Riot to Record Valorant Voice Chat to Combat Toxicity

Just in case you missed it, Riot Games will begin recording the voice chat in their free-to-play hero shooter, Valorant, as part of their ongoing efforts to help fight against toxicity inside the game.

Only time will tell if Riot's latest efforts will help curb toxicity in Valorant.

What Does It Mean for Riot to Record Valorant Voice Chat?

Nearly a year after it first launched in June 2020, Valorant is shaping up to be just as good as advertised if not better.

The League of Legends developer released a letter to all of its players on Friday announcing its latest move in its attempt to combat toxic behavior. Surprisingly enough, the policy change doesn't apply to all Riot games even though it should technically apply to League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics, among others, as well. Instead, Riot will only record and review voice chats in Valorant for now.

But, what does this exactly mean?

Riot clarified this change via the Q&A section of its updated privacy policy, where Riot confirmed that they won't actively listen in on the voice chat in Valorant games. Rather, going forward, Riot will only review voice chat recordings whenever players report "disruptive voice behavior". Riot also added that the only way to avoid having your voice chats in Valorant recorded is to turn it off.

As per their privacy policy update, Riot Games wants all of their games to feel "safe and inclusive for everyone who chooses to play them." Riot also acknowledged the growing concern for players to use the game's voice chat to disrupt games and this is part of their effort to address the problem. Riot adds that this doing this is necessary to "take action against players who use voice comms to harass others, use hate speech, or otherwise disrupt your experience."

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Once again, we'll clarify what Riot Games wants to tell you; this doesn't give Riot free reigns to record and listen in on all your conversations in Valorant. The only time that Riot will step in, record and review, is whenever an abuse report is submitted. In addition to this, Riot will not keep the recordings indefinitely. Riot assures players that it will delete all recordings after, similar to what they do with text-based reports.

Will Other Developers Follow Suit?

If its decision to record the Valorant voice chat is a success, Riot Games could do the same thing to League of Legends.

Toxicity isn't a unique problem to Valorant. In fact, Riot Games should be very familiar with toxicity in video games at this point. League of Legends is widely regarded as one of the most toxic video game communities in the world. However, it makes sense that Riot Games starts with Valorant. Combating sexism, racism, and harassment in a video game that's more than a decade old will be a huge undertaking. On the other hand, Valorant is only a few months old, so the issue is not as deeply embedded in its community just yet.

It's worth noting that Sony did the same thing in 2020. The main difference was that the feature was unannounced. As a result, Sony faced heavy backlash from the community as players worried about their privacy and if the change meant that Sony could monitor voice chat any time they wanted. Sony later clarified that it will only check voice chat records whenever a player files a complaint.

With that said, it will be interesting to see how Riot Games' decision to record voice chat in Valorant will pan out.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is based in the Philippines. He is a lifelong gamer and a PC hardware enthusiast. He builds and repairs laptops and computers for friends and family in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.