3 Billion Player Reports: Riot Drowns In Toxicity

Riot Games has been growing rapidly in recent times. With more games, come more players and a varied player base, which could also mean more toxicity, but is Riot drowning in it all?

Poro Report
So many reports for poor little Poro to go though... | © Riot Games

Riot Games has expanded over the last few years, growing into a company with multiple IPs. In a recent post, it has been revealed that in 2021 alone, Riot received over 3 billion player reports. That's an insanely big number that you probably can't even envision. Well, to make it a bit clearer, Riot stated that over 240 million reports against other players were made each month alone.

Now, with games like VALORANT and League of Legends under their belt, it is no surprise to find out that players are toxic. Both these games are competitive and players want to rank up in the ladder, so having someone play badly, means that you'll likely report them after the game for feeding. Emotions run high, and those emotions often turn into toxicity which in turn ends up in players reporting one another.

Does Riot Look Into Every Player Report?

No, Riot cannot look into every single report personally. In the same post it was explained that even if every person working at Riot were to spend the entire year on this, they'd still have to go through six reports every minute. That's just impossible.

It is also important to note that 95% of reports are for players who are rarely disruptive and are either having a bad day or a bad game. Therefore, these players who are feeding, could just be having a bad set of games, tilted and hoping for that final victory without meaning to feed the opposition.

Okay, but seriously, how toxic will Project L really be?

It was also noted that penalties do work. According to the data from 2021 players who received a penalty, less than 10% received a second penalty within the calendar year. This means that reports and penalties do have an effect on the game and should make playing more bearable.

What Behaviour Does Riot Evaluate?

Riot has multiple algorithms in place which seek out behavioural issues and which can then flag players behaviour after a match when a report has been issued.

Communication is one of the key factors in all of the games Riot has released. Riot evaluates the ways people communicate, either through text chat or even by evaluation voice chat as well. This is the easiest to monitor, since there is hard evidence that can be looked into. Voice evaluation is still a work in progress, with Riot working on developing an automatic voice evaluation system.

In-game behaviour like running it down and feeding are harder for Riot to interpret though, since the AI will have to look into a player's history, whether they've done this multiple times over a long period of time or just having a bad day or set of games. Therefore, Riot is working on improving their credibility driven report evaluation

With this system, they'll be able to detect outliers who have received significantly more reports than the average player base.

Expanding requires careful investigation of reporting habits and conservative tuning to avoid unjustly penalizing players. However, we have had great results so far and expect this will be valuable in identifying high-impact, but hard to detect, disruption such as intentional feeding.

In a recent League of Legends behavioural system blog, it was also stated that Riot is looking to implement real-time evaluations and reporting systems into the game. They elaborate that having a system in place which warns a player of their own behaviour could be beneficial to stop them before they even get toxic.

Also, Riot is putting more effort into rewarding those players that aren't toxic, incentivizing them to be better players by giving them unique skins, chromas and other gifts. Whether these will help and change the way we honor and enable players is yet to be determined though.

Does Riot Have A Toxicity Problem?

League of Legends, VALORANT and Wild Rift are all pretty competitive games. The environment brings out the worst in some players who will do anything and everything to win. This will also lead to a multitude of wrong reports though from players who might deem some behaviour as disruptive. So, there is an issue with the amount of reports made, but Riot is actively working on expanding their evaluation systems.

Toxicity can hardly be removed from the games. So yes, Riot is drowning in toxicity, but they're working on trying to find the right balance between reports, reality and penalties. Will we see an improvement in player behaviour though? That's the real question.