In Riot Games’ most recent report on VALORANT’s game system, the company boasted a decline in the rate of away from keyboard players by more than half over the last year. The report detailed the VALORANT team’s process, data and how the policies they implemented improved this system and overall game health.
Social and Player Dynamics team members @_bchangalang @npcSara go in-depth on our past and ongoing work to detect and mitigate AFK (Away From Keyboard) behavior. The first in an ongoing game systems health series.
See the data: https://t.co/YfGZ5Ru3xi pic.twitter.com/KKHDYfi2hi
— VALORANT (@VALORANT) December 16, 2021
In March of 2021, Riot delved into the AFK problem that plagues most shooter titles and set out a list of goals and procedures for penalties against players. The team specifically did not want to punish players who may have accidentally left the game, had an emergency or holds flank the entire game. According to the report, the team created an AFK rating for players that tracks the behavior across every game and dings players who commit the crime. Those players take in minor penalties at first and then incur harsher penalties, and a lower rating, the more they do the deed. Players with a high rating may only receive a warning because they have only left games twice in a year, and will not get overtly punished.
“Conversely, if a player rage quits every other game, they’ll quickly find themselves going from receiving a warning, to XP denials, to queue restrictions, and eventually banned from playing the game as their rating tanks,” the report said. “Throughout the process of escalating penalties, they’ll have multiple explanations of why we took action, and what behavior they need to change…in case they come crying.”
The report also went into how the VALORANT team hopes to continue to combat AFKs in the future by creating more elaborate detection tools and relying on community input. The team specifically shouted out VALORANT’s player base on reporting AFKs, as it has trended down recently, and called on them to provided feedback and question on how they can improve.