Like a lot of online shooters, Valorant uses anti-cheat technology to help minimize trouble caused by unscrupulous players. It’s called Vanguard, and as described on Riot’s support site, it consists of a client that runs while the game is active, and a kernel mode driver that’s always on. That seems to be making some players nervous: As noted in this Reddit thread, for instance, the kernel has full administrator rights in Windows, and the only way to prevent it from loading is to either rename the file so it can’t be loaded, or uninstall it entirely.

The idea of a program having that level of access, entirely unknown to the user, sounds potentially risky, and there was some confusion at first about whether it was supposed to be loading up automatically at all. Over the weekend, however, Riot’s anti-cheat lead Paul “RiotArkem” Chamberlain confirmed in the Valorant subreddit that it’s intended to be that way, in order to more effectively foil evasion efforts: Cheaters commonly bypass anti-cheat systems by loading their cheat software first, so having the driver always running “makes this significantly more difficult.” 

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