What is a Shadow Ban in Warzone


What Is a Shadow Ban in Warzone?

Abhimannu Das
Updated On: 
Shadow bans are meted out to players who are flagged for violations in Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone.
After a player is shadowbanned, RICHOCHET or Activision does an account review to assess any violations.
If shadow banned players are found guilty, they receive permanent bans in Vanguard and Warzone.

The Warzone community saw a new controversy erupt with popular but controversial streamer ‘Nadia’ receiving a shadow ban. Many had accused her of cheating but she denied the allegations and later followed up saying that she was shadow-banned and does not know why. Other players also started wondering what being shadow banned meant as a large part of the community was unaware that shadow banning was actually something Warzone did to punish its players.

What is a shadow ban in Call of Duty: Warzone?

A shadow ban is implemented on Call of Duty accounts when players violate terms of service. Typically it acts as a punishment for players who cheat but it may also extend to other violations. Cheaters are still able to play the game with no problems whatsoever but what happens behind the scenes is that the players get put into lobbies with other shadow-banned players.

A lot of players might wonder why these cheaters get to play the game after ruining the experience for other players and the reasoning behind Activision’s actions is simple. If you ban a player and stop them from playing the game, it is very likely that the violator will just make another account. But shadow-banning players in Warzone, the offenders end up matching other offenders and it might take a while until they realize they have been shadowbanned.

After a player is shadow-banned, RICOCHET Anti-Cheat or someone at Activision will review the player account for refractions and if players are found guilty, they are permanently banned. Shadow bans also prevent players from being banned permanently automatically. If players are wrongfully shadow-banned and an account review takes place, the ban is lifted.

There are multiple ways to tell if you have received a shadow ban. If you are experiencing unusually high queue times, it means that the game is trying to match you against other shadow-banned players. The other way to tell if you have been shadow-banned is by checking your latency during matchmaking. The ping spikes up and it takes a very long time to connect to lobbies.

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Abhimannu is a PC esports writer at AFK Gaming. With over seven years of experience in esports journalism, he has worked on a myriad of games and their ecosystems including Valorant, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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