[Answered] Is Valorant Anti-Cheat Client Malware?
In recent days, there are a lot of concerns have grown among gamers about the malicious behavior of anti-cheat programs. Some user has claimed about the anti-cheat software (Vanguard) of the Valorant game for their malicious behavior. Is it really malware? Or, it just has some malicious behavior without any risk? We will find the answer to these questions throughout this article. So, let’s start;
Is Valorant Anti-Cheat Client Malware?
Built by the Unreal Engine, developed and published by Riot Games, the Valorant is an online multiplayer game that requires uninterrupted internet access. This multiplayer game is popular among gamers around the world. Not long ago, the Valorant game had come out of closed beta, and it is available for all the devices that support it. For this, it became available for all gamers around the world.
The Vanguard is used as the official anti-cheat software used on Valorant multiplayer games. As you already know, some user has claimed about the Vanguard anti-cheat software for its malicious behavior. This anti-cheat malware starts on the device startup, and it operates the system even when the user is not playing the game. This is a common characteristic of some malicious codes that can cause huge damage to a device.
The Riot Games, developers of both Valorant and Vanguard, have explained the malicious behavior of the anti-cheat malware. In explanation, Paul Chamberlain of Riot Games (RiotArkem on Reddit) has said;
“Yes, we run a driver at system startup, it doesn’t scan anything (Unless the game is running), it’s designed to take up as few system resources as possible, and it doesn’t communicate to our servers. You can remove it at any time.
Vanguard contains a driver component called vgk.sys (Similar to other anti-cheat systems), it’s the reason why a reboot is required after installation. Vanguard doesn’t consider the computer trusted unless the vanguard driver is loaded at system startup (This part is less common for anti-cheat systems).
This is good for stopping cheaters because a common way to bypass anti-cheat systems is to load cheats before the anti-cheat system starts and either modify system components to contain the cheat or to have the cheat tamper with the anti-cheat system as it loads. Running the driver at system startup time makes this significantly more difficult.
We’ve tried to be very careful with the security of the driver. We’ve had multiple external security research teams review it for flaws (We don’t want to accidentally decrease the security of the computer; as other anti-cheat drivers have done in the past). We’re also following a least-privilege approach to the driver where the driver component does as little as possible preferring to let the non-driver component do the majority of work (Also the non-driver component doesn’t run unless the game is running).
The vanguard driver does not collect or send any information about your computer back to us. Any cheat detection scans will be run by the non-driver component only when the game is running.
The vanguard driver can be uninstalled at any time (It’ll be “riot vanguard” in add/Remove programs) And the driver component does not collect any information from your computer or communicate over the network at all.
We think this is an important tool in our fight against cheaters but the important part is that we’re here so that players can have a good experience with Valorant and if our security tools do more harm than good we will remove them (And try something else). For now, we think a run-at-boot time driver is the right choice.”
After that explanation, it is clear that the Vanguard anti-cheat client doesn’t do any harm to the device. Though, it starts on the boot. So, you can use it on Valorant without any hesitation.
Is Valorant Anti-Cheat Safe?
Yes, it is safe to use anti-cheat client software on Valorant multiplayer games. Though the Vanguard anti-cheat client software works as a startup process, still it is safe to use that. Despite some malicious characteristics present on the Valorant anti-cheat client, it is not a threat to any device. Also, the Valorant game had now come out of closed beta, and it is available for all the devices that support it.
Is Valorant Anti-Cheat Spyware?
Is Valorant Anti-Cheat Invasive?
Though the early-stage Valorant anti-cheat client was invasive in nature, the latter stage is not much invasive. As you know, the cheater uses machine learning algorithms and hardware-based cheats on the game. So, it is necessary to be invasive for the anti-cheat software to stop these advanced leveled malicious cheats. The Valorant anti-cheat client is not an exception.
Should I Need to Remove Valorant Anti-Cheat Client?
It’s up to you now, whether you will remove the Valorant anti-cheat client from your device or keep it. As mentioned it has no harmful or malicious activities despite some malicious characteristics. The anti-cheats client requires kernel-level access to detect the malicious cheats. But it is always better to use the Vanguard anti-cheat software to protect the game file as well as to avoid the malicious game cheats.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Valorant Scan Your Computer?
No, the Valorant multiplayer game doesn’t scan the device, neither the anti-cheat clients used on the game. The drivers of Vanguard anti-cheat software don’t scan or communicate with other networks despite starting on the device startup.
Does Valorant Ban IP?
Valorant can impose a ban on a player or device IP for three reasons. Using game cheating, third-party applications, and AFK on the game. Because these are the violation of the fair play conditions of Valorant multiplayer game.
How Long Are Valorant Bans?
The ban imposed by the Valorant third-party application can last for a few hours, a few days, or even permanent. Ban period of the game depends on the violation of the game rules. To avoid bans, it is better to read about the game rules, terms, and conditions.
Despite the malicious characteristics of the anti-cheat client of the Valorant multiplayer game, it is safe to use. Remember to read the terms and conditions of the game before starting to play the game. It will help you to avoid the bans. That’s all for today, happy gaming.