Chemical weapon specialist and MW3 Zombies warlord Keres.
Choke them out. Image via Activision Blizzard.

MW3 and Warzone Feb. 21 patch notes: Anti-cheat update, Mosquito Drone ban, weapon balancing

Cheaters had a rude awakening over the weekend.

The Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone developers have today shipped a new update that responds to rumors of RICOCHET Anti-cheat being offline, updates restrictions regarding Ranked Play Resurgence, and balanced several weapons.

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On Feb. 14, Treyarch unveiled a plan to eliminate the “taps” issue in Resurgence Ranked Play, which refers to Call of Duty players having their teammate finish off downed enemies to earn Skill Rating for assists. The controversial strategy caught flack as it unfairly awarded SR to players.

Two days later, Raven Software also sprung into action and nerfed the TAQ Evolvere, as the LMG briefly took over the battle royale’s short and long-range meta. Those weapon balancing changes only scratched the surface, with today’s Feb. 21 update now making further tweaks and officially rolling out a permanent fix addressing “taps.”

MW3 and Warzone devs respond to RICOCHET anti-cheat concerns

In answer to the community claiming RICOCHET anti-cheat was offline over the weekend, the CoD devs have revealed it was only a single telemetry system that was taken offline—and it didn’t get in the way of banning accounts. While some players also suggested there was an uptick in cheating, the CoD devs today confirmed: “Team RICOCHET was able to identify and ban over 6,000 accounts for cheating and hacking from February 16 to February 20.”

MW3 and Warzone Feb. 21 patch notes

covert exfil in Warzone
Goodbye Mosquito Drones. Image via Activision

MW3 weapon balance changes

The MW3 Feb. 21 update has addressed the imbalance between other ARs and the MTZ-556 by decreasing the weapon’s recoil and gun kick and increasing near and mid-damage ranges.

Next up, the Haymaker JAK Maglift Kit has had its aim down sight spread dropped by 20 percent and its pellet damage decreased from eight to five. Players won’t be able to use ammunition attachments with this conversion kit anymore.

Finally, the JAK Beholder Rifle Kit had its bullet velocity sliced in half, by 50 percent. This last balance change came after multiplayer gamers started using the Lonbow more in way MW3 matches thanks to the JAK Tyrant 762 Kit, but the aftermarket part can now no longer be equipped with mag, ammo, or bolt attachments.

Warzone weapon changes

Similar to the shipped MW3 multiplayer changes, the MTZ 556 received February buffs that decreased recoil and gunkick and increased maximum and minimum damage. The devs have now also ensured the weapon’s damage range is longer. The Longbow, JHAK Beholder Rifle Kit, and Haymaker changes are the same as multiplayer.

MW3 bug fixes

The Feb. 21 update finally fixed a nasty little glitch that was allowing players to capture the third Hardpoint hill on Sub Base from an unintended location. Although the issue has now been fixed, the devs did not give an update on when the map will be added back to Ranked Play rotation. The update also addressed an issue in Ranked Play where Cruise Missiles would explode mid-air if the player controlling the missile was killed.

Finally, MW3 players will no longer have to worry about a strange bug that has been preventing them from unlocking the JAK Ferocity Carbine Kit at all.

Warzone Ranked Play Resurgence changes

There are now five Redeploy Drones instead of eight on Fortune’s Keep, which will make it quite a bit harder to rotate around the map. Additionally, there will now be fewer Counter UAVs in ground loot and Mosquito Drones have been banned.

In response to the “taps” issue, Resurgence players will only get credit for a kill or assist if they do damage to an eliminated player before they were downed. Players who didn’t damage the eliminated opponent shortly before they were downed will instead earn “Squadmate Kill SR” when their teammates down and eliminate an enemy.


You can read the full MW3 and Warzone Feb. 21 patch notes here.


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Author
Ryan Lemay
Ryan graduated from Ithaca College in 2021 with a sports media degree and a journalism minor. He gained experience as a writer with the Morning Times newspaper and then Dexerto as a games writer. He mainly writes about first-person shooters, including Call of Duty and Battlefield, but he is also a big FIFA fan. You can contact him at ryanlemay@dotesports.com.