Valorant’s Anti-Cheat Software Blocks Over 200 Cheaters in 10 Days

When Riot Games revealed Valorant, a 5v5 character-based competitive shooter earlier this year, they announced an aspirational launch date of Summer 2020 for the title. To our surprise, they managed to ship the game on public servers by June 2, despite the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Along with the title, Riot Games also announced a class-leading anti-cheat system.

Vanguard is Riot Games custom made security software. The software consists of a dedicated client that must be active on your system while you’re playing Valorant. The other half consists of a kernel-mode driver that is active as soon as your system boots up. The anti-cheat system is designed to keep the cheaters at bay and provide a pure environment to the rest of players who progress and win the game based purely on their skill and merit.

Vanguard has been actively deployed since the beginning of the closed beta that lasted from April 7th to May 28th. Since it’s inception, the anti-cheat has managed to ban over 200 cheaters and counting. While there were instances when cheaters and aim-bots managed to bypass the system in the beginning, Vanguard has been improving and getting stricter by each passing day.

A large majority of the banned players had their hardware banned from the Riot Games server, meaning that they couldn’t play the game until they completely replaced their system. Creating a new account does not help.

While Vanguard is doing a fantastic job as an anti-cheat system, many eyebrows have been raised against its privacy intrusion. On the surface, it acts as a monitoring system that monitors any software or bots that could be used to potentially cheat in-game. However, at the same time, it has complete access to your computer and all the files on it. The kernel-mode of the software also grants it access to your hardware.

In their response, Riot Games representatives have said that it was essential for Vanguard to have kernel access as cheat developers work on the kernel level. In their press release, Riot Games also mentioned data privacy was at the heart of their software and it has been developed closely with the legal team to uphold the regional data privacy laws. Moreover, the latest version of Vanguard shows a visible icon in the system tray whenever it’s running. The latest version also allows you to turn off the anti-cheat system without uninstalling it, a feature that was missing in the initial versions.

If you’re not a cheater, then Vanguard is there to improve your in-game experience and make sure that you’re not matched with any cheater that can ruin you game.

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