Valorant’s Vanguard Anti-Cheat System Can Be Disabled by Uninstalling It; No System Data Collection or Network Communication, Riot Games Says
Developer Riot Games has commented on Valorant’s Vanguard Anti-Cheat system following concerns from beta players over the ‘intrusive’ Vanguard driver that loads at system startup.
Riot Games' upcoming online F2P multiplayer shooter makes use of two anti-tamper systems to battle cheating – League of Legends’ anti-cheat approach and the all-new Vanguard system.
This new Vanguard system, however, apparently makes use of a driver component that runs at system startup. As expected, some beta players have expressed their concerns about this rather ‘intrusive’ driver.
On the Valorant Reddit, programmer and anti-cheat lead, ‘Riot Arkem’, has addressed these concerns and has confirmed that, while it doesn’t collect any information about the user’s system, the ‘Riot Vanguard’ can be uninstalled at any time. We’ve included the post from Vanguard’s anti-cheat lead down below:
Yes we run a driver at system startup, it doesn't scan anything (unless the game is running), it's designed to take up as few system resources as possible and it doesn't communicate to our servers. You can remove it at anytime.
Vanguard contains a driver component called vgk.sys (similar to other anti-cheat systems), it's the reason why a reboot is required after installing. Vanguard doesn't consider the computer trusted unless the Vanguard driver is loaded at system startup (this part is less common for anti-cheat systems).
This is good for stopping cheaters because a common way to bypass anti-cheat systems is to load cheats before the anti-cheat system starts and either modify system components to contain the cheat or to have the cheat tamper with the anti-cheat system as it loads. Running the driver at system startup time makes this significantly more difficult.
We've tried to be very careful with the security of the driver. We've had multiple external security research teams review it for flaws (we don't want to accidentally decrease the security of the computer like other anti-cheat drivers have done in the past). We're also following a least-privilege approach to the driver where the driver component does as little as possible preferring to let the non-driver component do the majority of work (also the non-driver component doesn't run unless the game is running).
The Vanguard driver does not collect or send any information about your computer back to us. Any cheat detection scans will be run by the non-driver component only when the game is running.
The Vanguard driver can be uninstalled at any time (it'll be "Riot Vanguard" in Add/Remove programs) and the driver component does not collect any information from your computer or communicate over the network at all.
According to the Valorant programmer, the Vanguard system is an important tool to battle cheating, but if it turns out that the system will do more harm than good, Riot Games will remove it.
Valorant’s closed beta kicked off last week and has been insanely popular on Twitch.