Most of the talk on Riot’s new shooting game, Valorant, is about anti-cheat software, called Vanguard. This name is suitable, because Vanguard does not just sniff over for the Valorant hacks when it starts running: This begins with the Windows & keeps eye on processes if you are playing Valorant game at that time.
Vanguard is intrusive for the anti-cheat software, although contrary to ore imaginative theories that you will read on internet, reason for this isn’t a Pinky & Brain-esque scheme that will blow up everybody’s PC & take over the whole world. Vanguard detects the software with some vulnerability that can be exploited by the cheat makers, or blocks some. For people who do not use any such software, installing the Vanguard will not do much—though it can run any time unless you will disable it, so for some, this alone will be uncomfortable.
Here is the breakdown of controversy, and things you have to know about the Vanguard before you install it.
Vanguard is the new anti-cheat package, and is used for helping to protect the Valorant from wallhackers & aimbotters. When installed, Vanguard can run at the Windows startup till uninstalled. There’re two parts in it:
- Kernel-mode driver, which runs when your computer boots up
- Client that checks and ensure you are not running any other cheats when you are playing Valorant
Kernel-mode driver generally is a client’s bodyguard. It does not collect any data about your computer or send over anything to Riot Games: This looks at drivers & blocks them to run in case it detects they have known vulnerability that can be used for compromising anti-cheat client. If the Vanguard’s driver is not with Windows, then Valorant will not trust your computer, and you cannot play the game. That is why you need to reboot after you install Vanguard.
What does this mean that Vanguard driver will be “kernel-mode”?
Suppose we were in ’90s hacker movie, kernel will be a virtual reality sphere having green code where final showdown happens. It is a core of the operating system, where basic functions take place, like allocating the system memory to various programs. Software running at a kernel level has a highest level of control on your computer. Primary argument against allowing Riot Games run the kernel-mode driver over your computer is that if somebody found any security vulnerability, consequences can be worse than if the vulnerability were been discovered in the regular and user-level software.
There are a few concerns about capabilities of Valorant’s cheat system, with certain speculating that anti-cheat methods can give Riot’s deep access to the users’ systems. It is worrying knowing how some areas have already experienced security problems with the Riot’s games earlier.