Valorant Anti-Cheat Update

Published: Oct 19, 2021

The Valorant team has just unveiled their newest update on anti-cheat, where they shared some plans and ideas to combat cheating in Valorant.

Valorant has been very aggressive when it comes to the issue of cheating. They’ve launched the game with Vanguard, a special anti-cheat software with kernel-level access to the PC, which has kept the game safe. However, the highly-intrusive software was met with mixed reactions, and to this day, many refuse to play Valorant simply for this fact.

Image Credits | Riot Games

Riot’s War on Cheating

Riot has been on the forefront of the anti-cheat initiative for quite some time. When Valorant was released, Riot had an opportunity to up their security measures and take them to the next level.

Ever since then, the Valorant team has been working non-stop to ensure there’s no cheating in their game. Vanguard serves as the main pillar of defense, while additional measures keep being introduced over time.

Riot’s Senior Anti-Cheat Analyst, Matt “K3o” Paoletti, stated the following:

“Thanks to ongoing detection systems in place and, in part, to a previous rollout of meta-game system updates to VALORANT’s ranked, the number of report rates for cheating are trending downward, and are at the lowest they’ve ever been.”

While this is great news for the Valorant community, the absence of any actual concrete data to confirm this is a bit puzzling. Many Valorant players swear they haven’t encountered a single hacker in their games throughout all this time, but on the other hand, there’s plenty of smurfing, boosting, and bug exploiting instead.

Image Credits | Riot Games

The Punishment Fits the Crime

Valorant has not only been keeping up with cheating, but they’ve also been dishing out appropriate punishments where cheating is involved.

Bussing has been a continuous issue that’s been plaguing the Valorant esports community. In short, it describes a scenario where a high-skilled player would create a smurf account and boost a second low-ranked player to a higher rank. While it is frowned upon, and technically cheating, it usually doesn’t involve using a third-party software to achieve the desired result.

When discussing this topic, Matt “K3o” Paoletti said this:

“As long-term cheating became increasingly unviable, cheaters created disruption in the competitive ecosystem in new ways. Boosters deliberately queued with cheaters, while cheating, in order to get “bussed” to the higher ranks.”

Although bussing is unfair and does indeed hurt the competitive ecosystem, it seems awfully convenient to simply label it as cheating. Riot puts it in the same box with hacking, essentially, and closes the lid on it.

Players can always report the person who’s boosting and the rest falls on Riot to handle. This is a double-edged sword, as sometimes players tend to vent their frustrations by spam reporting a specific player in hopes of getting them punished, even when the player in question did nothing wrong.

One Vanguard to Rule Them All

It’s impossible not to mention Vanguard when talking about the topic of cheating in Valorant. Riot’s anti-cheat software has been hailed as the strongest in all of gaming. However, such power does come at a cost.

Vanguard is highly intrusive, and for those who value their privacy and control of their own PCs, this is a deal-breaker. On top of that, it continues to run even after you exit Valorant. Sometimes it interferes with other games and programs, forcing the user to restart their PC or to manually turn it off from the system tray. PC crashes are also not that uncommon.

Image Credits | Riot Games

This is a long list of cons for something that only serves one purpose – to combat cheating. And if you’re using Windows 11 with all its extra security measures, Vanguards simply becomes overkill. Vanguard should exist to protect players who play fair and square, but there’s no justification for all the extra baggage that comes with it.

Valorant Esports is Thriving

Although Riot is locked in a constant battle with cheaters, the good news is that Valorant Champions Tour has been completely unaffected by this, and a complete success in that regard.

Riot continues to routinely review their professional players and keeps things in check. They have managed to maintain a safe and protected live environment for the entirety of VCT, and hopefully they’ll be able to continue doing so next year as well.

Denis Alihodzic

Since: March 1, 2021

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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