If you are experiencing a sudden onslaught of FPS drops in all of your games after downloading the Valorant, Riot’s new first-person shooter, we have a solution. Firstly the problem stems from the anti-cheat software that comes along with Valorant called the Vanguard. Riot went aboveboard when creating this anti-cheat system. It is pervasive and effective to squash any cheating. Seeing the increase in cheating in all games, such a system is necessary but not at the cost of lag in all games.
Riot’s Anti-Cheat software Vanguard is causing frame drops in all my games, including Valorant making them unplayable with the software installed. from r/VALORANT
Starts at a Driver Level
Redditor DophinWhacker started a thread yesterday reporting the kernel anti-cheat starts running with the boot. This led to a string of questions from Redditors about the nature of the anti-cheat system and its intended use. RiotArkem, the official Riot support was quick to respond though, they said “it doesn’t scan anything (unless the game is running), it’s designed to take up as few system resources as possible and it doesn’t communicate to our servers. You can remove it at any time.”
Then Redditor redredbeard then posted a video about how uninstalling Vanguard solved all the FPS issues with his game. Then RiotArkem asked them to submit a support ticket to get more information about the issue.
The easy solution would be to uninstall the driver. But you will have to restart your PC every time you want to play Valorant. RiotArkem explains why such a system is necessary in the new anti-cheat.
Vanguard contains a driver component called vgk.sys (similar to other anti-cheat systems), it’s the reason why a reboot is required after installing. Vanguard doesn’t consider the computer trusted unless the Vanguard driver is loaded at system startup (this part is less common for anti-cheat systems).
This is good for stopping cheaters because a common way to bypass anti-cheat systems is to load cheats before the anti-cheat system starts and either modify system components to contain the cheat or to have the cheat tamper with the anti-cheat system as it loads. Running the driver at system startup time makes this significantly more difficult.
So if you are focussing on other games, you are better off uninstalling Vanguard.