If you’ve been playing Call of Duty for more than a couple of months, you’ve likely heard of something called “boosting.” It might sound like allowing a player to climb on your head to reach a higher vantage point like in Counter-Strike, but it’s actually much more nefarious than that in CoD.
There are a few different kinds of boosting when it comes to CoD. Traditionally, boosting in Call of Duty is when players team up to cheat the rank-up system by farming kills off of each other.
Players will often spawn into the same lobbies in modes like Free-for-All and kill each other for free headshots, knife kills, explosive kills, or whatever they’re trying to achieve. This can make it easier to unlock camos and weapons, but it’s frowned upon in the community.
Activision has repeatedly said in the past that boosting is a bannable offense. First-time offenders may receive a temporary ban, but those found to be boosting multiple times can be permanently banned.
This classic video by veteran content creator SandyRavage, the first in a series called “Booster Justice,” shows players boosting as far back as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009). In the video, Sandy hilariously hunts down players who are boosting in Free-for-All lobbies, punishing them for their crimes.
Another form of boosting is when players pay a service to allow access to their account and let another player play the game for them. This can also be found to be against the terms of service, so think carefully. Giving anyone else access to your account could result in you losing it, too.
You might have also heard of the term “reverse boosting,” especially in conversations about SBMM or skill-based matchmaking. Reverse boosting is when players purposely play poorly to lower their skill rating so they get put in lobbies with worse players.
Reverse boosting has become more of an issue in recent CoD titles as the SBMM debate has taken center stage for a lot of players. Many devious individuals will purposely throw games to lower their SBMM for an easier game. If you encounter a player repeatedly dying in spawn, they’re likely reverse boosting.
Boosting can ruin the game for entire lobbies, regardless of whether you’re trying to increase your rank or drop into easier lobbies. Focus on improving your own skills to progress and don’t ruin the game for others by dominating less experienced players.