How to Fix Error Code: VAN 81 in Valorant?

One of the most common errors encountered by Valorant players is the VAN 81 error, which prevents the player from being able to launch the game.

How to Fix VAN-81 Error in Valorant

Like other VAN errors in Valorant, the VAN 81 error provides no details about its cause. It only tells you that “Valorant has encountered a connection error. Please relaunch the client to reconnect.” 

After some testing, we’ve figured out the main causes of the VAN 81 error, which we’ve listed below:

  • Internet Issues: Many VAN errors in Valorant seem related to the player’s internet connection. 
  • Run Valorant as Administrator: When a program is not run as an administrator, it does not obtain the necessary privileges required to function properly.
  • Vanguard not Initialized: The anti-cheat software of Valorant, named Vanguard, must always be kept open for Valorant to run. If Vanguard is not initialized or there are some problems happening with it, it is usually the main cause of VAN errors in Valorant.
  • Antivirus Interference: Your Antivirus software and/or Windows Firewall may interfere with Vanguard, preventing it from working as intended. This can cause all errors in Valorant, including the VAN 81 error.

1. Restart your Router

Several factors can cause VAN errors in Valorant, but many of these are usually related to the user’s internet connection. Therefore, a simple fix for most of these VAN errors is to restart your router. 

Close the Riot Client, turn off your router and wait a minute before turning the router back on. Once your internet is back online, open up the Riot client again and try launching Valorant. There’s a high chance that this will make the VAN 81 error go away.

If the error is still occurring, don’t worry; we’ve listed more solutions below.

2. Run Valorant as Administrator

For Vanguard to function as intended, you must launch Valorant with administrator rights. If you don’t launch the game as an administrator, you won’t be granting it the privileges it needs for Vanguard to work.

And if Vanguard doesn’t work, you’ll face different types of errors when you try to launch Valorant.

So to run Valorant as an administrator, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Go to your Desktop.
  2. Locate the shortcut for Valorant.
  3. Right-click on Valorant and select Properties.

    Opening Valorant Properties
  4. Navigate to the Compatability tab in the Properties window.
  5. Put a checkmark next to “Run as Administrator.”
  6. Click Apply and then OK.
    Running Valorant as Administrator
  7. Launch Valorant.

Valorant will launch with administrative rights, which should fix the VAN 81 error. 

3. Start the VGC Service

Most common cause of the VAN errors in Valorant is the game’s anti-cheat software, Vanguard. For Valorant to be able to run, Vanguard must be open and active at all times. 

When you download Valorant, Vanguard installs itself in the core of your system, also known as the Kernel. Every time you open your computer, Vanguard launches itself automatically.

But sometimes, Vanguard can run into issues such as Error Code 128 that can prevent it from working properly. And since Valorant requires Vanguard to be open, this causes errors in the game – usually VAN errors.

So the next step in fixing the VAN 81 error in Valorant is to manually initialize Vanguard by starting the vgc service. 

Follow the steps listed below to start the vgc service:

  1. Press Windows Key + X simultaneously and open Task Manager.

    Opening Task Manager
  2. Navigate to the Details tab.
  3. Close all instances of Valorant and Riot Client if there are any open.
  4. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialogue box.
  5. Type services.msc in the search bar and press enter.
    Opening Services
  6. Scroll down in the list of services until you find one named vgc.

    Finding the vgc service
  7. Right-click on vgc and select Properties.
  8. Change the Startup type to Automatic.
  9. Click on Start to launch the service.
  10. Click Apply and then click OK.
    Starting the vgc service

After following these steps, launch Valorant and see if the VAN 81 error went away. 

For some users, starting Vanguard in this way causes the following error message to appear: “Windows could not start the vgc service on Local Computer. Error 1: Incorrect function” 

If you’re encountering this error, there’s no need to be alarmed, as it can be fixed by simply reinstalling Vanguard and running a few commands. 

To fix the Incorrect Function error, follow the steps we’ve listed below:

  1. Open File Explorer and click on This PC.
  2. Click on Local Disk (C:) > Program Files > Riot Vanguard.

    Opening Local Disk (C:)
    Opening Program Files
    Opening Riot Vanguard folder
  3. Click on the uninstall.exe file to uninstall Vanguard.
    Uninstalling Vanguard
  4. Press Windows Key, type cmd, and run Command Prompt as administrator.
    Opening Command Prompt
  5. Type the following command in Command Prompt and press enter
    bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF
    Entering the first command
  6. After that, type the following command in Command and press enter again.
    Entering the second command
  7. Press Windows Key + R to open the Run dialogue box.
  8. Type temp and press enter.
    Opening the temp folder
  9. Delete all the files from the temp folder.
    Deleting files from temp folder
  10. Open the Run dialogue box again, type %temp%, and press enter.
  11. Delete all the files from the %temp% folder.
    Deleting files from the %temp% folder
  12. Open the Run dialogue box again, type prefetch, and press enter.
  13. Delete all the files from the prefetch folder and press enter. 
    Deleting files from the prefetch folder

After uninstalling Vanguard, running the commands, and clearing the cache, launch Valorant.

The game’s launcher will start verifying the integrity of the game files. After it completes its verification, it will automatically reinstall Vanguard. Once Vanguard is reinstalled, restart your PC

Once your PC is booted up, start the vgc service by following the method listed above once again. Error 1: Incorrect function should now go away.

If the VAN 81 error isn’t fixed, then there’s another way to ensure that the vgc service is initialized. For this method, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Press Windows Key + R simultaneously to open the Run dialogue box.
  2. Type msconfig and press enter.
    Opening Windows System Configuration
  3. In the System Configuration Window, navigate to the Services tab.
  4. Click on “Hide all Microsoft services” at the bottom left. 
  5. Scroll down in the list of services until you find vgc.
  6. Put a checkmark on the box next to vgc and click Apply.

    Enabling vgc from System Configuration
  7. Launch Valorant.

After all these steps, you’ve ensured there’s no problem with Vanguard itself. The VAN 81 error will now likely be fixed.

4. Disable Antivirus 

After fixing Vanguard, if the Van 81 error still hasn’t gone away for you, then your Antivirus software is likely the cause of the problem.

Antivirus programs often mistakenly flag trusted programs as a threat to your PC. When this happens, these programs become unable to perform their necessary functions. This results in several errors. 

To prevent this, you must disable your Antivirus software before launching Valorant. To easily disable your Antivirus software, follow the steps listed below:

  1. Press Windows Key, type Windows Security, and press enter.
    Opening Windows Security
  2. Click Virus & Threat Protection (on the left) in the Windows Security menu.
  3. Select the “Open App” option to open your Antivirus program.
    Disabling Antivirus

Once your Antivirus program is opened, you can navigate to its settings menu and temporarily disable it. Just make sure to turn the Antivirus back on after you’re done playing Valorant.

5. Add an Exception for Valorant in Windows Firewall

The Windows Firewall is a native Windows software that acts as another line of defense against potentially dangerous programs.

But just like the Antivirus, the Windows Firewall is also quite unreliable when flagging actual threats. It has a tendency to block trusted programs even if they’re of no harm to your system.

So you have to ensure that your Windows Firewall is not interfering with the Riot Client. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key, type Windows Security, and press enter. 
    Opening Windows Security
  2. Click Firewall & network protection (on the left) in the Windows Security menu.
  3. Select the “Allow an app through firewall” option. 
    Opening Firewall Settings
  4. Scroll down in the list of items until you find Riot Client.
  5. Put a checkmark next to the Riot Client to allow it through the Windows Firewall.
    Allowing Riot Client through Windows Firewall

If you have a third-party firewall installed, make sure to add an exception for the Riot Client in its menu as well. After adding these exceptions, launch Valorant and see if the error has been fixed.

6. Try Using a VPN

Since VAN errors are usually caused by connectivity issues, using a VPN can potentially fix the VAN 81 error.

If you don’t know already, the general use of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) is to change your location virtually. This software does so by changing your IP Address, which can fix different types of connectivity issues. 

If you don’t have a VPN downloaded, take a look at our best VPNs list for gaming and download a VPN of your choice.

After installing the VPN, close Valorant and launch the VPN, connect the VPN to either a Canadian or German server, then relaunch Valorant. The game should now launch without facing any errors. 

7. Reinstall Valorant

If none of the solutions listed above have worked for you, then the cause of the VAN 81 error must be some corrupted or missing game files. And since there’s no native option within the Valorant launcher to verify the integrity of its game files, you’ll need to reinstall Valorant to fix these files.

To reinstall Valorant, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key and type Settings in the Search Bar.
  2. Press enter to open Windows Settings.
    Opening Settings
  3. Click on Apps.
    Opening the Apps menu
  4. In the search bar, type Valorant.
  5. Click on Valorant and select Uninstall.

    Uninstalling Valorant

Once Valorant has finished uninstalling, you can reinstall it by going to the official Valorant download page. The reinstall should not take long as Valorant has a very small download size. Once Valorant has finished installing, restart your PC to initiate Vanguard and launch the game. 

Zubyan Gul
Zubyan is a Professional PC Gamer and a Systems Analyst. He has written numerous batch scripts for task automation to make his and others life easier.

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How to Fix Error Code: VAN 81 in Valorant?

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