RIOT is cracking down on Valorant cheaters and their teammates

Despite its industry leading Vanguard anti-cheat system, Valorant has a hacker problem. RIOT’s skill-based hero shooter launched back June and has been performing well since. And yet the American based publisher has had a hard time slowing down the ongoing cheating. But it does have a new plan to address this.

In a new development post, RIOT outlined its new strategy to counteract cheating. Going forward, all players who opt to party up with a proven cheater will also receive punishment. The biggest punishment RIOT is prepared to hard out is a 90-day penalty for playing with cheaters. This means that any accomplices won’t be able to play ranked for three months once caught.

Valorant cheaters getting busted

Valorant cheaters gameplay footage

At face value that ban may seem a little steep but it’s been chosen for good reason. Many players who choose to party up with cheaters are doing so for short-term gain. Even though they are aware the cheater won’t last long, they can still earn easy skill rating by playing with them. It’s currently unclear if you can get punished for unknowingly teaming up with a cheater.

Furthermore, many cheaters sell their services to players looking to climb the ranks quickly. From RIOT’s point of view, it doesn’t want an illegitimate real world trading market being attached to one of its products.

Equally, this Valorant update will see players affected by cheating have their rating re-calibrated. This should both demotivate accomplices and lower the frustration of legitimate players having their games ruined. Finally, placement games now have a skill rating cap making it harder to cheaters to climb up to the top ranks as fast.

Regardless of how well this update works out, RIOT is showing good intentions. Many other AAA shooters like Warzone have struggled with stopping cheaters. Arguably no product on the market has an anti-cheat system as complicated as Valorant. And if RIOT keeps up this pace, we could be seeing the first game ever made where cheating just isn’t viable.