Riot Games’ new multiplayer first-person shooter that is “Valorant” has caught the attention of the gaming community that some pro-players from other titles like “Fortnite” have switched to it. The developer also said prior to the game’s release that they’ll have zero tolerance to those who’ll be caught cheating in the game. With that in mind, some of the players have been expressing their concerns about the game’s anti-cheating system - Vanguard as they’ve deemed it as “deeply invasive.”

The ‘Valorant’ community is concerned

A lot of these concerns have been voiced out over on the “Valorant” and other related subreddits and one of the posts that got some massive attention was from the Reddit user u/voidox.

The OP (Original Poster) claims that the game’s “anti-cheat starts upon computer boot and runs all the time” and it still does even if players do not play the game. Further, the OP explained that “it runs at Ring 0 of the Windows Kernel” meaning it has similar rights to that of the administrator by the time the PC boots.

U/voidox even detailed some of the things which, according to him, brought up several “issues from data to vulnerability to security to trust:”

  • People having a malicious intent and use the anti-cheat system as a rootkit since the software can't be switched off
  • Players won’t even have the slightest idea if their PCs got exposed in the event that the anti-chest gets compromised, not to mention that it won’t update unless they start the game.
  • The OP suggested that Riot Games should have at least made the anti-cheat software “toggleable.”
  • As for what he deemed to be as a trust issue, he called out those people who are waving off other players who are expressing their concerns over a “startup kernel on their system” coming from a company (Riot Games) that is owned by the China-based Tencent. U/voidox even cited the backlash that Blizzard received during the Blitzchung incident since according to him the Chinese conglomerate has a five percent share over the game developer/publisher.

Down in the comments, the OP also pointed out that the Chinese company is no stranger to both security and privacy issues.

Devs’ response

Paul “Arkem” Chamberlain – Riot Games’ Anti-Cheat Lead – responded to another Reddit post with a similar concern and pretty much confirmed that Vanguard’s behavior is intentional. Chamberlain pointed out, however, that the software does not gather nor send any information about a “Valorant” player’s computer back to them.

Another Reddit user – u/hesh582 - commented on it noting that there’s no viable solution for it and even described Vanguard as “deeply invasive.” The player made it clear there’s no animosity about the comment, but systems like the one in “Valorant” is invading the privacy of PC players.

Other games are affected

There were even reports of games other than “Valorant” that suffer fps drops, lags, and other performance issues. Players just went on getting rid of Vanguard for them to play other titles and to stop their PCs from bleeding out more system memory.