Major Valorant netcode exploit lets players deliberately stutter in-game - Dexerto

Major Valorant netcode exploit lets players deliberately stutter in-game

Published: 27/Jul/2020 5:40 Updated: 27/Jul/2020 9:16

by Andrew Amos


While Valorant’s 128-tick rate servers are loved by players, the netcode still has its flaws. Some of them are accidental, but with the flick of one setting, you can make your character stutter across the map with no impact to your own network performance.

Valorant got the one-up on its competitors right off the bat by announcing on its release it’d have a much-loved feature ⁠— 128-tick rate servers. The smoother experience would look to solve some of the hit registration problems games like CS:GO have on 64-tick or less.


However, since the game’s release, Riot have added a ‘Network Buffering’ setting. On the face of it, this option hidden in the General settings tab would give players a choice to add some network delay on their end if they are struggling with their internet connection.

Valorant general settings menu
Riot Games
Valorant’s Network Buffering setting could be exploited by players.

The mere existence of the option has caught the attention of the community though. In a netcode analysis of Valorant, YouTuber Battle(non)sense discovered what the option actually did ⁠— and it could be exploited to gain an unfair advantage.


Instead of adding a network delay, like CS:GO’s interpolation settings, the Network Buffering straight up cuts the amount of files a player uploads to the server. This leads to stuttering not for the player, but for their opponents, which could catch players off-guard.

“When they change the setting, it causes their player model to stutter on my client. This setting doesn’t affect the animation smoothness of how they see other players, but how smooth their player model moves for everyone else,” Battle explained.

“When you choose the Moderate or Maximum Network Buffering setting, then it decreases how frequently your client sends data to the server. Fewer updates sent means your player model stutters for other players, and you have more network delay.”


While Battle admits that there’s pretty much no reason to swap off of minimum settings ⁠— inputs could be missed, for example ⁠— he said that the power for players to control how many packets they can send could lead to abuse down the line.

Topic starts at 6:26.

“The game should on its own be able to determine when the internet connection of a player cannot handle the default update rates, and then adjust them automatically.”

Riot are yet to address the issue, but it’s possible that the Network Buffering setting is currently a band aid solution to the problem. With Valorant still being a relatively fresh game, it could just be some time until Riot adds an automatic system and closes the loophole for abuse.


Valorant First Strike Europe qualifiers: Schedule, eligibility, format

Published: 7/Oct/2020 17:06

by Jacob Hale


Valorant developers Riot Games have announced First Strike: Europe, the first-ever Valorant tournament wholly produced by Riot, set to kick off in November with some of the region’s best talent.

Since Valorant launched in June, it has become one of the most exciting games in esports, with players from all different titles migrating to Riot’s first-ever FPS. Some of the biggest competitors from the likes of Overwatch, CSGO and more are looking to make a name for themselves in the new shooter.


As a result, we’ve already seen some incredible talent, tense moments and top performances in a competitive setting, but now it’s becoming a little more official with the announcement of this highly-anticipated tournament.

So, with First Strike: Europe around the corner, here’s everything you need to know to tune in to the tournament, and even get involved yourself.

Valorant First Strike art
Riot Games
First Strike is the first Valorant tournament organized entirely by developer Riot Games.

Valorant First Strike: Europe schedule

Open qualifiers for First Strike take place from November 9-22, giving teams around two weeks to stave off the best competition in the region and qualify for the main event.

The schedule for Open Qualifiers will be as follows:

  • Week 1
    • November 9-10: Qualifier A
    • November 11-12: Qualifier B
    • November 13: Play-In #1
    • November 14-15: Playoffs
  • Week 2
    • November 16-17: Qualifier C
    • November 18-19: Qualifier D
    • November 20: Play-In #2
    • November 21-22: Playoffs
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule.

After qualifiers have concluded, the main stage will be held from December 3-6. Here are the dates for each part of the main event:

  • December 3-4: Quarterfinals
  • December 5: Semifinals
  • December 6: Final
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule.

Eligibility for Valorant First Strike: Europe

As the name suggests, the Open Qualifiers for the tournament are open to (almost) anybody. You don’t have to be a pro player to sign up, but you have to be over the age of 16 and you will need to reach the rank of Immortal 1 by the time you register.

Riot haven’t specified how people can apply and register for the tournament yet, but advise in their announcement that full rules for the event and how to apply will be available in the coming weeks — and we’ll be sure to update this page as soon as we know.

Valorant First Strike: Europe tournament format

Valorant Icebox act 3 new map
Riot Games
Will we see much of new Act III map Icebox in the First Strike tournament?

The tournament format is fairly simple to follow throughout, from the qualifiers right up to the main event. Here’s how the single-elimination tournament works:

  • Qualifiers and Play-Ins: Best of 1
  • Playoffs: Best of 3
  • Quarterfinals and semifinals: Best of 3
  • Finals: Best of 5

With best of 1s in qualifiers and play-ins we might see some upsets, but finishing the tournament on a best of 5 means we really will see the two best teams in Europe fight it out and showcase their talent across all maps, proving how much they’ve mastered the game so far.

With G2 Esports undoubtedly the strongest team in the region since competition started, the main question now is whether they can prove it in Valorant’s biggest tournament yet.