Why We Need Vanguard - Scripting And Botting In League Of… | RiftFeed

Why We Need Vanguard - Scripting And Botting In League Of Legends

News 15-04-2024 17:58

Scripters have been ruining High Elo for a while, and bot accounts have brought us more smurfs than ever before. Riot is trying to stop this with their personal Vanguard Anti Cheat. But do we really need it?

Valorant jett anti cheat vanguard
Valorant had Vanguard since its release. | © Riot Games

Riot is bringing Vanguard to League. Nothing and nobody is stopping this. The community outcry was certainly something, so it begs the question: Is it really needed, if it's so controversial?

Some players are claiming that a Kernel Level Anti Cheat is basically Chinese spyware and that they will be booting League of their PCs immediately. But League of Legends wouldn't be as big as it is now without some really good developers. That's why we got a special episode of /Dev with Rioter “mirageofpenguins” who talks us through some issues LoL had with any kind of malicious software.

Cheating In LoL

Cheaters Weekly
This graph shows how many games Cheaters are in LoL. Yes, those are thousands. | © Riot Games

How does League of Legends work internally? Well, the server simulates the entire game and your client can only ask to perform certain actions. That means that stuff like infinite abilities doesn't work because the server understands that it shouldn't be a thing. That's why cheating in LoL is usually “input automation”. This means that you have a program running that can tell the server to dodge faster than you ever could.

These scripts simulate a fake client around your real client, which allows them to send modified inputs. This typically results in characters being unable to get hit by skill shots or frame perfect kiting.

Why Not Just Ban Them?

Scripters High Elo
Lots of Scripters in High Elo. And a surprising amount in Iron. | © Riot Games

Riot is definitely doing that, but a new level 30, and therefore ranked ready, account is incredibly cheap and there are millions of them. Some only cost around $2.

How is that possible? Well because those accounts are also leveled up by scripts and bots.

1 in 15 games globally had a scripter or bot in them, which is an incredibly large number if you consider the millions of games played daily. In some regions, these numbers even go up to 1 in 5 games. 

While cheating isn't region specific, there are a lot of scripters in the eastern countries as both the Chinese and Korean servers have their own Anti Cheat and, more importantly, have their identity attached.

But how good are these scripters?

Statistics show that if the scripter plays optimally, the player stays around an 80% win rate. More than 10% of Master+ games actually had a cheater in them, which is an incredible amount. 

Above Master, Riot regularly starts manually banning suspicious accounts, but they can't keep doing that forever because of a very simple reason.

Riot's Anti Cheat Was Solved

Packman Old
Packman was dangerously outdated. | © Riot Games

The previous iteration of Riot's Anti Cheat was called Packman. Packman is now ridiculously outdated, and to add onto it and renew or rework it would be very expensive. It has done its part, but ever since the data breach in early 2023 it was not safe anymore. 

In January 2023 Riot Games was under attack and the attackers have gotten access to source code from League, TFT and the Anti Cheat platform.

Since Vanguard has been working for Valorant and is also an in-house product from Riot, it absolutely makes sense to use it for League of Legends as well.

How Vanguard Worls

Valorant Detection
Vanguard worked really good in Valorant. | © Riot Games

Vanguard works like most other anti-cheats in a sense where it has a preventative and a detective layer. The preventative obviously prevents bad things from happening, and the detective layer investigates bad things that happen anyway to punish it with a delay.

Vanguard works on your machine instead of in the game client, which is basically a huge hurdle for cheat distributors. While this makes it harder for some players, it is a worthy sacrifice for Riot.

Vanguard also has a TPM 2.0 requirement. TPM stands for Trusted Platform module and basically means it knows your exact hardware ID. If you were to cheat with this hardware ID it could block that, meaning that you would need to swap out the part or buy a new PC to cheat again.

Vanguard also an anti cheat driver on your PC. This is basically Vanguards way to confirm that a Riot Game is running on a PC that isn't cheating.

Most of these work so great that in Valorant, most cheaters don't even bother bypassing all of these. They just rage hack a few games and then get banned. 

Kernel Level Anti Cheats start right up with your PC before you even press anything. But it is not always on. It just waits until you communicate with a Riot Client and then tells them that during the time from starting your PC and opening the Riot Client, you didn't start a hacking software.

Time to action Vanguard
Vanguard is going to work even better in LoL. | © Riot Games

If you don't plan to play a Riot game, you can absolutely tell Vanguard to stop and close it. But if you change your mind and wanna go for a quick run on the Summoners Rift, you will need to restart your PC.

Riot has really made an extensive effort to take the worries of its player base, and let's be honest here. If you don't plan to cheat in any game, there is nothing you have to fear. Everybody already has your data anyway if they wanted them. 

Vanguard will not stop cheating in League of Legends. This would be an insane idea. It can just hope to make it as hard as possible for cheat developers and is easily upgradeable overtime. 

Riot still has a very large frequently asked question page that you can visit at the bottom of their /Dev article here.

Personally, I am always for fewer cheaters in the game, obviously. How about you? Will you keep playing League?

More League of Legends:

Erik Feldengut

Meet Erik, a writer on the Riftfeed content team, specializing in League of Legends and Gaming.

His daily routine revolves around gaming and watching others play, with a side gig at TU Ilmenau studying 'Applied Media and Communication Sciences'...