Gamers experiencing issues accessing Watch Dogs 2's multiplayer features on PC thanks to some problems with the third-party anti-cheat software Ubisoft is using.
Watch Dogs 2 launched a couple weeks ago on console to mostly positive reviews. Despite a delay to the multiplayer feature in the game, players have experienced a mostly positive experience with very few bugs or problems cropping up. Unfortunately, Ubisoft wasn’t able to go completely without incident on its new hacker-themed title, as it seems there have been some issues on the PC version of Watch Dogs 2, which launched yesterday.
According to numerous players online, the anti-cheat system Ubisoft is using for Watch Dogs 2 is keeping some players from accessing the multiplayer feature in the game, even if they’re not cheating. Apparently, the anti-cheat system, EasyAntiCheat, isn’t triggering correctly for Watch Dogs 2 on PC.
EasyAntiCheat is primarily an esports anti-cheat system, which controls unauthorized modifications to a game’s code in order to keep players from cheating in competitions. Naturally, this is important for keeping players from achieving an unfair competitive advantage in esports games.
However, Watch Dogs 2 isn’t a competitive eSports game, so the use of such a restrictive system seems to be causing some issues. According to EasyAntiCheat’s terms of service, the anti-cheat provider installs a driver in kernel mode to a user’s system to monitor for any unauthorized actions when Watch Dogs 2 is open. Somehow this kernel is triggered when players access the game, and the anti-cheat system cuts them off from playing multiplayer.
In addition to losing access to multiplayer features, some players have found that when they use the popular streaming program OBS, the recording and overlay features of the program are disabled while playing Watch Dogs 2.
Ubisoft has noted both on the company’s support FAQ and on Reddit that its aware of the issue and working on a fix. In the meantime, PC players who are unable to access multiplayer in Watch Dogs 2 should try “quitting and restarting the game”, which “should allow the multiplayer to be played without any further issues.”
While it’s a little surprising to see Ubisoft include such a restrictive anti-cheat system in Watch Dogs 2, there may be good precedent for it. Over the summer, the publisher’s new IP, Tom Clancy’s The Division, received heavy criticism when PC players were able to run rampant in the game’s PvP mode with numerous cheats. It took some time for Ubisoft and developer Massive to quash the cheating in The Division, which took a toll on the PC player base for the game. It’s likely Ubisoft is looking to avoid a similar issue within Watch Dogs 2.
Hopefully Ubisoft can fix this issue quickly so PC players can enjoy Watch Dogs 2’s unique multiplayer features. No timeline has been provided yet for when this will be fixed, so for now players will need to follow the recommendation to quit and restart to access multiplayer.
What do you think about the EasyAntiCheat issue on Watch Dogs 2?
Watch Dogs 2 is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.