MW2 players are getting randomly banned. Why?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is in full flow for most players. People are playing and, for the most part, enjoying the new experience that Infinity Ward has released. Some, though, have run into a peculiar issue.

Activision seem to be randomly banning players in MW2. It’s not just small bans either. Accounts are being permanently banned.

Hundreds of players were met by a message claiming that they had been using “Unauthorized Software” when trying to load up the game. This is the gentlemanly way for Activision to claim that a player has been using cheating programs on the game but they have seemingly hit too many people with the message.

Activision does allow for players to dispute bans when they happen through official channels, but it can be a long, drawn-out process. Players have also reported being banned after just playing the campaign. One says that he had it during the early access for the MW2 campaign.

Trying to find out why the bans happened

Players who use VPNs or overclocking software on their controllers have fallen victim to the accidental bans.

Activision HQ in Austin, Texas. (Photo via Activision-Blizzard).
Activision HQ in Austin, Texas. (Photo via Activision-Blizzard).

One player really wanted clarification on why he was banned. He went to the extreme of visiting the Activision HQ in Austin, Texas. Reddit user u/PlumContent told the story in a now-deleted Reddit post. Security in the building turned him away from asking any questions, leaving the Reddit user incredibly frustrated.

"I voiced my frustration due to the fact that I spent $140 total and am left unable to play and the security guard told me to ‘not allow myself to get mad about a video game'," PlumContent's post said.

In December 2021, Activision launched the Ricochet Anit-Cheat system. It is a kernel-level driver that scans for cheating software when playing Call of Duty.

It was active in Warzone for the entirety of the lifespan of the Caldera map. In its defence, Ricochet did a good job at limiting the cheating in Warzone.

With it now being live in multiplayer with the launch of MW2, it was always likely that there would be some teething problems.

What has Activision said about the problem?


Activision has not said a single thing. They have not acknowledged the issue. They are taking the silent approach to dealing with this problem. The only way that players who have any chance of getting access to their accounts back is to go through the official ban appeal system.

Going through the official channels is no guarantee of getting your account back. One player claimed to have had their ban appeal rejected, even though they only played two games in the beta.

Activision say that their decisions following an appeal process are final. That leaves it likely that the above Twitter user will not see their account again.

It's a shame that the frankly incredible launch of MW2 is being marred by these bans. Players will hope to be able to recover their accounts somehow but it's not looking likely.