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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has several anti-stream-sniping features

Hidden matchmaking and anonymous names should make stream sniping way harder

the hero of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War fires his pistol out the door of a car during a getaway scene Image: Treyarch, Raven Software/Activision
Austen Goslin (he/him) is an entertainment editor. He writes about the latest TV shows and movies, and particularly loves all things horror.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has only been out for a day, and it’s already one of the biggest games on Twitch. But anytime popular streamers are pulling in tons of viewers in a multiplayer game, the chance of stream snipers goes way up. While stream snipers can sometimes make for entertaining moments, Treyarch wants to make sure that Black Ops Cold War streamers can choose how easy their games are to snipe.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the term, stream sniping is when viewers attempt to get into the same match as the streamer they’re watching. While this may sound innocuous, it’s most often used as a way to grief the streamer in hopes of ruining their game and evoking a strong reaction on stream.

The most common method of stream sniping is simply to queue up for a game’s matchmaking at the same time as the streamer you’re watching, which is exactly what Treyarch is targeting. In Black Ops Cold War, there’s an option to hide matchmaking timing.

This means that when a streamer clicks the button to start looking for a match, the matchmaking timer will start to go up, but the game won’t actually start looking for a match until a random number of seconds later. This makes it hard for players to guess exactly when they’ll need to start their own matchmaking to try to get into the same game.

If a player does end up in the same multiplayer match as a streamer, Treyarch also has a fix for that: Black Ops Cold War allows streamers to make their username a randomly generated anonymous tag, and to do the same with the names of everyone else in the game.

All of these anti-stream sniping features can be turned on or off through the Content Filter area in the game’s Accounts & Network menu.

While these features probably won’t eliminate stream sniping entirely, they should make it significantly more difficult. More importantly, they leave streamers with more freedom over their streams and the ability to create the best experience for themselves and their viewers — at least, the ones who aren’t trying to find them in-game.

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