A new anti-cheat has entered the battlefield.
Soldiers in white and red gear holding various assault weapons storming the battlefield of war.

Electronic Arts just announced that they are working on implementing their own anti-cheat (or anticheat), into their current and upcoming multiplayer titles. Much like the simply named EA app, EA's new anticheat is called EA anticheat. Yes, that lack of capitalization is correct and slightly frustrating to look at.

The Battlefield 2042 team at DICE says that come the launch of Season 6 in October, the game will switch over to using EA anticheat. EA anticheat is a kernel-level anti-cheat and anti-tamper that EA has developed internally. Currently, Battlefield 2042 utilizes Easy Anti-Cheat for their anti-cheat solution. For those already reaching for their pitchforks, Easy Anti-Cheat also operates at the kernel-level.

A few reasons for this move away from the current implementation of Easy Anti-Cheat were shared today.

Why are you moving to EA anticheat?

Third party anti-cheat solutions are often opaque to our teams, and prevent us from implementing additional privacy controls or customizations that provide greater accuracy and granularity for EA-specific game modes. With EA anticheat we have full stack ownership of the security & privacy posture, so we can fix security issues as soon as they may arise.

Why is kernel level anti-cheat needed?

This varies on a game-by-game basis. For games that are highly competitive and contain many online modes such as Battlefield 2042, kernel-mode protection is absolutely vital. When cheat programs operate in kernel space, they can make their cheat functionally invisible to anti-cheat solutions that live in user-mode.

Unfortunately, the last few years have seen a large increase in cheats and cheat techniques operating in kernel-mode, so the only reliable way to detect and block these is to continue to have our anti-cheat operate there as well.​
Electronic Arts and DICE say that EA anticheat in Battlefield 2042 will support Windows 10 and 11. They also say that their EA anticheat "is as performant and lightweight as possible" and will have "negligible impact" on gameplay.

Perhaps more importantly, EA notes that EA anticheat will only run when a game that uses EA anticheat is running. All anti-cheat processes will shut down when the game does. It will not run when you start your PC. EA anticheat will also uninstall itself if you uninstall all EA anticheat enabled games from your PC. You can also choose to manually uninstall EA anticheat, but you won't be able to play those games until it's reinstalled.

EA also shares details on privacy and security concerns players might have about this new anti-cheat.

Does EA anticheat let EA see my browsing history, personal files, or things like that?

Player privacy is a top concern of our Game Security & Anti-Cheat team - after all, we’re players as well! EA anticheat will only look at what it needs to for anti-cheat purposes in our games and we have limited the information EA anticheat collects. If you have a process on your PC that is trying to interact with our game, EA anticheat could see that and respond. However, everything else is off limits.

EA anticheat 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. We’ve worked with independent, 3rd party computer security and privacy services firms to ensure EA anticheat operates with data privacy top of mind.

For the information that EA anticheat does collect, we strive to maintain privacy where possible through a cryptographic process called hashing to create unique identifiers and discard the original information. Overall, EA anticheat use of your computer and data collection is consistent with EA’s User Agreement and Privacy and Cookie Policy.

How do I know that EA anticheat is not introducing any security vulnerabilities to my PC?

Our Game Security & Anti-Cheat team is composed of some of the best security engineers in the world, and we are passionate about ensuring that our software does not cause any security vulnerabilities. Our anti-cheat engineering team performs daily testing and we continuously run security and penetration tests against EA anticheat internally.

But don’t just trust our word on this. We’ve also worked with independent, 3rd party security and privacy assessors to validate EA anticheat does not degrade the security posture of your PC and to ensure strict data privacy boundaries.

Although we’re confident that we’ve taken every possible precaution, we are monitoring and listening to any reports received to make sure that potential issues get addressed as quickly as possible.
Should you happen to discover a vulnerability in EA anticheat after its launch, EA recommends you follow their Coordinated Vulnerability Disclosure process and email secure@ea.com right away.

A more generalized technical look at EA anticheat was posted to EA.com earlier. They say that not every EA released game will use EA anticheat. That is, games that are single player only, or lack multiplayer functionality (including leaderboards) will probably not use EA anticheat. However, if you only play single player modes in games with multiplayer modes, you will still need to have EA anticheat installed with the game. This is to prevent tampering of game files and reverse-engineering of the game to create multiplayer cheats.