Valorant didn’t just break my PC, it broke me

Jet from Valorant lies face down after a humiliating defeat

Screenshot: Riot Games/Kotaku

I love shooters about as much as I love taquitos from 7/11, which is to say that on far too many occasions I walk out of such a store at 3am with…several of them…and a can of Monster Energy, on my way home to play Hello or Siege or one of my shooters. Well, about a week ago I decided that the match of the night was going to be the Riots Valorant. Little did I know that I was actually headed for a new CPU and graphics card because, well, maybe Valorant‘s strict security/anti-cheat requirements bricked my computer. It remains a mystery and the story would end there. Except it did‘t. With a repaired (?) computer, problems with ValorantThe installation actually pushed me to go outside and touch grass.

Valorant is a team-based shooter from Riot Games of League of Legends fame. It’s sort of what you’d get if you mixed up Valve’s CSGO and Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch, with tactical gameplay, specific “hero roles” and objective-based rounds. Released in 2020 for PC, one of the newer talking points Valorantrequirements for computers running Windows 11. Just like the operating system itself, Valorant requires a TPM chip and you must have secure boot enabled. This has not been without criticism and has certainly caused problems for many people.

A TPM requirement is not completely absurd. For those who aren’t aware, a TPM or “Trusted Platform Module” does a whole bunch of things to ensure that a given computer has a unique identity and can’t be tampered with. Valorant asks that you have this when running Windows 11, but it seems like a pretty intense requirement for something that most games don’t need to weed out cheaters and bad actors.

For console gamers reading this, you’re probably saying “this is why I don’t have a gaming PC,” and, yes, my situation and that of the countless PC gamers who type in “Valorant TPM fix” in Google definitely highlights a critical difference: Sometimes, no matter how great your PC is, you either end up with tech support or you go looking for it.

The mystery of Valorant sending my prebuilt PC to Microcenter for warranty repair is still weird. First I installed the game. It warned me that the game wouldn’t run because I didn’t have TPM or secure boot enabled. It made no sense as the operating system I use, Windows 11, requires that exact condition to run. So I uninstalled, thought I’d try later.

Well, I tried later. After a mandatory restart from the installation Valorant, I started my computer to find that I could not connect to the internet. Yes, I checked my router and other devices were working just fine. It seemed that this machine just didn’t have working network capabilities anymore. Tidy!

Given that it was a pre-built I bought rather than a parts upgrade, thanks to GPU prices late last year, I took the machine back to Microcenter for repair and within a couple of days had a machine with a new CPU and GPU. They were clearly the culprits.

After a solid week of intensive gaming on this machine, it seemed safe. That was until I tried to install Valorant again.

I chose to install the game via the Epic Games Launcher this time. Seemed to make sense. I don’t care about the particular storefront or game manager, but in 2022 I see no reason why downloading a video game from the Epic Games store shouldn’t work. And good, Valorant installed and ran just fine!

It was a quiet, lingering moment of anxiety and misery as I entered my first match Valorant where I succeeded with a single kill and probably cost the team the match. I would have more impressions of the game itself…were it not for the fact that in Valorant it’s not uncommon for a fight to go for, oh, i don’t know, 25 freaking rounds? Best of 13? Why?

I’m unpacking Valoranthis playing another time. I actually think I can get into it. I took some footage of my single kill and went to upload it to Dropbox to access it on my work computer and. We will. I was told I couldn’t do it. Apparently my C drive on Windows was maxed out. Remember, this computer has a handful of Steam games, a fresh install of Windows 11 after it died, and a smattering of files that shouldn’t take up more than 5GB at most. This shouldn’t be a problem.

A little panic set in. What if there really was something wrong with the motherboard on this thing and it’s not reading the storage correctly? What if there is a problem with the drive? Did I leave the screen recording overnight or something?

I frantically checked every storage need I could think of and then found my problem in the control panel. It was Valorant.

Valorant recorded 2.19 terabytes.

Now either Riot has discovered some super, quantum, string theory physics magic and figured out how to extract terabytes from a single 930GB solid state drive, or something is very, very wrong.

A screenshot of a computer program shows that Valorant takes up 2.68 TB of storage space.

Screenshot: Kotaku

Easy fix, you’re probably saying to yourself right now. Right click and uninstall! Well, I did.

Valorant now takes up about 3.44 terabytes.

A quick Google search of this issue reveals that this is indeed an ongoing issue. Sometimes the launcher doesn’t think there’s enough room to update the game. Others take to Reddit to talk about the unforgivably large size it takes up. As far back as two years ago, people started asking into the heyday of Reddit”Does anyone else have a 3.42 (TERRABYTE) Valorant on their computer?“Some sanity has been restored knowing I’m not the only one.

A thread on the Linus Tech Tips forum reveals some insight, with user Helpful Tech Witch saying that “this is a known issue.” It turns out that “Windows will just keep counting Valorantthe folder size over and over again, she explains.

However, said forum post is marked 27 June 2021. We are now in August 2022.

The game won’t uninstall from the control panel, and in my slightly confused, slightly annoyed, definitely stressed state, I couldn’t find an uninstall option in Riot’s game launcher (which installs regardless of whether you use the Epic Games Store or not.) It might be there, but I will tell you that it is not conveniently located where it should be. You cannot right click on Valorant and press uninstall. You can’t go to a “My Games” section and look for an uninstall button. It’s not there.

Kotaku has contacted Riot Games for comment Valorant‘s installation requirements and complications.

Maybe even if it’s just the stress of worrying about another potential hardware problem on this computer, or it’s the fatigue of going through 23 damn matches of a game I just wanted to try out.

Whatever happens, I couldn’t uninstall Valorant and instead I found myself back at the 7/11, this time not buying taquitos, but instead a Gatorade to replenish the lost electrolytes from the brain ache this game has given me. Silence now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.