LoL cheaters, beware: Riot introduces ‘first ever Hardware ID bans’

It’s an awful time to be a cheater in League of Legends, as Riot is finally pulling out the big guns and imposing its “first ever Hardware ID bans” to deal with the increasing number of cheaters in high-Elo games.

“Now that Vanguard has had a bit of time to roll out, we’re starting to target more cheats that we weren’t able to action on in the past,” the League developers said today on X (formerly known as Twitter), reflecting on the developers’ intention to address the cheating issue in the game. “These new waves also will come with League’s first ever Hardware ID bans, increasing the action weight against cheaters.” Riot further highlighted their ongoing efforts to ban cheaters’ hardware, which should prevent the offending parties from playing the game on the same computer.

Riot Games' League of Legends cheaters banned data which shows rising number of players getting burned.
With hardware bans, the number is shooting up! Image via Riot Games

Riot’s current data indicates the developer already started rolling out hardware bans on May 15, which forms the second highest form of ban after the Vanguard bans in the game. This strict measure comes after the developers’ data on April 11 showed 10 percent of the game’s Elo games have had cheaters. These are mainly the higher ranks like Master, Grandmaster, and many more, showcasing the rampant increase of cheaters in competitive matches. 

Vanguard is Riot Games’ kernel-level anti-cheat program, which operates in the background while you play your favorite Riot titles. VALORANT has already been using the system to ban cheaters since 2020, which was a huge success. 

It’s not all praises for League’s anti-cheat. Moments after going live, several players on Reddit and Facebook reported it was “bricking” their PCs and leading to several complications. Later, the developers on Reddit responded to the queries publicly by saying they “have not confirmed any instances of Vanguard bricking anyone’s hardware.”

Nobody likes their hard-earned matches to be ruined by a cheater with no skills. Traditionally, cheaters would hop from one account to another after being banned, continuing to be a menace in online games. However, the hardware bans seriously discourage players from attempting this malicious cycle by way of severe repercussions—directly banning their system. It will be interesting to see if the direct hardware bans remain effective without affecting other gamers’ PCs and maintain competitive integrity among players. 

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