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EA expanding EA Anti-Cheat - bad news for Steam Deck / Linux

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EA (Electronic Arts) are continuing to expand their home-grown EA Anti-Cheat, with an announcement that Battlefield 2042 is also moving over to it.

This isn't actually something entirely new though, as it was given a Deep Dive back in 2022 and released with Fifa 23 that same year, and it's also in the newly released EA SPORTS FC 24. Battlefield is definitely not the first game to get it but it's a growing issue.

Part of the problem is that it doesn't work on Linux / Steam Deck, with it being blocked by EA. It's a kernel-mode anti-cheat and anti-tamper solution, which as we've seen from other anti-cheats is particularly problematic for Linux / Steam Deck. And it's likely EA will continue to use it with new games, and potentially get other older games updated to use it too. So if they got Respawn to switch over to it, this would kill Apex Legends on Linux / Steam Deck too.

Fifa 23 and EA SPORTS FC 24 are rated Unsupported on Linux / Steam Deck due to it, and while Battlefield 2042 previously used Easy Anti-Cheat, they never bothered to hook up support for that on Linux anyway (even though EAC supports Linux), so it's just going to continue to be Unsupported.

We can only hope that Valve are keeping an eye on the situation and speak to EA to eventually get support for it on Linux / Steam Deck with Proton.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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28 comments
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Koopacabras Sep 29, 2023
QuoteSo if they got Respawn to switch over to it, this would kill Apex Legends on Linux / Steam Deck too.
I am relieved that Jedi Survivor isnt multiplayer, I really dig the first iteration. Definitely will play the 2nd sometime.


Last edited by Koopacabras on 29 September 2023 at 9:49 am UTC
hardpenguin Sep 29, 2023
Upsetting. I want to play the new not-FIFA.
MayeulC Sep 29, 2023
Quoting: Koopacabras
QuoteSo if they got Respawn to switch over to it, this would kill Apex Legends on Linux / Steam Deck too.
I am relieved that Jedi Survivor isnt multiplayer, I really dig the first iteration. Definitely will play the 2nd sometime.

Requiring anti cheat for single player games isn't above them, the Master Chief collection requires it for achievements, for instance (and it's currently broken).

Well, I guess Wine will start emulating kernel APIs sooner or later, which may also help cheaters 🤷

I still think client side anti cheat is not the way to go about these problems.
X6205 Sep 29, 2023
Who needs EA when Sony is releasing their day-1 verified games? :) :)
Jpxe Sep 29, 2023
Maybe Valve could use some of the boatloads of cash they have to incentivize publishers and studios to support Linux and Steam Deck. Either helping out with the anti cheat development or actively buying some companies to fix the problem.
Nateman1000 Sep 29, 2023
I’m so mad I won’t be able to get Overrated Sportsgame 2X on my steam deck D:
kaktuspalme Sep 29, 2023
Quoting: MayeulCI still think client side anti cheat is not the way to go about these problems.

Yes it should be done on the server. Client side anti cheat will always be possible. I guess the reason no one does server side anti cheat is that you would probably have to implement it for every game individually.
1xok Sep 29, 2023
The kernel based AC will or have already lead to external image recognition. Extract video signal, process it and feed the result back via Bluetooth/USB. For example mouse corrections.

Chess services, where cheating is obviously done on external systems, rely 100% on AI for recognition.

In the future, in EA games, you may not even notice that you are playing against cheaters. Maybe that is already the case. Without an objective evaluation system, it's hard to say. Thus, EA and co. must also rely on AI and statistical methods here. The question is whether kernel-based systems are still useful at all. They have side effects. I would not install something like that on a Windows system. I'd rather read a book instead.


Last edited by 1xok on 29 September 2023 at 12:43 pm UTC
Termy Sep 29, 2023
Don't really care, as i won't accept that annoying ea app bullshit anyway.


But of course it's bad news in general when companies decide to include malware in their games - but 'we gamers' are to blame for accepting this bullshit, same as with microtransactions, lootboxes and so on...
BlackBloodRum Sep 29, 2023
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Something as intrusive as that doesn't belong on Linux. In my view, there is never a legitimate reason for a game to require kernel level access, and in turn the ability to control/monitor the whole system.

It's plain intrusive and plain anti-user. People shouldn't accept such things.
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