Tech

Kernel driver: Denuvo Anti-Cheat released with Doom Eternal

Many PC gamers are hated by the anti-tamper software (copy protection) from the Austrian manufacturer Denuvo. Now the company has published another program: Denuvo Anti-Cheat. It is used for the first time in the battlemode of the PC version of Doom Eternal.

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The main problem with Denuvo Anti-Cheat is that it installs a driver at the kernel level. According to the manufacturer, the program only starts when the associated game – in this case, Doom Eternal – is executed.

When the game ends, Denuvo Anti-Cheat will also be terminated, writes Irdeto, to which Denuvo belongs, on May 14, 2020 in his company blog. Bethesda, the studio behind Doom Eternal, writes something like that in the patch notes.

This functional principle distinguishes Denuvo Anti-Cheat from an otherwise comparable program that is currently causing discussion: the anti-cheat software Vanguard, which Riot Games uses for Valorant.

Vanguard is also installed at the kernel level, but always runs in the background – even if Valorant is not played at all. Only after protests did Riot Games change the software: Now you can see a (hidden) symbol on the edge of the screen that can be used to interrupt the execution of Vanguard.

With Denuvo Anti-Cheat this is not necessary. The form blog also states that the driver is automatically removed when the game is uninstalled. Only players who use Doom Eternal directly through Bethesda.net have to manually remove the anti-cheat software via Windows.

Irdeto writes on the blog that Denuvo Anti-Cheat really only monitors the game. The system is neither searched, nor is information about the user recorded. "We collect information about how the operating system interacts with the game and send the information to detect cheats to servers hosted by Amazon."can be read in the blog.

The user has to trust that this is true – the information cannot be checked easily. The situation is similar with regard to technical compatibility: According to Irdeto, Denuvo Anti-Cheat is in with independent developer studios before the release "many million gameplay sessions" been tested. There is no question of technical problems.

However, Riot Games had also stressed that Vanguard had been tested with great effort, both internally and with external consultants. Since then, however, some problems with the software have become known, which is said to have paralyzed the mouse and keyboard for some users and even the PC cooler for others.

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