You might not even know for certain you've been given a warzone shadow ban, but the effects can be significant. After reading this article, it's possible you may start to suspect that you are on the receiving end of the Warzone shadow ban, and you'll probably want to fix it.
While it's not as severe as a Warzone permanent ban, it certainly remains a frustrating issue for Warzone players, perhaps more annoying than the dreaded Warzone mic not working issue that plagues gameplay.
We'll tell you what the signs are, why it might have happened, and what you might be able to do, in order to fix getting a shadow ban.
Why Do I Have A Warzone Shadow Ban?
Let's start with a little discussion about what a Warzone shadow ban is, and what it looks and feels like. Basically, because of the enormous amount of cheating that goes on in COD, steps have been taken to address it.
If you are shadowbanned, you aren't banned from playing altogether. Rather, you get put in a lobby with other people who are suspected of cheating.
Think of it like a prison or, if you're in the Warzone mindset, a gulag. Essentially, all the suspected cheats are rounded up and dumped in the same place. They can still compete against one another, but the idea is that leaves the non-cheaters alone, to play against other non-cheaters. Then the cheaters get to play against one another to see who is the biggest cheat. So that's nice.
But how would you know if you have a shadow ban? It won't be immediately obvious, but there are a couple of indicators to look out for. The first one is to check your ping. If your internet connection seems stable, but your ping is suddenly above 300, this is a strong indication that you have been moved to a server on the outer rim.
Additionally, if queuing takes much longer than usual, this can also indicate a shadow ban. Because there is a smaller pool of players, it can take longer to find a match. And finally, if you find yourself getting destroyed by every opponent because they are all cheating, it's a pretty good sign that you aren't in Kansas anymore.
If you find yourself in this situation but are innocent, is there anything you can do to fix it? We'll cover that next.
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How To Fix Warzone Shadow Ban
So, you've been accused of a crime you didn't commit. This has resulted in what you suspect is a Warzone shadow ban. The main option, unfortunately, is to wait.
Usually, accidental bans get lifted after a week or two. Not ideal, but when you are dealing with as much cheating as Warzone gets, you can imagine the size of the paperwork pile.
There is a second option as well. You can contact Activision and appeal against your ban. You'll still have to wait a while for them to investigate. Of course, if you are a cheater, it's very unlikely you'll have your ban overturned - if anything, it could become worse. But if you genuinely are innocent, you'll usually get reinstated. Eventually.
What's The Difference Between A Shadow Ban And A Permanent Ban?
A shadow ban is a little bit like being put under review. Something has led to your account coming under scrutiny for potential cheating. This leads to a shadow ban, while the account is more closely examined.
In many cases, a shadow ban will eventually be reversed, and you'll go back to playing Warzone as normal.
If however, there is deemed to be sufficient evidence of cheating, then your shadow ban could be turned into a permanent ban. Which, as the name suggests, is pretty final.
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And with a shadow ban, you can at least continue to play the game. A permanent ban means you are booted out for good.
What about Warzone 2?
We know that both MW2 and Warzone 2 include RICOCHET anti-cheat, which has arguably been the single most effective way of reducing cheating up to now.
It's likely that shadow bans will continue to exist, as the whole purpose of this is to investigate potential cheating, before making a decision one way or the other.
So if you're thinking of cheating, don't. Just, don't.