Technology

EA launching its own kernel-level anti-cheat system with FIFA 23 on PC

Following a similar move by Activision Blizzard last year, EA has unveiled EA AntiCheat (EAAC), a new internally developed kernel-level anti-cheat system that’ll initially be rolling out with the launch of FIFA 23 on PC this autumn.

Announcing EAAC – which is officially described as a “kernel-mode anti-cheat and anti-tamper solution” – in a new blog post, the publisher explained, “PC cheat developers have increasingly moved into the kernel, so we need to have kernel-mode protections to ensure fair play and tackle PC cheat developers on an even playing field.”

EAAC’s arrival will coincide with the release of FIFA 23, which brings cross-play across PC, Xbox, and PlayStation to the series for the first time. “In addition to EAAC protecting our PC players from cheaters,” EA notes, “our console players who match with PC opponents will also be protected from cheaters operating on PC platforms.”

The remainder of the publisher’s announcement post aims to address any concerns players might have around its new technology, insisting that EAAC will have “negligible impact” on gameplay when used, and that the system will only be active while games requiring EAAC are running. It also claims to have “limited the information” its anti-cheat technology collects and that it “does not gather any information about your browsing history, applications that are not connected to EA games, or anything that is not directly related to anti-cheat protection.”

Additionally, EA says EAAC will be automatically removed from a user’s system once all games requiring it have been uninstalled, and that it can also be removed manually – although this will prevent games requiring EAAC from running.

“We’ve worked with independent, 3rd party computer security and privacy services firms to ensure EAAC operates with data privacy top of mind,” it adds.

The publisher also notes that not all of its games will make use of EAAC, citing single-player games and titles without competitive ladders or leaderboards as areas where “the cheat landscape differs”. In these instances, it says it may either use other anti-cheat technology or forego using anti-cheat technology altogether.

There’s no word on where EA maybe considering deploying its EAAC after the launch of FIFA 23, but given it describes third-party anti-cheat solutions as “[preventing] us from implementing additional privacy controls or customisations that provide greater accuracy and granularity”, it seems likely it’s planning to introduce EAAC across its entire multiplayer portfolio (the likes of Battlefield and Apex Legends 2042 currently use Easy Anti-Cheat) in due course.