Graduated penalties for AFKs

Recently, Riot Games has been trying to clean up the servers of Valorant. While the fight against cheating and toxic behaviours continues, progress is being made in the fight against AFK players.

In case you don't know it, AFK players are the absent players (Away From Keyboard). Is considered AFK anyone who no longer plays their character, whether voluntarily or not. And unfortunately, Valorant meets with its share of players who leave the game at the slightest annoyance.

Systems of AFK players detection are already in place, but the penalties didn't seem sufficient dissuade these behaviours. This is why developers are tightening up their tools, as well as the penalties, especially in ranked games.

As far as detection is concerned, Riot Games doesn't want to reveal the details of its system. After all, knowing how the algorithm works could allow you to get around it. Anyway, the tool will soon be updated and will be able to cover the blind spots that remained until now.

Regarding the penalties, the whole system is being reviewed. Now, penalties will be graduated, depending on the severity or frequency of the absenteeism.

The penalties are:

  • In-game warnings
  • The loss of experience gained at the end of the game
  • A score penalty in ranked games (cf. Patch 2.03)
  • A limited access to game queues
  • A ban on playing ranked games and competitions
  • A pure and simple ban from Valorant

This last point is an extreme measure, reserved for those who will push the boundaries, even after receiving the previous penalties. Also note that the score penalty in ranked games will also apply to players who will leave a lobby during character selection.

The purpose of such a system is not to punish players who have connection issues or who have to be absent in an emergency. Being absent once or twice should therefore not lead to any sanction. But players who systematically leave games or who clearly announce it in game will have to work on their behaviour.

It's a system that does a lot of repression, but should nevertheless bear fruit. In other online games, we also see system that, conversely, encourage good behaviour. Maybe this will be the next step for Valorant, who knows?

Remember that when you leave a Valorant game, you put all your teammates in a delicate situation.