Riot Games has always taken a firm stance on bad actors in its competitive online games. Whether its toxicity, cheating, or griefing, the developer is keen to stamp all negative behaviours out. One such behaviour is AFKing, and today Riot claims that it has halved the number of AFKers in its first-person shooter, Valorant.
Earlier in the year, Riot took a tougher stance on AFKing in Valorant by increasing penalties for those found guilty of it and improving their detection systems to snuff out players who aren’t actively participating in matches. Now, the results are in, and things seem to be working.
In a blog post, Riot reports that detection of severe AFK behaviour – whereby a player is inactive for six rounds or more in a match – has more than halved over the last year. From the data, it also seems clear that Riot’s introduction of tougher AFK penalties in March sparked the decline in AFK detection.
In the blog post, Brian Chang and Sara Dadafshar, members of the social and player dynamics team for Valorant, explain that that decline has now levelled out into a new baseline of AFK detection. It’s also worth pointing out that the data spans across matches in both Valorant ranked and unrated matches.
Chang and Dadafshar also say that the report rate – which is the amount of AFK reports compared to total hours played – has also dropped by 17% in 2021.
Today’s report from Riot shows that its tough stance on bad actors appears to be having tangible results in Valorant. This year, the developer also issued tougher punishments to AFKers in League of Legends too, so this is certainly not an issue that is Valorant-exclusive.
Riot plans to release more updates on its efforts to stamp out other negative behaviours – such as toxicity and smurfing – over the coming weeks.