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Players to be given more control over Valorant's controversial anti-cheat

Valorant developers want to give players more control over the controversial anti-cheat.
Players to be given more control over Valorant's controversial anti-cheat

Riot Games has come under fire in recent weeks for the apparent intrusiveness of Vanguard, their new anti-cheat software for Valorant, with users being concerned about privacy and potential backdoor attacks due to its use of a kernel driver to rid the game of cheaters.

Those concerns have prompted Riot to introduce a series of changes to the anti-cheat designed to give greater transparency and control to users.

In a post on the Valorant subreddit, a Riot dev laid out the changes including a "new visual component that will give you, the player, more visibility and control over it."


Vanguard anti-cheat changes system tray icon
Players will be now able to deactivate or uninstall Vanguard (Credit: Riot Games) 


From today Vanguard, will now display as an icon on the system tray when it is in operation with users able to turn off anti-cheat at any time. Users will also be able to uninstall Vanguard from the system tray icon.


Uninstall Vanguard anti-cheat Valorant
(Credit: Riot Games)

However, turning off or uninstalling Vanguard will put your computer into "untrusted mode" and you will be unable to play Valorant.

Vanguard will automatically be reinstalled when launching Valorant, giving users who do have concerns over the anti-cheat but still wish to play the game, more options going forward.

There will also be a notification for users when Vanguard blocks a program that it deems as "incompatible or vulnerable software".


Riot Vanguard Vanguard has blocked something from loading on your machine
(Credit: Riot Games)


Clicking "learn more" will show players the piece of software that Vanguard has detected as being a potential risk.


Vanguard has blocked the foillowing file from loading on your system
(Credit: Riot Games)


Riot also took the opportunity to answer some questions that have been asked since the start of the closed beta with some players experiencing issues with Vanguard blocking software, that has nothing to do with Valorant.

Riot states that "most players" will never run into such a scenario, but when they do "9 times out of 10, the particular software has a known vulnerability". 

They suggest if you do receive a notification like the one above, to check the program listed against a CVE database, which will inform you if that particular piece of software has a known vulnerability.

However, with cheats already out there for Valorant critics of the system have been asking "Why even bother with all this in the first place" and past these QoL changes listed here, it is clear Riot are steadfast in their use of Vanguard in its current kernel driver form.

"The purpose of Vanguard is to make it difficult for all but the most determined to cheat, while also giving us the best chance to detect the cheats that do work. We’re not going to be able to prevent all cheating completely, but our intention is to raise the barrier to entry so that cheating isn’t a common occurrence in VALORANT. Our most recent set of changes help increase the bar that cheaters need to operate in."

Adding, "for those that are willing to solder a computer part from Siberia to cheat, we’re still going to be able to remove them from our ecosystem by leveraging other game systems."

Whether this will assuage the fear of players is not yet known but it is clear that Riot has heard the community and trying to find a solution that satisfies their mission of a game free of cheats and users' fears over privacy.