Valorant

Riot Games respond to Valorant harassment and bullying issues

by Bill Cooney

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Developers at Riot Games have laid out the first details of their plan to fight in-game harassment between Valorant players.

Valorant has been out in closed beta for roughly four weeks now and one of the biggest issues players have faced is toxicity from others.

Toxic teammates and harassment isn’t a problem unique to Valorant, far from it in fact, but developers at Riot have now shared their plan to encourage players to be a little nicer to one another.

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In a May 6 Developer Update, Valorant’s executive producer Anna Donlon explained what Riot is doing to focus on player behavior in-game going forward.

"I’ll be super real here: harassment and bullying in games is not a status quo I’m comfortable accepting," Donlon laid out. "We’ve learned to mute others who are harassing us. We’ve learned to mute ourselves in order to keep the peace. And as a result, we have a competitive experience that can feel compromised. We often find ourselves at a disadvantage."

"This is a very hard space to take on. I can’t solve society, and some of these issues are really, really deeply entrenched," she admitted. "But what I can say is that Riot takes this seriously—it’s why we established a dedicated “Central Player Dynamics” team to tackle the science and research of what promotes fair team play (it’s not always punishments!)."

Riot Games
Riot will reward (or punish) players based on how they interact with others in-game.

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"This is a priority for us," she continued. "Not just in the short-term, but for as long as it takes to reassure a player—any player—that as long as they play to win in VALORANT and respect their fellow human beings, they’ll be guaranteed a similar experience in return."

Riot will be publishing their Valorant code of conduct soon that will fill players in on how they can be rewarded, or punished, for their in-game behavior.

"With any competitive game, we expect spirits to get high and things to get tense—we're not going to ban someone just because they got passionate about winning or losing," Donlon added. "But I also know that some experiences can go beyond enthusiasm; sometimes they extend into harassment. That’s what we’re not okay with."

Riot Games / Valorant
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Exactly what will be included in the code of conduct remains to be seen, but we'll bring you all the details once it's released by Riot.

In the meantime and going forward, though, it sounds like that old rule of "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," might be a good one to stick with.