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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will include SMS protection, but only for PC

A controversial practice requiring a mobile phone number, Activision Blizzard will be using SMS protection to sift out cheaters.

Image via Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard has caught a lot of flack recently for the use of SMS protection in its games, but the company is apparently not backing down on the matter. Even after backlash on implementing the protection in Overwatch 2, Activision Blizzard shared that it intends to use SMS protection once again to protect the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Fortunately for some players, this protection will only apply to PC versions of the game.

Activision Blizzard shared details about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s SMS protection in a blog post on the game’s website about combatting cheaters. With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Activision Blizzard is deploying a new anti-cheat system called Ricochet, which it hopes will be more effective in sifting out cheaters on all platforms. However, one of the more notable details is the use of the SMS security. SMS protection is the practice of tying an account to a mobile phone number. With it, when a player is banned, they cannot then verify a new game account with the same phone number.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 soldiers wandering along a balcony.
The Ricochet anti-cheat system includes SMS protection on PC, which will require Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 players to supply valid phone numbers to verify accounts.
Source: Activision Blizzard

This was a matter of contention with Overwatch 2, with many players complaining that the requiring of a phone number that wasn’t on a pay-as-you-go plan was unfair to many players. Blizzard was forced to address and clarify the SMS requirement and how it affects new or returning players. Activision Blizzard isn’t backing down with Call of Duty either, claiming it’s integral to keeping the community free of repeat offenders and bots.

“SMS verification is critical to our anti-cheat enforcement efforts, tackling illicit account creation at its source,” the blog reads. “This helps our security team to maintain account and game security in order to provide a safe, fair, and fun gaming experience for all our players.”

Even so, it would seem this SMS protection will only apply to players on PC. Those on consoles such as the Xbox Series X/S or PS5 will not have to provide a mobile phone number to verify their account and play.

How well Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2’s SMS protection works in addition to other anti-cheat measures will remain to be seen, but it seems if you’re planning on playing on PC, you’d better have that phone number ready. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 comes out on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC on October 28, 2022.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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