Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is introducing in-game systems to prevent online players from cheating by watching streamers in the same match.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is implementing new in-game features to prevent gamers from stream-sniping. Stream-sniping is a pervasive and obnoxious practice whereby players watch online game streamers who are in the same match as they are, using the footage to gain an advantage on the streamer’s location.
The newest entry in Activision’s annual first person shooter franchise has finally launched today, and players have been taking the time to familiarize themselves with the future of military shooters, for better and for worse. Already players are bumping up against some pretty major bugs; on the PlayStation 5, for instance, the controller will randomly disconnect in the middle of the game. This has been observed in all three of the game’s main modes, including the campaign, Zombies, and online multiplayer. It’s not much better on the Series X, unfortunately; players have reported that thanks to an issue with the game’s next-gen upgrade, Black Ops Cold War is liable to completely shut down the Xbox Series X with no warning or provocation.
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But for all its bugs, Black Ops Cold War is not without some considerable benefits. PCGamer reports on a few sorely needed options that should alleviate the risk of stream-sniping for online gamers. The game allows streamers to play with a matchmaking delay, meaning that when the streamer starts a game, the system won’t actually start looking for a match until an invisible timer counts down. This will make it harder for viewers to judge when to begin matchmaking in order to get into the same stream. There’s also an option to hide all usernames in a match, which will make it harder for viewers to determine if they’re even in the same game as the streamer, let alone which player the streamer is.
These aren’t perfect solutions, but they’re a good start. Ultimately the best resolution would be if people just stopped cheating, but that hardly seems likely to happen any time soon. It’s all but impossible to find an online game that’s free of cheaters. They’ve even infested cooperative games like Among Us, where the hacks they use don’t even help them win the game. The best way to deal with people looking to abuse the system does seem to be introducing systems they can’t abuse. Fortnite has already had success with similar measures to the ones Call of Duty is now using.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War clearly has a lot going for it. It’s promised a very enticing singleplayer campaign and a lot of intriguing changes to the classic Zombies mode. And there’s definitely a player base for it; this game had the most downloaded beta in the history of the Call of Duty series. These new anti-stream-sniping measures are just one more good idea that the game is implementing. Hopefully it’s just a few bug fixes away from being a classic.
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