League of Legends’ anti-cheat won’t brick your PC, Riot insist, after adding Valorant’s controversial system to the MOBA

By admin May3,2024

The already controversial decision to add the anti-cheat tool used in shooter Valorant to League of Legends has seemingly caused developers Riot Games even more of a headache. The studio have issued a lengthy assurance that – at least as far as they know – the new anti-cheat software isn’t causing players’ hardware to end up bricked, despite various reports of major issues after its introduction.

Vanguard was added to League of Legends in patch 14.9, bringing the kernel-level anti-cheat system already used in Valorant for a number of years over to the MOBA. The idea was to crack down on bots, scripters and other cheating methods in the wake of Riot’s own data that as many as one in 15 LoL games suffers cheating of some kind. That’s a good intention in concept, but one that has predictably divided opinions over the methods employed, with Vanguard accused of demanding a high CPU cost, effectively operating as spyware and taking screenshots of players’ computer displays.

Since the update’s drop on May 1st, those existing complaints have actually been overshadowed by a separate issue: reports that Vanguard was variously causing players’ PCs to crash, then fail to boot, and even that the software was altering their internal system files (with one claim that a user was prompted to delete crucial Windows file system32).

All of this led Riot’s team to take to the League of Legends subreddit to defend the addition of the anti-cheat system and claim that any reported problems were in the vast minority of cases – and that worries of PCs ending up completely bricked were entirely unfounded.

According to the post, “the rollout has gone well and we’re already seeing Vanguard functioning as intended”, with a notable drop in the number of bot accounts in League. In comparison, Riot claimed that less than 0.03% of players had reported problems, with the “vast majority” of those that had run into issues experiencing “easily solved” errors.

“There are also a few trickier situations that have popped up that we’re actively looking into; driver incompatibilities for example,” the team acknowledged, encouraging those affected to contact player support.

Most importantly, the team denied that any reports of bricked hardware were accurate, stating in bold text: “We have not confirmed any instances of Vanguard bricking anyone’s hardware.”

“We’ve individually resolved a few of the major threads you may have seen so far of users claiming this with their machines and have confirmed that Vanguard wasn’t the cause of the issues they were facing,” they added, pointing out that a small portion of players had bypassed Microsoft’s requirement of Trusted Platform Module 2.0 when installing Windows 11, which had led to some issues – enabling TPM 2.0 has apparently fixed those particular complaints.

After giving other examples of reported problems that weren’t down to Vanguard in the end – including the accidental enabling of SecureBoot, which unlike Valorant isn’t required for League of Legends – the team also looked to reassure those worried about Vanguard spying on their activity that “Vanguard DOES NOT take a screenshot of your whole computer/multiple monitors”.

“However, it will take a picture of your game client (in fullscreen) and the region your game client occupies (in windowed/borderless) for suspicious activity related to ESP hacks,” they clarified. “This is a very normal practice when it comes to anti-cheat and almost all anti-cheat do this. It is also a known element within the community of folks familiar with anti-cheat software.”

So it seems that Vanguard itself is largely working as it should – whatever your feelings on its introduction in general might be – and shouldn’t be able to see anything unwanted except perhaps my own terrible League of Legends stats. And even if you do run into trouble, please, please, don’t delete system32, for goodness’ sake.

By admin

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