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AMD’s new anti-lag tech could land you with a ban in games

Following some angry posts on Reddit, Valve has confirmed that using AMD’s new Anti-Lag+ feature in Counter-Strike 2 can result in a ban. The official X/Twitter account for the game confirmed that AMD customers using Anti-Lag+ will be banned, as it tampers with the files of the game.

AMD's latest driver has made their "Anti-Lag/+" feature available for CS2, which is implemented by detouring engine dll functions.

If you are an AMD customer and play CS2, DO NOT ENABLE ANTI-LAG/+; any tampering with CS code will result in a VAC ban.

Once AMD ships an update we…

— CS2 (@CounterStrike) October 13, 2023

Anti-Lag+ is a feature available in AMD’s latest version of AMD Software. It’s a complement to AMD’s Fluid Motion Frames, and it functions as a driver-level feature to reduce latency in games on RX 7000 graphics cards like the RX 7900 XTX and RX 7800 XT.

The ban results from the fact that Anti-Lag+ manipulates DLL files in the game’s directory, according to VideoCardz. The driver in question is Adrenalin 23.10.1, which added support for Anti-Lag+ in Counter Strike 2, as well as game support for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Lords of the Fallen, and Forza Motorsport. The driver is no longer available to download at the time of publishing.

AMD has yet to comment on the situation. Counter Strike 2 is one of the games that utilizes AMD’s new HYPR-RX feature, which can enable Anti-Lag+ automatically. It’s possible players could be banned without even knowing they turned on the feature through HYPR-RX.

Valve, developer of Counter-Strike 2, says it will begin unbanning affected users once AMD has released a fix for the problem. There’s no saying how long that process will take, however, or if impacted users will actually have their accounts restored.

For AMD users playing Counter-Strike 2, we recommend avoiding the latest driver or rolling back to a previous version. For players on the latest driver, always ensure that Anti-Lag and Anti-Lag+ are turned off, both universally and for Counter-Strike 2 specifically. In addition, avoid using HYPR-RX in the game.

AMD will likely revoke the driver in short order, but we’ve never had a situation where a new piece of kit will result in accounts being banned from a widely popular game. The fact that there was no effort to avoid this situation is troubling, as there’s no guarantee that all impacted users will have their accounts restored. For now, it’s best to avoid Anti-Lag+ in any competitive titles, as it could throw up red flags to anti-cheat software.

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Jacob Roach
Senior Staff Writer, Computing
Jacob Roach is a writer covering computing and gaming at Digital Trends. After realizing Crysis wouldn't run on a laptop, he…
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