Online games are riddled with cheaters nowadays, so companies turn to their anti-cheat software to take care of business. But game developers still need the help of their community. Riot Games’ anti-cheat lead, Paul Chamberlain, provided an update to their anti-cheat system on the Valorant website, suggesting that players begin reporting more often.
Though the Vanguard system does its best to monitor gameplay and find those playing suspiciously, it still relies heavily on players reporting other players. Chamberlain explained the way Vanguard works and how the company finds players to ban, and how you can help.
How Vanguard anti-cheat works
Riot’s anti-cheat system looks at reports that players receive and decides whether it is worth a manual or automatic review process. This means what some may see as an anti-cheat system preventing cheaters from logging in is also heavily reliant on players manually reporting suspicious activity.
Vanguard looks at the number of reports a player receives from unique players, as well as the number of different matches in which a player receives a report. This removes the instances where a single player gets mad at another who is more skilled than them and reports them for cheating. The system will make sure they’re only looking at players who are receiving multiple reports in different matches, indicating a likely real cheater.
Manual reviews take place daily, with Riot singling out the most reported players from the prior day. The more reports and manual reviews that take place, the more undetectable cheats Riot can find and archive, making them detectable in the future. Chamberlain also notes that “ban waves” are often used so that developers of various cheats do not know whether their cheats have been made detectable or not.
The facts on reported players
According to Chamberlain and Riot’s team of data scientists, 97% of players have never been reported once. Eighty percent of the players who have received a report were only reported by one other player, with 90% being reported by fewer than three players. When the dust settles, 0.3% of players have received more than 3 reports in Valorant, ever.
Riot says that this is certainly not a direct indication of the number of cheaters, but rather of the lack of reports being placed within the game. “Only 53% of banned cheaters were reported before their ban and only 60% of players with 20 reports get banned after review,” the post says.
What Riot needs from you
Report anyone you think might be playing suspiciously. Riot has enough layers in place to check, double-check, and triple-check whether a player is a real cheater or not. If you see someone who might be cheating and you’re unsure, there isn’t much harm in filing a report. Riot will go through their information, check Vanguard to see what it’s determined, and act if necessary.