Riot Games’ competitive FPS Valorant drew in a lot of attention for all the wrong reasons when the devs confirmed that a background process to prevent cheating was required in order to even start the game. This caused a lot of concern and anger among players who weren’t keen on the idea, causing Riot to defend its design decision. The furor hasn’t appeared to die down, however, and so the devs have announced some changes.
As of now, the Vanguard anti-cheat process will have a little system tray icon that’s visible. Accessing this system icon will allow players to turn off Vanguard at any time. Doing so puts the machine in untrusted mode, however, so if players suddenly get the urge to play Valorant later in the day, they’ll need to restart their PCs to do so. The system icon will also let players wholesale uninstall Vanguard, though it will re-install itself when Valorant is fired up.
The announcement post goes into a round of FAQ, which often reads like it was written by people exhausted of the matter, particularly at the point where it talks about Vanguard’s safety where it outright reads, “No, we’re not selling your data to China.” As for why players have to jump through hoops to play Valorant in the first place, Riot maintains that it’s all in the interest of “competitive integrity.”
The most recent update from Riot focuses on the impact of Vanguard on legit players.
“We’ve been issuing updates for Vanguard to react to the latest developments in cheating technology. One of these updates had a negative impact on legitimate players, stopping them from playing VALORANT because Vanguard detected a security vulnerability that cheats could exploit. Unfortunately, this is a pretty vague statement to give, but we’re also trying not to signal what systems cheat developers need to overcome (spoilers: this is going to be an ongoing challenge for us, even though transparency is our thing). What I can say is that while our anti-cheat technology is moving quickly in this escalating war against cheat developers, the clarity of information we give regarding these new incompatibilities has not kept up. We’re in the process of trying to give you more information if Vanguard is requiring multiple reboots—chances are, you might have to update some insecure software or drivers. Additionally, we have heard your concerns about Vanguard running 24/7 in the background, and are actively building a feature where you can full-disable it from the system tray when VALORANT isn’t running. You’ll need to reboot your computer with Vanguard running if you want to play VALORANT, but should be an easier process than outright uninstalling it every time (disabling effectively acts as an uninstall).”
New week, new questions. @Arkem’s back on Vanguard issues (and solutions! like disabling it when not playing!). V’s revenue lead, @SWAGGERNAU7 talks how we value skin lines like Prism, with reassurances that there’s more to come. https://t.co/bSmltjbYvT pic.twitter.com/t4cm6370VA
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) April 28, 2020