
 
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Excess

Member
That 300,000 cheaters comment was for a 3 month span basically Jan/Feb/March this year. Reaching closer to 1 million for the year most likely.

While Activision will claim 100 million players... that's everyone who has ever launched the game. But even so.. 1% of your players being banned for cheating in a year.. means that you'll run into cheaters quite often. Considering each game has.. what? 100 players? 150 players? lol

And that's just who they caught.

There's likely someone cheating in most Warzone games.
Ya know, normally I'd say that negligible, especially with variance, but I wasn't thinking about the fact that Battle Royale means that one player can ruin a game for everyone, as opposed to other multiplayer games.

I mean, good thing I don't play BR games, but if that's enough to cause disruption, then make it exclusive to Warzone.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
Ya know, normally I'd say that negligible, especially with variance, but I wasn't thinking about the fact that Battle Royale means that one player can ruin a game for everyone, as opposed to other multiplayer games.

I mean, good thing I don't play BR games, but if that's enough to cause disruption, then make it exclusive to Warzone.
Yeah don't get me wrong, I'm on the side of not really caring that much.. had plenty of fun in online PC games that people complain about cheaters in.

But it's still fairly common; it's just.. not fun ruining for me, for the most part.

But those BR games can last a long time, and you have 1 life (in general).. spending 20+ minutes in a game, only to be shot through a wall when you are down to the last 2 people.. is pretty fun ruining lol I also don't really play BR though.
 

Dream-Knife

Member
This. Crossplay with PC should be deactivated by default for every game.
Gamepad vs. mouse and keyboard is a bad idea anyway in most games.
Agreed. Tried that COD vanguard beta a month or two ago and playing with keyboard and mouse was a huge disadvantage with that auto aim that basically played itself.

Easy Anti-cheat is actually really good and I haven't seen any cheaters when playing games with that.
 

HTK

Member
If your so concerned about your safety online unplug from your PC and drown your smartphone if you want TRUE privacy protection.

Your rights and freedoms have been withered away by institutions long ago but I you're on here on NeoGAF drawing a line in a sand over a video game. Dude, don't play the game simple as that patriot?
 

Kerotan

Member
I'm just glad I'm a console player so I don't have to worry about that BS.

Don't have on the dev bringing in an anti cheat hate on the absolute cretins that cheat.

For any famous streamers running soft hacks like walls or soft aim bot is there any way around this or are we going to suddenly see a few 4 and 5kd players dropping down to 3kds.
 

daveonezero

Member
This is horrible. Also more of a reason that you should have a device for media consumption and one for personal information and communication.
 

SZips

Member
At this point, if you're playing most any popular online multiplayer game you are probably already using a kernel-level anti-cheat. These include games using Easy Anti-Cheat, PunkBuster, BattlEye, and others. Literally hundreds of games.

If they are only running when the game is running, it's basically a non-issue. If it's running right from system boot (as Valorant's does/did), it's more of a pressing matter. An anti-cheat running at all times at that level should never happen.

You either accept it or don't ever install those games.
 
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