While no competitive FPS game will ever be completely squeaky clean when it comes to cheaters, especially a free-to-play one, some do a considerably better job than others at keeping the number of bad actors down.
Riot Games’ Valorant is one such game that has impressed with its fight against cheaters, thanks to constant updates and improvements to its Vanguard anti-cheat system and resources dedicated to improving competitive integrity. Today in a blog post, Riot has provided an update on how the battle against cheaters is going, and the short version is: pretty damn well.
According to Matt ‘K3O’ Paoletti, Valorant’s senior anti-cheat analyst, reports from players that encounter cheaters in their matches are “at an all-time low”. As well as praising the competitive integrity of the Valorant Champions Tour, K3O says that reports from players in Valorant ranked matches have “been trending downwards” to the point where they are at “the lowest they’ve ever been”.
While K3O acknowledges that there have been spikes in reports in some geographical regions as Valorant’s popularity spreads, Riot’s efforts in improving Vanguard means that the overall trajectory for cheating reports worldwide is on the decline.
“Certain regions saw spikes in report rates, but through additional investigation and intelligence efforts, as well as continual improvements to Vanguard, we’ve been able to negate these spikes and keep competitive integrity globally strong,” K3O says.
Our reigning, defending Anti-cheat Analyst @RiotK3o is back to cover competitive integrity, the state of cheating today, and the future of Vanguard. Read the full report: https://t.co/0l3mkA3Hnv pic.twitter.com/kP9mE0MaEp
— VALORANT (@PlayVALORANT) October 18, 2021
He also explains that the biggest threats to competitive integrity recently have been an increased popularity in external hardware cheats, cheat providers becoming more clued up on machine learning, and “cheaters boosting other players by duoing with them, knowing that their account would get banned but the boostee would keep the ill-gotten gains.” However, K3O says his team has always been “a few steps ahead.”
You can check out K3O’s full competitive integrity breakdown here.
With other free-to-play FPS titles looking to up their efforts in booting cheaters off their servers (a certain battle royale starting with ‘W’ springs to mind), it looks like Valorant is certainly the bar to aim for if you want to make competitive integrity a top priority.