With the Valorant Episode 6 patch going live, Riot Games announced that the game would no longer be compatible with Windows 7. Although this change wasn’t mentioned in the patch notes, developers cut compatibility with systems older than Windows 10 to combat cheating. This change was likely made discreetly to avoid alerting cheaters.
The new patch has also ushered in a ton of new content. While Lotus and the new skin bundles will still be the highlight of Episode 6, there is a fresh Battle Pass and refreshed ranks.
A prominent data miner in the Valorant community initially brought this to light on Twitter. They noticed that the new patch made the game unplayable on Windows 7. This caught the community by surprise as the information was missing from the patch notes.
In November 2022, developers stopped game compatibility on Windows 10 systems that weren’t fully compatible with Riot Vanguard, the anti-cheat software. Users were able to make minor tweaks to achieve full compliance.
Windows 7 being relegated likely meant there was no way to make the anti-cheat function properly. That would justify the change as Vanguard’s importance grows proportionate to the title’s audience.
Vanguard has been particularly useful in the competitive mode where hacks and cheats are common. A game overrun by cheaters will likely lose its dedicated audience looking for healthy gameplay.
Valorant has successfully fostered a wholesome environment thanks to its efficient anti-cheat system. It is no surprise that professional players are switching to this title because of its relatively even playing field.
So far, there hasn’t been a reaction from the community since the patch recently went live. It remains to be seen how players of older systems will take the new directive.
However, Windows 7 is a fairly dated system. Every serious Valorant player should consider upgrading to maintain seamless gameplay. There is plenty of incentive to do so. The game has a new map with fresh locations to explore. Moreover, new skins and a fresh Battle Pass await all players.
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