Valorant dev responds to claims that anti-cheat system is too "invasive" - Dexerto

Valorant dev responds to claims that anti-cheat system is too “invasive”

Published: 13/Apr/2020 11:08 Updated: 13/Apr/2020 11:21

by Andy Williams


Valorant players were left confused by Riot’s “invasive” anti-cheat systems, so a lead developer on the game’s security systems has cleared the air on exactly how Vanguard works.

Valorant’s development team have been open about their pledge to tackle cheaters head-on with their complex anti-cheat systems ever since the game was teased as ‘Project A’ as part of League of Legends’ 10-year anniversary event.

Taking down online gaming’s final boss is no easy feat, and by that logic, Riot have completely overhauled their approach with Valorant — and at the forefront of that is Vanguard.

Volcano working on Riot Games' Valorant..
Riot Games
Valorant’s servers will hold no prisoners and will invoke strict punishment should hacks be found in-game.

Vanguard is a uniquely designed bit of software that is required for Valorant to run. It’s objective is to detect cheats, with its algorithm evolving as the game develops. Riot has previously noted that any game with a cheater detected will end immediately and be forgiven for all other players.

Although concerns have emerged in regards to how Vanguard operates on user’s PCs, with players specifically querying why it runs while you’re not playing the tactical shooter.

“The kernel anticheat driver (vgk.sys) starts when you turn your computer on,” one Redditor posted. “I don’t really care for it running when I don’t even have the game open. So right now, I have got to change the sys file’s name and back when I want to play, and restart my computer.”

Anticheat starts upon computer boot from VALORANT

Given the number of upvotes their post had received, a Valorant dev clarified the exact logistics of Vanguard and how it operates in their response comment.

Riot’s anti-cheat lead, Paul ‘Arkem’ Chamberlain, clarified why Vanguard is required to run during the system startup, explaining that it makes it more difficult for cheaters to tamper with the anti-cheat programme.

Riot's Arkem responding on Reddit.

Moreover, Chamberlain added that the software “does not collect or send any information about your computer back to us” and that it utilizes the bare minimum in terms of system resources.

Another Redditor chose to clarify how Riot’s anti-cheat operates in response, where they described Vanguard as “deeply invasive” while explaining that “there really isn’t a viable alternative solution,” should players want an effective anti-cheat system.

Redditor commenting on a Reddit thread.

Given that Vanguard isn’t monitoring players’ data while Valorant isn’t active and that the software utilizes as little system resources as possible, surely these are an amicable price to pay in exchange for a guaranteed level playing field?

Only time will tell if Vanguard (plus all of Riot’s additional anti-cheat measures) will be an effective counter against tactical shooters’ biggest enemy.


Valorant dev responds to players asking for map-specific queues

Published: 29/Nov/2020 1:30

by Alan Bernal


A Valorant developer gave weight to the idea of map-specific queues after Icebox’s mixed reception made it difficult for some to get any meaningful practice on the map.

Icebox has been a divisive addition to Valorant. There are some members of the community who swear it’s a great example of a tactical map that demands a thoughtful approach to Agent ability usage; and there are others who believe it’s the worst map to grace the game.

Unfortunately, people in either camp share the same matchmaking playlist. This presents a problem, at times, in which people who want to play Icebox can matchmake with someone else who will then dodge that particular map.

Luckily, there are discussions within Riot Games for a solution that could include special playlists that feature specific maps.

Riot Games
Some players have been dodging Icebox too many times, and Riot might try to find a solution for it.

“Could you please put a separate queue so that we can quickly get some experience,” a message to Riot said. “I found it hard to get used to Icebox because people keep dodging so I can’t rack up the hours to get used to the map.”

Riot Insight and Strategy dev on Valorant, Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm, responded with an encouraging word, noting how the idea is “a great suggestion and it’s something we’ve talked about ourselves as well.”

One of the last times Riot addressed map selection playlists was back in July, when Senior Producer Ian Fielding said from a competitive standpoint, separating the matchmaking pool wasn’t ideal for players.

“Splitting up matchmaking into separate map pools would reduce the overall players in our matchmaking pool,” Fielding said in an Ask Valorant blog. “Which not only slows down matchmaking, but makes it more difficult for us to produce fair matches.

“Given that, we currently don’t have plans to enable map specific selection for Matchmaking.”

riot valorant map selection

As disappointed as some players might have been, Altombre’s update has given some hope that Valorant could one day include these smaller matchmaking queues.

Although who’s to say it would look anything like the kind found in CS:GO. In League of Legends, Riot has people lock in a primary and secondary role to choose which one they get in a match.

In some instances, a player won’t get either. Moreover, if the system determines there’s a lack of sufficient players queuing for a certain role, then the game offers a brief reward for anyone willing to fill it.

csgo map selector matchmaking
Valve via 7tlo Reddit
A map selector could be coming to Valorant, though it might not look what people are familiar in CS:GO.

A general idea like that could be applied to Valorant’s maps. Although tweaked to fit the concept, that could be a solution to let people choose which two locales they prefer, while maintaining the possibility of getting any map at the end of the day.

In either case, it sounds like Riot wants to tackle this issue in some capacity soon, and hopefully it results in a meaningful quality of life update for Valorant.