EA will debut new anti-cheat tech with 'FIFA 23' on PC

The company built a kernel-level tool to aid its ongoing battle against cheat developers.

Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts is determined to keep cheaters at bay. The company has developed a kernel-level anti-cheat system for PC that it will deploy alongside FIFA 23 when the game arrives on September 30th. According to the publisher, the move was necessary to "ensure fair play" by taking on PC cheat developers who are increasingly building kernel-level exploits that OS-level anti-cheat tools are unable to detect.

In a blog post, EA's senior director of game security and anti-cheat Elise Murphy wrote that the company created EA AntiCheat (EAAC) because "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." It should also be able to address security issues head on.

EAAC won't be used in all EA games, though the publisher says it's necessary for competitive titles with an online focus, such as FIFA 23. This year's edition includes cross-play support and, in theory, EAAC should prevent console players from having to deal with PC cheaters. The company may take different anti-cheat approaches in games without leaderboards or a competitive system. As such, it wouldn't be a surprise to see EA add EAAC to the likes of Apex Legends, but it seems unlikely to be patched in to the 2021 Game of the Year (don't take my word for it) It Takes Two.

The tool will only be active when a game with EAAC is running on your PC. It will be uninstalled when you remove all EA games that require it (you can uninstall EAAC manually, but the likes of FIFA 23 won't be playable). Murphy wrote that "EAAC will have negligible impact on your gameplay," so it shouldn't diminish performance.

As far as system privacy and security goes, Murphy says that EAAC will only examine the files it needs to for anti-cheat reasons. EAAC will hash the information that it does collect and jettison the original data. The tool won't collect data from your browsing history, apps that don't interact with EA games or anything else that's irrelevant to its purposes, according to the blog post.

EA isn't the first publisher to adopt a kernel-level anti-cheat approach. Riot and Activision use similar tools in Valorant, Call of Duty: Vanguard and Call of Duty: Warzone.