Penalties and Bans FAQ

We hold our Agents to the highest standards and expect you all to be on your best behavior. This means staying in the game and giving it your best shot. Going AFK, queue dodging, or committing friendly fire not only damages your team's chances of winning, but puts you in line to face the consequences.

AFK? Queue Dodging? Friendly Fire? What do those even mean?

AFK is short for Away From Keyboard, meaning the player is either not at their computer or are behaving like they aren't there by not moving their Agent or communicating. Simply put, a person is considered AFK if they're on the field but not participating in the match, putting their team at a disadvantage.

Queue dodging is when a player leaves the Agent select screen by disconnecting from the server, causing their team to be down a member when the match begins.

Friendly fire happens when a player injures or kills a teammate using their Agent's ability.

How are these infractions detected?

Sorry, Agent, but that information is only available on a need-to-know basis—and what you need to know is that those systems are in place for your protection! Planting the Spike under a hail of enemy fire is challenging enough without worrying about friendly fire or your teammates disappearing mid-match. That is why we have dedicated systems to detect AFKs, queue dodging, and friendly fire—to hopefully reduce the number of Agents who decide to go rogue.

What penalties do players face for bad behavior?

If we detect that you're purposefully giving your team a hard time, you may be kicked from the match to prevent opportunistic enemies from taking advantage of your misconduct.

AFK behavior, queue dodging, and friendly fire are highly discouraged—we expect our Agents to work together, win or lose. To that end, we have a variety of penalties in place based on the offense and the Agent's behavior history.

Penalty Details Duration
Warnings Tells you that you have triggered our AFK/Queue Dodging system. Further violations can result in harsher penalties. n/a
XP denial You will be denied any XP earned in the match that triggered this penalty. 1 match
Rank rating deduction If you AFK or queue dodge in a competitive match, you will lose 8–12 RR points, potentially pushing over the -30 RR loss barrier (indicated on the post-match results screen). 1 match
Queue restriction timer You won't be able to join a non-custom game until the timer shown runs out. 3–240 min
Ranked restriction timer You won't be able to queue in ranked matches until the timer shown runs out. 7–14 days
VALORANT game ban You won't be able to play VALORANT until the date and time shown. 7 days–permanent

 

Whoa, whoa, whoa, I don't wanna get banned! How do you determine which penalty to apply?

Don't worry, Agent. As I said before, our systems are in place to protect, not punish. That's why game bans are reserved for repeat offenders who have ignored prior warnings and penalties. If you have a clean (or mostly clean) record, you're unlikely to face much—if any—punishment. The easiest way to avoid any penalties at all is to stay in the game and aim for the enemy.

My friend and I both went AFK in the same game, but I got a harsher penalty! What gives?!

Penalties are less about singular violations and more about the sum of your history as an Agent. That's why even small infractions can add up over time to a harsher penalty. So if you're receiving harsher penalties than your friend, it is likely because you have a history of said behavior.

How do penalties escalate?

Penalties are applied in response to the severity of the offense, so you won't necessarily receive every penalty in order. In fact, you may even receive the same penalty multiple times. For example, an Agent may be given the XP denial penalty 3 times, never receive a queue timer as a penalty, and be given a 28-day ban without ever receiving a 7-day ban. It all depends on the Agent's behavior history and their offenses.

I received two penalties at the same time! Is that a glitch?

No glitch here! Since we monitor infractions based on both severity and frequency, it's possible to incur multiple penalties at once. For example, your rank can be reduced and you can be denied XP at the same time.

I'm still getting used to my favorite Agent's abilities. I’m not purposefully targeting my teammates!

That’s okay! If you accidentally do some minor damage to allies during a match (and don’t have a history of bad behavior), you’ll at most receive a warning or light penalty (or maybe just annoy your buddies). If you start going after your teammates, however, you’ll be harshly penalized.

My connection's bad, and I'm having hardware issues. It's not on purpose, I swear!

A faulty router or connection can be extremely frustrating, especially when you're trying to queue up. Fortunately, our systems are implemented to prevent occasional tech and connection issues from being severely punished, if at all. And if your disconnections were due to a server issue on our end, we’ll forgive any AFK or queue dodge penalties incurred while the issue was live. The only Agents who will receive harsher penalties, such as game bans, are those who consistently go AFK, queue dodge, or otherwise show a history of bad behavior.

If you find yourself with consistent connection issues, /submit a ticket so we can help prevent your next AFK and keep you in the game. And I hate to say it, but you may want to sit out until your connection stabilizes. Not only will this prevent you from being penalized, but your squad will thank you.

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