Did CoD Warzone Shadowban Players Into Lobbies Filled With Cheaters?

by in Call of Duty | Dec, 30th 2020

Not giving CoD Black Ops Cold War a proper anti-cheat system will no doubt go down as one of Activision’s biggest blunders of all time. The pro scene/challenger scene is being ridiculed as easy places to cheat. It’s a serious problem, according to Attach. But cheating isn’t just in the competitive scene, not by a long shot. We’re seeing tons of hackers in Warzone, where players are getting sick of dealing with lobbies full of cheating. We’ve been talking about that as far back as October, after all. This month, we’ve heard that streamers, content creators, and even regular players feel they caught a shadowban in CoD Warzone, being stuck in lobbies full of cheaters and hackers. 

Why would this be though? Would Activision actively punish their players in such a way? Well, yes and no.

False Positives Are Dangerous

“Not every skilled player is a cheater” is something we could all stand to remember. Crossplay has made it far easier it seems, to cheat, wallhack, and in general, be a knob in CoD Warzone. Day one and beyond has filled lobbies with people who only care about winning, and aren’t particular with the morals behind cheating. 

So what’s going on here? There are a lot of false positives, it seems. You can report people in-game so that any player can report an opponent for what they deem to be cheating in no time at all. It sounds like people are just getting reported and punished without any actual wrongdoing. If these people are in lobbies with friends, they can get everyone on the squad to report and increase the chances of a punishment being doled out. 

Some players are reporting that they’re stuck in these lobbies full of cheaters, despite not being actual cheaters. These CoD Warzone players feel like they have seen a shadowban on their account, without being cheaters themselves.

This supposed shadowban on cheaters in CoD Warzone cannot be confirmed or denied right now though. The word is that being repeatedly reported for cheating can land you in these “lower trust factor lobbies” – lobbies where cheaters/hackers are sent to. If this is true, and people are simply being sent to the cheater’s lobbies without any proof other than a handful of reports, that’s really disappointing. Having punishment lobbies is fine if these people are actually toxic or cheaters. 

Tomographic, a Youtuber points out what it feels like to him right now:

“Essentially, my account has been blacklisted from the matchmaking system, and I’ve now been moved into a ‘cheater bracket. I am running into countless cheaters now. And it sucks I can’t play with my friends, because all my games are occupied by cheaters. The matchmaking system sees me as one of the bad guys, and that ruins the game for everyone else.”

Tomographic points out that when he broke up his party with Aculite and JackFrags, the other two were no longer running into waves of hackers; only when they were in a party with him. Other awful features of these lobbies include long wait times (up to 20 minutes), and high ping/poor connections, on top of you know, all the cheaters. 

No Word From Activistion

The Activision forums are surprisingly not helpful. There are plenty of reports of people having ridiculous ping, lobbies filled with cheaters. It seems like normal players are getting a shadowban simply for looking like cheaters, or people being salty and reporting CoD Warzone players for outplaying them. Of course, there’s also a chance that some (perhaps many) of these players are actually cheaters. Activision has to keep a lid on how this works though, so people won’t exploit the system. But doesn’t it sound like that’s what’s already going on? It sure feels like it, if these innocent players get drug down into punishment lobbies because they are accused of being cheaters. 

What do you think? Are these people crying wolf, or is it somewhere in between? Is the solution right in front of us? Does Activision simply need a better punishment/anti-cheat system? We’d love to know what you think over on Twitter!


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