AMD's new anti-lag feature could mark you as a cheater in your favorite competitive shooter

best crossplay games: Horizon from Apex Legends slowly approaching a machine that glows with blue light
(Image credit: Electronic Arts)

If you’re in the online competitive shooter scene and own an AMD Radeon graphics card, you might want to turn off the AMD Anti-Lag+ feature exclusive to the Radeon RX 7000-series graphics card, as the results could be devastating. 

According to AMD, Anti-Lag+ is supposed to work by “applying frame alignment within the game code itself, allowing for a better frame syncing which leads to even lower latency and great gaming experiences.” And since AMD often makes some of the best graphics cards, this feature should have worked as expected.

However, it seems that having it enabled for the best AMD graphic cards will net you an automatic ban for several competitive shooters like Counter-Strike 2, Call of Duty, or Apex Legends. This is particularly nasty for CS2 since those bans are much more difficult to reverse, and even the developers warned players to have the feature turned off when playing.

TechRadar reached out to AMD for comment and will update this story once we’ve received a statement.

Why is this happening? 

It seems that this occurs due to the way the feature “detours engine DLL functions”, which resembles a cheat program. Basically, this means that the Anti-Lag+ feature reads the information between the game engine and the display adapter, then goes a step further and replaces/injects functions. It’s essentially like wiretapping a phone call, and then using that info to create things like an aimbot while bypassing the game's executable. 

Not only is it resulting in bans, but it’s also causing significant performance issues in other PC titles like the aforementioned ones as well as Fortnite and Overwatch 2. Luckily, you can disable the feature by ALT + L. You can also verify the hotkey assignment in AMD Radeon Software by clicking the gear icon > Hotkeys > customizing the hotkey for Anti-Lag Plus, according to Engadget.

But as it’s only available in some games through the Adrenaline Edition version 23.30.1 driver, you don’t need to worry about it affecting every game you play.

AMD is struggling 

AMD has been releasing new tools that work with Anti-Lag+, like the ability for its Adrenalin graphics drivers to show you the system lag holding back your PC. It’s meant to compete with Nvidia’s PC Latency measurement. 

However, not only do we have the aforementioned issues with the anti-lag tech, but there’s also the fact that all this tech in general doesn’t even work with the vast majority of the best PC games (only 12 support it so far). This means that Team Red still has a long way to go if it ever hopes to catch up with Nvidia in this regard.

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Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.