According to recent changes made to the online shop and support sites, all Modern Warfare II players will be required to register a unique, text-capable phone number with their account. However, this week’s blog post by the developers of the game’s Ricochet anti-cheat system indicated that the restriction will only apply to PC gamers.
When it comes to Overwatch 2, Blizzard initially mandated that all players on PC and consoles register a phone number for their “SMS Protect” system. As time went on, Blizzard partially reversed the decision, allowing anyone who had played the original Overwatch using a Battle.net account to continue doing so.
Warzone 2.0’s free-to-play PC version will also be subject to Activision’s SMS security requirement, according to a report by Team Ricochet. Since May 2020, PC users who entered the first Warzone had to attach a phone number in order to play, and that restriction will carry over to the second game.
In August of 2022-23, the 2019 relaunch of Modern Warfare, which includes access to Warzone, implemented a similar SMS phone requirement. The anti-cheat team “started noticing more cheaters attempt to enter Warzone via Modern Warfare to avoid the SMS restriction,” thus the security team suggested a patch to crack down on the black market.
It appears that the security measures implemented for the release of Modern Warfare 2 and its companion, Warzone 2.0, later this month follow a similar line of thinking. We believe that SMS verification is a key component of our anti-cheat enforcement efforts since it allows us to directly address the issue of account creation by cheaters. “This aids our security staff in keeping accounts and games secure so that all of our gamers may enjoy a pleasant, risk-free, and entertaining gaming experience.”
At launch, Modern Warfare 2 will be the first game in the franchise to mandate the usage of Ricochet’s kernel-level anti-cheat drivers on PC. To “give additional information to our security staff in the case of cheats breaking into the game, sending data to our detection and mitigation systems,” the developers explain, they are updating those drivers as well.
Ricochet was only partially implemented during the open beta earlier this year (which resulted in more than 20,000 account suspensions), but the developer promises to implement “all existing [cheat] mitigation mechanisms” in time for the game’s official launch on October 28.
There are a variety of methods that may be used to discourage cheating, such as blinding the cheater, taking away their weapons, and protecting the opponent from harm.