Valorant ramps up new anti-cheat policies and punishments in 2021

Olivia Richman • January 28, 12:41

Valorant announced an updated anti-cheat plan for the remainder of winter, introducing new solutions and harsher punishments for offenses. According to Matt “K3o” Paoletti of the anti-cheat team, the goal is to maintain a high level of competitive integrity in the popular tactical shooter. 

While the anti-cheat team reportedly watched the happenings of First Strike very closely, they haven’t been able to show the same amount of attention to the competitive ladder due to a lack of a “controlled environment.” First Strike was meant to feel as much like a LAN event as was possible. Now developers are turning their attention back to regular players around the world. 

Continued efforts to make cheating more “difficult and expensive” have cut back on some of the cheating in the game, but negative experiences are still consistently reported. 

“Encountering a cheater isn’t just an inconvenience, it could mean a missed promotion or a demoralizing halt of a win streak. Cheaters at the highest ranks also put a strain on the prestige that comes with reaching such heights in a highly competitive game,” K3o said. 

In Episode 2, Valorant’s anti-cheat team’s top priority is making sure the competitive grind is “valiant, fair, and legitimate.” 

How Valorant anti-cheat is improved in Episode 2

Valorant’s anti-cheat team has three main goals going into Episode 2. The first is a 90-day penalty for “bussing.” Bussing is purposely joining teams with cheaters to reap the benefits of their victories before the cheater is banned. This is basically “riding the cheat bus on the highway to hell,” according to K3o. 

The team also wants to punish people who offer boosting services. Sometimes, top players will get paid to climb the leaderboards on someone else’s account. It’s harmful because the accounts are often at lower levels that the top player can easily dominate, ruining the competitive integrity of the game and the experience for the two participating teams. 

K3o also noted that account sharing and account buying would be targeted by the new punishment system. 

“Rank should be an indicator of your skill, not your ability to pay for a service,” K3o wrote. 

The ranked system will be completely overhauled as well. The speed at which players can reach Radiant will be greatly reduced. This would stop cheaters from “blowing their birthday money” on a cheat and then quickly climbing to the top of the leaderboards before they get banned. 

Riot also wants to help players who have been affected by cheaters. They are looking into ways to recalibrate the ranks of players who were negatively impacted by cheaters and hackers. 

“It hasn’t always been perfect, but the lessons we’ve learned and the community feedback and in-game reports we’ve received have been invaluable and will continue to empower us,” K3o said. 

Meanwhile, anti-cheat lead Paul “Arkem” Chamberlain is also begging players to report more cheaters. He previously noted that 97% of players have never been reported and he’s skeptical that none of those players have ever exhibited suspicious behavior. 

“Whenever you see something suspicious in your game, please use the report system so we can see it too,” Arkem said. 

Cheating continues to be a problem in Valorant

Recently, aspiring Valorant pro ReFleck was caught cheating while competing against Dignitas’ all-female roster while he was trying out for a professional team. The fact that cheaters feel confident enough to cheat on a live stream while being watched by other pros was quite alarming. 

Vanguard often catches cheaters by the thousands, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to end the onslaught of aimbots and wall hackers. Riot has also sued companies that sell cheating programs to Valorant players, but it seems that hackers still find a way. 

The anti-cheat team is now hoping that the new anti-cheat initiatives for Episode 2 will continue to beat down cheaters that try to ruin the competitive integrity of the game. 

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