What is a shadow ban in Warzone 2?

Valeria and soldiers in Warzone 2 Al Mazrah

Call of Duty: Warzone 2’s free-to-play nature means the game is constantly fighting against cheaters, and shadowbans are one of the tools used to deal with these hackers. Here’s what shadow banning means and how to tell if you’re shadow banned in Warzone 2.

Warzone 2 players will agree that there’s nothing worse than dropping into Al Mazrah or Ashika Island looking for a win, only to find yourself up against a hacker. Whether it’s wallhacks or aimbots, you’re immediately at a huge disadvantage.

While RICOCHET anti-cheat and its kernel-level drivers include several measures to counter Warzone 2 cheaters such as detecting Cronus, turning enemies invisible, removing their weapons, and nerfing their damage, Activision still use shadow banning to help in their efforts.

Here’s everything you need to know about shadow banning, including how it works and how you can find out if your account is under review.

What does shadow banned mean in Warzone 2?

Alejandro Vargas sniping in Warzone 2It’s easy to tell if you have been shadow banned in Warzone 2.

When a player suspected of hacking gets shadow banned in Warzone 2, they’re no longer able to play in normal lobbies with the rest of the game’s community while Activision reviews their account. Instead, they get placed into special lobbies full of other suspected cheaters.

While many actual cheaters do get shadow banned, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the player is cheating. If a player gets reported a ton of times in a short period of time, whether for performing particularly well, exploiting a camo glitch, or for any other reason, their account can come under review and they’re shadow banned.

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Shadow bans typically last a week or two, and once it’s over, the account will either become un-shadow banned or permanently banned depending on the result of Activision’s decision.

Unfortunately, because Warzone 2 is free-to-play, once cheaters figure out what has happened to them, a lot of them just make new accounts. Still, it’s a useful tool to take them out of the regular player base, and fun to imagine a lobby of hackers all stuck together too.

Can you get shadow banned in Warzone 2?

Yes, a regular, non-cheating player can get shadow banned in Warzone. Several streamers have been shadow banned and cleared, and it happens to regular players all of the time too.

Of course, if you really are hacking and get caught by RICOCHET then don’t expect the shadow ban to lift. Instead, your account will become permanently banned once reviewed.

How to find out if you’ve been shadow banned in Warzone 2

When shadow banned in Warzone 2, the first tell-tale sign is that when searching for a match your ping will go all the way up to 200, and it’ll take much longer to actually find a match. When you get in a game, it’ll be laggy and might have more hackers than a usual lobby.

If you believe you’ve been shadow banned, you can head to the Ban Appeal section of Activision Support. Here, it’ll tell you if your account is “Under Review.”

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Activision Support ban review pageYou can check your shadow ban status through Activision Support.

Here’s everything you need to do:

  1. Head to the Appeal A Ban page on Activision Support
  2. Log in with your Activision account
  3. Press ‘Agree and Continue’
  4. This screen will now tell you if there’s No Ban Detected, your Account is Under Review, or Permanently Banned

If you believe you’ve been shadow banned incorrectly, it’s mostly a waiting game. Once Activision have looked into your account and made a decision, you can either continue playing as normal or your account will be fully banned and you’ll need to submit an appeal through that page.

For more on Warzone 2, be sure to check out our other guides:

Best Warzone 2 controller settings | Best Warzone 2 PC settings | How to ping enemies in Warzone 2 | Best SMGs in Warzone 2 | How to use Proximity Chat in Warzone 2 | How to get a nuke in Warzone 2 | Best Assault Rifles in Warzone 2 | Does Warzone 2 have crossplay? | How to make Warzone 2 Sniper Rifles one-shot kill

Image Credit: Raven Software / Activision

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