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Treyarch has a plan to combat Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's emote peeking problem

I see you.

Are you playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 this weekend? I am - and I'm having a blast (expect a review next week). But while everything appears to be running smoothly at launch, there's one area of the game that's already got players' backs up: emote peeking.

Black Ops 4 has emotes that pull the camera back into third-person with free-look. The idea is clear: developer Treyarch wants you to see your epic gesture, as they're called in-game, in all its social video game glory.

But there's a problem: players are using these emotes to see around corners, peek from behind trees and, well, cheat.

Emote peeking isn't a big issue in standard multiplayer, which is so fast you're normally dead before your emote animation ends. But it can cause issues in Blackout, Black Ops 4's brilliant battle royale mode. Here, finding somewhere to hole up is part of the experience, so being able to stay safe while spotting enemies coming gives you a distinct advantage.

Here's how it looks:

This is how "Emote Peeking" works in Blackout! Please UPVOTE for visibility! from r/Blackops4

It didn't take long after Black Ops 4 launched on Friday for players to complain about emote peeking. Now, in a post on the Black Ops 4 subreddit, Treyarch has announced plans to take action.

The long and short of it it there will be two versions of gestures post an upcoming update: one that works as gestures work now, and another for competitive play. The default system will be reserved for the times when competitive play doesn't matter, such as the staging area for Blackout. But the competitive version, which disables free look and applies different camera settings to prevent people using it to see around corners, will be used elsewhere.

Here's the statement:

"We're aware that players have been able to use Gestures (often referred to by the community as 'Emotes') to peek around corners in modes where that can create an unfair advantage. We're currently working on an update that creates two systems for Gestures - the default system that is in the game now, and a competitive version that disables free look and applies different camera settings to prevent using it to see around corners. The default system will be used in parts of the game where corner peeking won't affect gameplay balance (like the staging area of Blackout), and the competitive version will be used in modes where a more restrictive camera system is needed. We want players to always have fun with Gestures as intended, but never at the expense of fair gameplay!"

It's good to see Treyarch step in quickly to reveal its plan to combat emote peeking. Throughout Black Ops 4's various betas, the developer did great work communicating with players and frequently updated the game. It all bodes well for Black Ops 4's future.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

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Wesley Yin-Poole avatar

Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.