Valorant bans first cheater just after closed beta begins

By Steven Rondina

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Apr 11, 2020

Reading time: 2 min

Cheaters have already found their way to Valorant, and Riot Games has already started stamping them out. Valorant developers took to Twitter to discuss how they had issued the first ban in the game’s history to an unnamed player.

“Well it sucks, but today we had to ban our first cheater, and it looks like more bans are on the horizon,” Riot anti-cheat lead designer Paul Chamberlain said. “I was hoping for a little more time before this fight kicked off but we’re in it now and we’re ready.”

Hackers making their way to Valorant is unsurprising. Hackers have been a constant for online PC shooters, with each game having its own unique way to rack up illegitimate wins.

Valorant is no different. The closed beta has only been around for a few days now after kicking off on April 7, but hackers wasted no time in breaking into the game. Almost all manners of cheats have already surfaced in Valorant, including aimbots and wall hacks. Clips of blatant cheating have been making the rounds on social media, with some pro players being on the receiving end of some questionable plays.

Though many are taking to social media to vent their frustration, Riot insists that isn’t the best approach to this and encourages players to report hackers using the in-game report feature.

“Thanks for the visibility, we’re investigating this,” Riot anti-cheat developer Matt Paoletti said on Twitter. “For any cases of suspicious activity, the quickest way to flag suspicious activity is the in-game reporting feature. Even during Closed Beta, this is very helpful to us.”

Riot’s unique Valorant anti-cheat is questioned

The fact that it took about 24 hours for hackers to gain a foothold in Valorant is a bit worrying. Valorant is Riot’s first foray into first-person shooters, and their games don’t have catchall anti-cheat mechanisms like VAC to fall back on.

Riot took a unique approach to anti-cheat methods with Valorant. Games will be scrapped entirely when a hacker is detected, with players being given this screen upon a player being flagged:

There is also the new Vanguard anti-cheat system, which gains a worryingly strong hold on users’ entire PC.

The game also looks to tackle wallhacks in a unique way. Instead of having all heroes on the map at the same time, players don’t technically appear in the game on an opponent’s end until they can potentially engage with one another.

Alongside this, Riot is trying to address the game’s free-to-play status with strong competitive integrity through the use of a system that bans a user’s PC. This theoretically allows them to prevent cheaters from circumventing bans through the use of multiple accounts.

Time will tell whether these methods are effective.