Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare debuted today worldwide for pre-order customers. If you're new to the series, be prepared to run into some dicks. Fortunately, there's something you can do about it.

Advanced Warfare allows you to report players for cheating or general asshatery within the game itself. Here's how to snitch on them (via Activision):

To report a player from the Multiplayer lobby:
  • Press Y (Xbox) or ? (PlayStation) to open the Friends menu.
  • Scroll to the right and select Recent Players.
  • Highlight the player you wish to report and press A (Xbox) or X (PlayStation).
  • Select Report Player.
  • Choose one of the five options: Offensive Language, Exploiting, Cheating, Boosting, or Offensive Emblem.
To report a player in a Multiplayer match:
  • Pause the game (Start on Xbox, Options on PlayStation).
  • Press Y (Xbox) or ? (PlayStation) to open the Friends menu.
  • Scroll to the right and select Recent Players.
  • Highlight the player you wish to report and press A (Xbox) or X (PlayStation).
  • Select Report Player.
  • Choose one of the five options: Offensive Language, Exploiting, Cheating, Boosting, or Offensive Emblem.
Sledgehammer Games' exact process for evaluating and punishing misbehavior is unclear. However, co-founder Michael Condrey told the BBC today that they have "low tolerance for toxic behavior."

"Come to the game to have fun, come to be social, come to enjoy and build a community and have a positive energy," he said. "Toxic behaviors, abusive language, inappropriate emblems, I don't want that around."

Condrey added that he wouldn't characterize Call of Duty's community as "toxic or misogynistic." He says that every part of society has its share of trolls, and that Call of Duty's aren't any worse than those other fringe groups.

I'd agree that Call of Duty community's not worse than average. It's pretty typical of any kind of online game. If you play any multiplayer game for a long enough amount of time, you're going to run into absolute pieces of shit. The only exception I can think of is Hearthstone, but that's only because you can't actually talk to your opponent in that game.

Just because crappy behavior is expected doesn't mean it's okay, though. I think every game's community could stand to improve. Fun-loving gamers shouldn't have to experience Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare alongside players who are going to call them a f*ggot or threaten the developer for making balance changes.

I'm appreciative of developers like Riot or Valve who institute concrete, player-driven systems of punishment for wrongdoing. I'd rather see a studio try to clean up their players' behavior rather than shrug and say, "Trolls. Boy, I don't know!" Let's hope that Sledgehammer and the platform owners act quickly on reports of misdeeds. It really does impact players' enjoyment of the game.

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