Call of Duty players are complaining that they are being banned for no reason, and it seems that something is wrong with the game's reporting system. The shadow ban issue appears to be affecting several Call of Duty titles like Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone 2, and some players have reported that they're affected in older titles like Black Ops Cold War as well. While Activision hasn't acknowledged the problem, many players are trying to find a solution so they can enjoy games in the popular series without restrictions.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel in Shadow Ban is an update to Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2's anti-cheat system that came with season 3, but that doesn't seem to be doing the trick. Some players reported that they received more than 10 shadow bans, resulting in the game being unplayable for up to 10 days at a time. Activision has a ban appeal system that affected players can use, but it can take up to three business days for Activision to respond via email.
Several Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2 players have come up with solutions to the ongoing shadow ban problem, albeit with varying degrees of success. Reddit user XDCOTTON reported that after being shadow banned six times in five weeks, flushing their DNS to use the default DNS set by their ISP, and reinstalling the game seemed to fix their issue. Another Redditor LiteralLlama3333 suggested closing any apps that affect peripherals, such as Corsair's iCUE or Razer's Synapse. They even went silent throughout the match to make sure they weren't reported for chat-related reasons. Many others have suggested that players wait a while after the shadow ban is lifted, but this seems to have had mixed results.
The general consensus around Shadow Ban Wave seems to be that the Call of Duty anti-cheat system allows players to spam others and automatically punishes players based on the number of reports received. There are certainly legitimate cheaters who should be banned, and for many games a reporting system is necessary to help weed out the cheater community.
The shadow ban issue may have been a factor in the recent reported dramatic drop in Call of Duty player numbers, but this is pure speculation. Some frustrated players have said that the only way to fix the shadow ban issue is to uninstall the game and never play it again, and it's likely at least some Call of Duty players have done just that.
Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 2 is out now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X.