Valorant developer Riot Games has found a new smash-hit with their new 5v5 shooter, but like any new game launch, there have been some issues. And with online multiplayer shooters, the issues almost always surround cheating of some kind. Riot Games has included a custom Valorant anti-cheat solution called Vanguard to scan game files and system memory for various signs of cheating. The usual candidates are all here, from memory injection and modification to filesystem tampering, Vanguard looks for it all.
Although some users are now reporting various potential issues with Vanguard and the new game. Responding to a post on the Valorant subreddit, the issue has been cleared up. It seems that Vanguard is not the culprit here. A programmer working on the game, RiotArkem, posted a solution that clarified the issues by pointing out how the driver works. The biggest problem being reported by many users is that Vanguard anti-cheat system makes checks on the system at startup, even when the game isn’t running.
TL;DR 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.
So the driver isn’t all that important as it’s not vital to the operation of the whole system surrounding Valorant. This is good news for anyone who was running into performance problems and wants to troubleshoot the problem. According to the developer, “The Vanguard driver can be uninstalled at any time (it’ll be “Riot Vanguard” in Add/Remove programs)”.
It’s understandable that users would be concerned about the privacy complications and issues that could arise from overzealous DRM and anti-cheat solutions. The goal of preventing cheating in online games is noble and supported by many, but most gamers aren’t willing to make major sacrifices in privacy and security for it.
The infamous Denuvo DRM solution has long been maligned for causing slowdowns and other issues in AAA game releases. The Red Shell ad-targeting and analytics tool also caused a big controversy when it was classed as spyware for obtrusive scans of user systems. And there have been countless other examples of anti-cheat solutions being blamed for security breaches over the years.
So while this case of the offending driver is easy enough to solve for concerned users, it still is cause for alarm for many. Hopefully this is the last we hear of a Riot title having such issues.