The latest update for DOOM Eternal has seen the implementation of Denuvo anti-cheat, and the response hasn’t exactly been good. Not to be confused with Denuvo anti-tamper, the new anti-cheat software installs to your computer at the kernel level, granting it the highest level of administrative access to your PC system. Whilst this may not be new when it comes to anti-cheat software, performance drops have been reported and Linux support has apparently been broken with the latest update.
All players will see this inclusion when they boot up the game after the new DOOM Eternal update. When prompted, the Denuvo Anti-Cheat will automatically begin its download. While this program isn’t the exact privacy invasion that many fear, it doesn’t scan your personal files or attack information, it does gather how a player’s operating system works alongside playing DOOM and then that information is bounced back to Amazon servers.
The patch notes also point out it can be uninstalled through the “Add or remove programs” dialogue. Denuvo will also be uninstalled if you uninstall the game itself.
However, the fact that it uses a kernel-mode driver raises eyebrows. That gives it access to your operating system, so even if the application itself is benign, an exploit that uses the driver would be a major security risk. Plus, as Denuvo notes in its own blog on the subject, it doesn’t come with any splash screen or tray icon, and “this invisibility could raise some eyebrows.”
As its name suggests, Denuvo Anti-Cheat’s inclusion is aimed at combatting unscrupulous sorts while in multiplayer, but some are unhappy that the software uses a kernel-mode driver that cannot be installed selectively if players want to continue using their game. Valorant’s always-on anti-cheat solution recently came under fire for its kernel-level implementation, although, unlike Riot’s effort, Denuvo says its software is only active while Doom Eternal is running.
Denuvo anti-cheat is separate from the piracy protection software, Denuvo anti-tamper. When Denuvo anti-cheat was announced back in 2018, the company said it hoped its efforts to preserve the integrity of multiplayer games would help endear itself to gamers clearly, that’s not yet the case.
The subreddit and social media has become increasingly active over this issue since it went live and as a result, the game’s reviews have taken a significant hit. At this time, Bethesda has yet to address the backlash regarding the Denuvo Anti-Cheat backlash, though we are sure the team is already aware of the growing ire.