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League of Legends receives controversial Vanguard anti-cheat, Windows 11 now requires TPM 2.0

What just happened? Riot Games recently tightened the installation requirements for League of Legends to combat cheating, but unfortunately, this move inadvertently affected some innocent players. Amid reports of bugs and compatibility issues, the company provided an extensive explanation of its anti-cheat strategy, covering topics such as OS support, security measures, and insights gleaned from data on cheating habits.

League of Legends players on Windows are now receiving prompts to install Riot Games’ Vanguard anti-cheat system. Since the company introduced the software in Valorant a few years ago, it has sparked controversy for embedding its processes deeply into Windows, a concern shared by many users.

In response to complaints about bugs that surfaced after Vanguard was implemented with version 14.9, Riot stated that less than 0.03 percent of players reported errors. Additionally, the company noted that known troubleshooting solutions have resolved the most commonly reported error codes. Despite claims that Vanguard has caused some players’ machines to become unusable, Riot stated that it could not confirm any such reports.

Vanguard sparked controversy in 2020 for necessitating kernel-level access to Valorant players’ systems. Critics argue that once installed, Vanguard operates continuously, even when no game is active. While Riot acknowledges that the anti-cheat software loads a driver upon boot, it asserts that the driver only engages during gameplay. Additionally, the company emphasizes that Vanguard does not necessitate SecureBoot.

Moreover, Riot appears unconcerned about false positives. While players can appeal their bans, the company believes that most who do are either lying, paid a boosting service to cheat, or have malware that Vanguard detected.

Complaints have also arisen regarding the new TPM 2.0 requirement for Windows 11 users. While Windows 11 itself technically mandates TPM 2.0, workarounds exist to bypass it. Nevertheless, Riot has stated that less than one percent of League of Legends players on Windows 11 have circumvented the CPU security requirement, deeming it a minor issue. Furthermore, implementing this functionality enables Riot to ban not only accounts but also CPUs upon detecting fraudulent behavior.

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Unfortunately, Riot can’t assist users running the game on Linux via Wine, as it doesn’t support the new anti-cheat requirements. Although League of Legends technically isn’t designed for Linux, the company may consider porting the game in the future. Meanwhile, macOS players are not required to install Vanguard, as cheating on that OS hasn’t reached a severity level that warrants it. Riot’s documentation and FAQs address several other topics related to the issue, such as alternate anti-cheat methods and screenshotting.

According to Anti-Cheat Police reports, Vanguard has significantly impacted cheating in League of Legends. Scripts like Elysium, Oasys, and Zeitgeist are planning to cease development.

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