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The fight against in-game toxicity

At the end of last year, the developers at Riot Games took some time to tell us that they were firmly committed to fighting AFK. In a new article published recently, they now make it clear that their fight also concerns the toxicity of players in the game, both verbally and in writing.

How to combat toxicity in Valorant?

In many online games, player toxicity is something that is well known and very painful for many people. Valorant is no exception and also has its share of ragers. This is something the game developers are well aware of and hope to combat effectively over the coming months.

So far they have focused on the reports sent by players and created a communication score. This means that a very toxic person who is often reported will have a low score and will be punished more severely. Similarly, a player who uses language that does not conform to the Valorant rules will be heavily punished.

Recently, you may have seen that a list of hidden words has been implemented in the game. The principle is simple: you can add to this list all the words you do not want to see during your games. The developers strongly encourage the community to use it, as the words in these lists will be used to improve the game's automatic detection.

The results obtained

In order to limit bad behaviour in a game, the developers have decided to implement what they call mic cuts. A player who is verbally or textually abusive can find himself deprived of voice and text chat. This is the most applied sanction, since in January alone it affected 411,300 players.

Communication restrictions 2021

For written toxicity, this sanction is applied as soon as a player writes a word considered abusive by the game teams. For oral toxicity, it is sanctioned if a player is repeatedly reported by different people and in different games. This system is not perfect, but Riot Games has assured that they are currently working on improving it.

Beyond these restrictions, more severe sanctions may be applied, including temporary banishment, ranging from a few days to one year. This period is determined according to the seriousness of the offence, but also according to the repetition of bad behaviour. A player who has already been sanctioned and who re-offends will suffer a heavier penalty than the previous time, and so on. In January, were concerned 41,170 players.

Bans from the game in 2021

Following the sharing of this data, the game's teams were keen to point out that toxicity had not particularly decreased in the game despite the actions put in place. So they intend to work even harder in 2022 to find new solutions and make Valorant a healthy and pleasant place for everyone.

The changes announced

In the coming year, the developers want to increase the severity of the penalties but also their progression, so that they can deal with reported bad behaviour more quickly. Furthermore, at present, a person who is toxic in writing is only punished at the end of a game. The Valorant teams are currently working on a way to ensure that the penalty is applied as soon as the word is written in the chat.

No solution has yet been found to quickly moderate voice communications. However, the developers' intention is that they will no longer need to rely on numerous reports from players in order to sanction someone. However, last year, Riot changed its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service to allow for the recording and listening of voice communications between players in the event that a player is reported during a game. This system is currently still in the testing phase and the beta will be rolled out in North America later this year. Once it is sufficiently operational, it will be rolled out worldwide.

Finally, Riot Games strongly urges their community to use the systems already in the game, while waiting for new sanctioning solutions to emerge. Use the hidden word list, the reports, and help make Valorant a better game.