Valorant announces Vanguard anti-cheat changes after player outcry

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Nov 16, 2018
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While we normally don't plan on documenting changes to Vanguard, our Anti-Cheat system for VALORANT, on a frequent basis, this new update to Vanguard adds a new visual component that will give you, the player, more visibility and control over it. This post serves to provide some context.

Starting today, Vanguard will start showing a system tray icon
(after a reboot) while it's running. From there, you'll be able to turn off Vanguard at any time. Turning off Vanguard puts your machine in an untrusted mode and will prevent you from playing VALORANT until you reboot. If you want to keep Vanguard off indefinitely until you play VALORANT (e.g. persisting across multiple reboot sessions), you'll be able to do so more easily now by uninstalling it from the handy dandy system tray
. Vanguard will automatically be reinstalled when you launch VALORANT. If you dislike the new system tray icon, you'll be able to disable (or re-enable) it at any time by going into your Windows Notification Area
.
Vanguard may block certain incompatible or vulnerable software from running on your machine. If this happens, you'll see a notification like this
pop up. Clicking on the notification
will give you more information on what exactly was blocked. You're able to opt-out of this at any time by following the instructions in the previous paragraph.

Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers)

1. Why did Vanguard block my favorite tool, <insert file name here>?

We're trying very hard to minimize the amount of software we block using Vanguard. Most players will never run into such a scenario. Vanguard will always notify you if it blocks or modifies anything on your system. We believe in transparency.

For the folks that do get a notification indicating that something was blocked, 9 times out of 10, the particular software has a known vulnerability or is being exploited in the wild. Cheaters (and malware) typically use vulnerable drivers to load their code in the kernel
and attack the operating system. By protecting against these attacks, Vanguard will be able to provide better competitive integrity and a more secure environment for all players. You can self diagnose whether or not your particular piece of software is vulnerable by checking a CVE database
(basically a list of known vulnerabilities for software) and searching for your vendor or software name.

Ultimately, you get to choose what software you run on your computer. You can uninstall or stop Vanguard to allow your software to work, but that will have the side effect of not allowing VALORANT to work until you reboot.

2. But, Riot, why are you doing this if there’s already cheats out there?

The purpose of Vanguard is to make it difficult for all but the most determined to cheat, while also giving us the best chance to detect the cheats that do work. We’re not going to be able to prevent all cheating completely, but our intention is to raise the barrier to entry so that cheating isn’t a common occurrence in VALORANT.

Our most recent set of changes help increase the bar that cheaters need to operate in.

For those that are willing to solder a computer part from Siberia to cheat, we’re still going to be able to remove them from our ecosystem by leveraging other game systems.

3. How come other games don’t make me jump through all these hoops? Why do I have to restart my computer to play VALORANT when I disable Vanguard?

We take competitive integrity seriously. We want to operate at the highest possible standard for our players so that they never have to question whether or not they lost to a cheater. In order to do that, we’re going to operate at the cutting edge for anti-cheat on VALORANT.

4. Is Vanguard safe to use on my computer?

Yes, but I’m biased. Our official messaging
regarding this:

Both the client and the driver of Riot Vanguard have been developed in-house, with both game safety and personal computer safety being a priority. We’ve made this commitment through extensive testing and by reviewing the product both internally and with external security reviews by industry experts.

Our commitment to safety includes our commitment to your privacy. Riot Vanguard was made with Riot Games' dedication to data privacy
specifically in mind, and we worked with our legal and compliance teams to ensure it adheres to regional data privacy laws. Specifics on what data we use and collect are available here
.
So, no, we’re not selling your data to China.

5. Ever since I installed Vanguard, I noticed that my toaster started producing soggy bread. What should I do?

While we’re trying our best to maintain compatibility with as much third party software as possible, if you notice any incompatibilities with Vanguard and a particular piece of tech, please feel free to exit Vanguard or completely uninstall us to validate the issue. We’re still working on squashing as many bugs during this closed beta while we prepare for a wider rollout.

As of recently, we’ve made great progress on addressing most of the performance issues that players have reported with Vanguard. If you’re still running into problems, we recommend that you file a ticket with player support
.

 
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