Valorant's "in-game voice communication" monitoring begins next month

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(Image credit: Riot Games)

We already knew that Riot Games had plans to record Valorant voice chat in a bid to combat toxicity, and now that time has arrived.

A year after Riot Games first made us aware of its intentions, the company posted a new blog post outlining the parameters of the voice evaluation system about to go live in North America.

Earlier this year, in an update to the studio's privacy policy, Riot confirmed it would review voice chat recordings "when disruptive voice behavior is reported" but promised it wouldn't actively eavesdrop on players' conversations. For those wanting to avoid the risk, however, they have to turn off voice chat completely.

"​​​​As part of a larger effort to combat disruptive behavior, Riot Games recently updated its Privacy Notice and Terms of Service to allow us to record and evaluate in-game voice communications when a report for that type of behavior is submitted - with the goal of kicking this off in Valorant first," Riot said in this most recent update. 

"We also mentioned that as a part of our current game systems that combat disruptive behavior, voice evaluation would provide a way to collect clear evidence that could verify any violations of behavioral policies before we can take any action. This would also help us share back to players why a particular action resulted in a penalty."

Consequently, from July 13, Riot will "begin a background launch of the voice evaluation system in North America/English-only to help train [its] language models and get the tech in a good enough place for a beta launch later this year".

This means that, for now, voice evaluation "will not be used for disruptive behavior reports" but just testing the voice evaluation system itself until a future beta - which will be used for disruptive behavior - goes live. 

"And we know that before we can even think of expanding this tool, we’ll have to be confident it’s effective, and if mistakes happen, we have systems in place to make sure we can correct any false positives (or negatives for that matter)," Riot added. 

"This is brand new tech and there will for sure be growing pains. But the promise of a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone who chooses to play is worth it."

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.