Appreciation requires more security functions under Windows 11. “/> enlarge / Vanguard protected titles such as Valorant require more security functions under Windows 11.
We already know that Windows 11 will officially need a TPM 2.0 module and Secure Boot support for installation when the OS releases on October 5th, but it looks like the anti-cheat software Vanguard by Riot will be Games also get into the fun. Users running Vanguard on Windows 11 systems have seen popups informing them that a TPM 2.0 module and Secure Boot support must be in place and enabled before Vanguard protected games like Valorant on a Windows 11 PC can be executed. PCGamer reports that these requirements don’t seem to apply to Windows 10 users, at least not yet (every Windows 10 system bought or built in the last five years usually includes TPM 2.0 and Secure Boot support, though either or both can be disabled by default).
Vanguard already stands out for its low-level access to your system – it uses a kernel-mode driver that starts when Windows boots, regardless of whether you’re playing a game that requires it or not. If you shut down Vanguard for any reason, you will need to restart Windows before you can start a protected game. Services like Easy Anti-Cheat also promote kernel-level protection.
These kernel-level services work better than anti-cheat services, which run in “user mode” with most of your other apps, but faulty or compromised kernel-level software can also potentially cause more instability and security problems. They’re not foolproof either; external hardware can still be used to bypass kernel-level anti-cheat software, and many online games rely on user reports to identify and ban cheaters.
Windows 11 can in some ways run on TPM-less systems if you have an older computer with no built-in TPM, or if you simply choose to use Windows with the TPM turned off. Vanguard is one of the first apps we know of that also requires a TPM on Windows 11 instead of just assuming the TPM is there because Windows 11 is running. In the past, TPMs were mainly used for security functions like BitLocker full disk encryption – important, but not something that makes a huge difference in how apps run on your PC every day. The new security requirements of Windows 11 will likely lead to even more software using the module, as programs can assume that it is present and activated on most Windows 11 PCs.