Riot Games will begin monitoring “North American/English-only” voice communications in Valorant starting July 13 as it expands its efforts to reduce player toxicity and harassment in the popular first-person shooter.
“We know that before we even think about extending this tool, we will need to be convinced that it is effective,” Riot said in the statement. “And if errors do occur, we have systems in place to ensure that we can correct any false positives (or negatives for that matter).”
Since most games don’t monitor voice chats, it’s reasonable that some players are concerned that Riot is intruding on their privacy. However, once the feature goes into full effect in the future, the company says it will not “actively monitor” your voice communications. Instead, it will only search and replay your conversations in response to reported abuse on voice channels. Additionally, you will be notified if and when your voice logs are reviewed, at what point the data will be deleted, and whether or not you are receiving disciplinary action on your account.
While this might seem like a big step forward in the fight against hate speech and harassment, it’s not the first thing Riot has done to address player toxicity. It overhauled its penalty system for text-based offenses in 2021, then added the ability for players to add specific words to a muted word list earlier this year.
Valorant is now available for PC.