When Valorant was announced, alongside its anti-cheat program Vanguard, there was pushback in the wider gaming community for what they saw as an intrusive anti-cheat system that presented a potential security risk.
However, over a year after its release, the one thing you can say about Valorant and cheating is, well... there isn't all that much to say.
The system had its issues at launch but has been remarkably successful in keeping cheaters out of lobbies, especially when compared to its rivals such as CS:GO and Rainbow Six: Siege which can both feel like their inundated with cheaters.
So successful has Riot been in keeping the level of cheating in Valorant to a minimum, that in a recent developer blog discussing cheating in Valorant, the anti-cheat team revealed that the major issue (right now) is not so much cheaters but those that use cheaters to get their accounts boosted.
Account boosting is when someone gets someone at a much higher rank to play with them, to artificially drag them to a rank they shouldn't be in, good players are often paid to do so and, in the case of Valorant, soon to be banned cheaters are also in the business of boosting.
It is something that the developers are well aware of and there have been high profile instances of players being banned for it. Most recently, pro Valorant player, Sophia "Slaze" Ramirez, was banned for three months when she was found to have played with a cheater in 77% of her matches.
She was subsequently dropped from Team Polaris.
Those sorts of bans are set to become more frequent, as senior anti-cheat analyst, Matt “K3o” Paoletti, explains:
"During Episode 2, we saw cheaters boosting other players by doing with them, knowing that their account would get banned but the boostee would keep the ill-gotten gains," said Paoletti. "We’ve created automated measures to take actions on the boosted account, and we’re still committing to those."
Paoletti reveals that, at first, they focused on "accuracy" when making such bans but revealed the team want to "increase their cadence in the near future."
The blog also stated that boosting or "bussing", as the Valorant anti-cheat team calls it, will carry a 90-day penalty, so those that do partake will have a chance at redemption.
The team also revealed that reports of cheaters are at the lowest they have ever been but they aren't resting on their laurels with enhancements planned for Vanguard, account security and identifying those that cheat without using hacks, with account sharing and wintrading also on the radar.
Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.