The “Vanguard Anti-cheat has encountered an error” error message appears when you are trying to open up the game. Whenever you launch the game, Vanguard is launched automatically in the background. However, since Vanguard is required to keep the game integrity of competitive gameplay, the game won’t start when the anti-cheat software is not running properly in the background.
The error message in question indicates that some process on your system is interfering with it. As a result, the anti-cheat software is not able to start properly. Anti-cheat software works by scanning your system for any sorts of hacks or any other malicious files that might put the integrity of the game at risk. Thus, it can pretty easily trigger a false positive on your system especially if you have third-party antivirus software installed on your system that helps keep your computer clean. Nonetheless, before we get into the solutions to this issue, let us understand the potential causes of the issue in question. However, keep in mind that the reasons are not limited to the ones listed below, but rather they are just a part of it.
- Windows Defender Firewall — First, one of the main reasons this error message might get triggered is due to the Windows Defender Firewall. This happens when the incoming or outgoing requests received or sent by the Vanguard service are blocked by the Windows Defender Firewall as a precautionary step to keep your system clean. In such a scenario, we’ll have to simply allow Vanguard and the Valorant game through the Windows Firewall.
- Third-Party Antivirus — Another probable cause of the issue in question could be the antivirus software that you have on your system. This excludes the Windows Defender as that does not take the Vanguard service as harmful. Third-party antivirus software usually goes a step further and often triggers false alarms which can be the case here as well. Therefore, if you have third-party antivirus software installed, it might be the root cause of the issue.
Now that we have gone through the possible causes of the issue, let us discuss the various solutions that are available to you to get the issue resolved. So, without further ado, let’s get started.
Run the Game as an Administrator
As it turns out, the first thing that you should do when you face the said error message is to make sure that no background process is interfering with the Vanguard service. One way of doing this would be to run it with elevated permissions so that it can do what it wants without any issues.
If this does work out for you, you can edit the properties of the game to start as an administrator every time you launch the application. To launch the game with administrative privileges, do the following:
- Open up the Start Menu and search for Valorant.
- Once the result is shown, on the right-hand pane, click on the Run as an administrator option. This will start the app with administrative privileges.
- Now, if the game works fine and everything is working as expected, what you can do is search for Valorant again in the Start Menu and choose the Open File Location option. There, right-click on the Valorant shortcut and go to Properties.
- Then, on the Properties window, switch to the Compatibility tab and tick the Run this program as an administrator option.
- Finally, hit Apply and then click OK.
Allow Valorant and Vanguard Through Windows Defender Firewall
Windows Defender Firewall is responsible for allowing and denying incoming or outgoing requests made through your computer. If the Firewall is blocking the Vanguard service or the game itself from sending or receiving any requests, the anti-cheat software won’t be able to launch properly and thus an error is thrown. To overcome this, you will have to allow the Valorant and Vanguard services through the Windows Defender Firewall so that it doesn’t filter out any requests made by them. To do this, follow the instructions down below:
- First of all, open up the Start Menu by pressing the Windows key, then search for Windows Defender Firewall and open it up.
- Once the Windows Defender Firewall window is open, click on the Allow an app or feature through the Windows Defender Firewall option at the left-hand side.
- There, click on the Change Settings button to be able to add another app to the whitelist.
- Then, click on the Allow another app button. On the new window, click the Browse button.
- Make your way to the installation directory of Valorant and there open up the Valorant.exe file.
- Click the Add button to add the application to the whitelist. Make sure to tick both the Private and Public tick boxes in front of it.
- After that, click on the Allow another app button again and then click Browse as we need to allow the Vanguard application through the firewall now.
- Make your way to C:\Program Files\Riot Vanguard\vgc.exe and open it up. Click the Add button and tick both the Public and Private checkboxes.
- Finally, we also need to do the same thing for Riot Client Services. For this, repeat the same process. You will find the required executable file inside the Riot Client folder that resides in the installation directory. Don’t forget to check both the boxes after adding them.
- Once you have done all of that, click the OK button at the bottom of the Windows Defender Firewall window.
- Finally, try opening up Valorant again to see if the issue is still there.
Disable Third-Party Antivirus
Antivirus software is known for often causing various issues with games. Since an anti-cheat checks your system for any unwanted files that might give you an unfair advantage in the game over the other players, they can be often blocked by the third-party antivirus software on your system and considered harmful. The default Windows Defender that is shipped with Windows 10 does not cause such issues as it does a fine job of filtering such applications out. Thus, if you have any third-party antivirus software installed on your system, you should try disabling it and then giving the game a shot.
In case Vanguard starts properly with the antivirus software disabled, it’ll become obvious that the issue was caused by your antivirus. In such a scenario, if you wish to continue using antivirus software, you can simply whitelist the Vanguard process.
Disable Intel Virtualization Technology
As it turns out, the issue for some users was caused by the Intel Virtualization Technology that is primarily used for virtual machines and other virtualization purposes. If you have an Intel processor and the above solutions do not work out for you, then, you will have to disable the Intel Virtualization Technology from your BIOS configuration. The process of disabling this may differ slightly depending on your motherboard’s manufacturer. However, a simple search on Google should help you get going.