A Modern Warfare 2 shadow ban can be a difficult thing to pin down. Unlike other issues, such as Modern Warfare 2 lag, which are immediately obvious, a shadow ban won't necessarily be clear immediately. There are, however, some clear signs to suggest that a shadow ban may have been applied to your account.
While it isn't as final as a permanent ban, it is a step in that direction. So it's worth recognising the signs of a shadow ban, and understanding why it may have happened. And then what, if anything, you might be able to do about it.
Why Do I Have A Modern Warfare 2 Shadow Ban?
First, a quick 101 on what a Modern Warfare 2 shadow ban is, and the indications that one may be in place.
Call of Duty is renowned for the considerable amount of cheating that takes place in it. This is why more than 500,000 accounts have been banned to date.
Activision has stated that they are determined to enforce anti-toxicity. this means weeding out people who cheat, who are abusive to other players, or even account names that are offensive.
To that end, anyone who plays Modern Warfare 2 is asked to read and agree to a code of conduct, which is underpinned by three core values:
- Treat everyone with respect - no bullying, harassment hate speech or discriminatory language.
- Compete with integrity - the use of cheats, including third-party software, or exploiting bugs to gain a competitive advantage, will not be tolerated.
- Stay vigilant - players are asked to report any incidents or inappropriate behaviour they encounter.
As such, anyone who is suspected of contravening any of these values is likely to be at risk of a shadow ban.
A shadow ban won't stop you from playing entirely. Instead, you will find yourself in a lobby with other people who are also shadow-banned.
Essentially, this is like a penal colony, where players are sent while any possible transgressions are being investigated. The potential cheats all end up competing against one another, while everyone else can enjoy Modern Warfare 2 without those undesirables spoiling the game.
Unfortunately, cheaters can be a determined bunch, and have historically been happy to simply register a new account, and carry on as they did before. This is one of the reasons why Activision has decided to introduce Modern Warfare 2 authenticator rules, to try to stop serial cheats.
Signs You've Been Shadow Banned
All this may make sense, but you won't necessarily know for certain that you've been shadow banned. There are some telltale signs to suggest that this may be the case, however:
The first sign is if your ping suddenly seems much higher than normal, even though your internet connection is working properly. A ping above 300 is often a sign that you have been moved to a different server, which might indicate a shadow ban.
Another big clue is if queuing takes a lot longer than usual. There will usually be fewer players in a shadow-ban lobby, so it can take longer to find a match.
Finally, does it seem like everyone you are competing against is cheating? If it feels like that (and it isn't simply because you haven't figured out the best controller settings for Modern Warfare 2) then it's possible that you are, indeed, in the land of the shadow banned.
If this is the scenario in which you find yourself, what then?
How To Fix Modern Warfare 2 Shadow Ban
As we mentioned earlier, a shadow ban is what happens to players who are suspected of breaking the code of conduct in some way.
If you have been banned accidentally, then this ban will normally be lifted within a couple of weeks. Which might feel like an eternity, but in the grand scheme of things, isn't really that long.
If you don't want to wait, you can submit a support ticket to appeal an account penalty. At that stage, you'll then just have to wait until a final decision is made by Activision. you will only discover the status of your appeal once the decision is made, and appeal decisions are final. So don't submit multiple appeals. It won't work.
If Activision decides that you have contravened its policies, then the likelihood is that a shadow ban will turn into a permanent ban. And there's generally no coming back from that. If you are deemed to be innocent, then you will be reinstated.
So if you suspect you've been shadow banned, ask yourself whether you've cheated or been abusive to other players. If you have, then it's probably time you face the consequences of your actions.