Riot Games’ newest title, the 5v5 shooter Valorant, has stormed onto the PC gaming scene with a brutal and stylish fusion of hero shooters and eSports that could well up-end the market and turn players onto the new titan of the genre. But the initial debut of the early access portion of the game has not been without problems.
Errors have been a particular sore spot for some PC gamers, as they grapple with crashes and other problems comment to beta rollouts of this kind, but something more potentially alarming has seen Valorant land headlines for the wrong reasons recently. Valorant uses a custom anti-cheat solution called Vanguard, and plenty of users are concerned about it.
The initial reports surrounding Vanguard pointed at that the application ran at system boot and loaded a low-level driver onto the systems the game is installed on. Most anti-cheat solutions in PC games that do rely on client-side detection load alongside the application they’re protecting, not so with Vanguard. The outrage over potential privacy and security issues was immediate.
To their credit, Riot Games quickly got ahead of the issue and deployed a statement and some updates to Vanguard to help quell backlash. Riot also added the option to remove the client-side software via normal means, making it less of a potential problem for users with concerns. However, this will just be undone the next time you launch Valorant.
And now, something new has popped up with the most recent update Riot has deployed for the protection software. The company has now added a simple tray icon that shows if Vanguard is running on your machine, as well as deploying notifications when the software detects something wrong. Riot says this is to help alert users if a compatibility issue is detected, take that for what you will.
Riot released the following statement over Vanguard, saying that it is safe to use and that they take privacy seriously:
“We’ve developed both the client and the driver of Riot Vanguard 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.”