One of Valorant's most divisive third-party apps has today (July 20) been taken offline by developer Riot Games following a cease and desist sent to its creator.
Recon Bolt was a Valorant app, available via iOS and GitHub, that provided a variety of features such as stat tracking, accepting queues, viewing the item shop and changing skins on the fly. However, its most contentious feature is the reason Riot stepped in.
One of Recon Bolt's paywalled features provided players the ability to instantly lock in their desired character before selection even appears on the PC client. Handy, potentially unfair features like this helped the app reach approximately 338,000 downloads since its launch in October of last year. (via PC Gamer)
Recon Bolt's creator, Julian Dunskus, took to the app's Discord group to confirm its shutdown, stating Riot had sent him a cease and desist order with the threat of being taken to court should he not comply. Dunskus signed off by thanking the app's fans for their support.
VALORANT App "Recon Bolt" known for its ability to help Insta-Lock agents has been forced to shut down via Cease & Desist letter from Riot pic.twitter.com/N1poqUCOubJuly 19, 2023
The response from the Valorant community in regards to Recon Bolt's shutdown has been mixed. Some players are lamenting the loss of such a useful feature, including (quite humorously) the loss of being able to select an agent while using the bathroom. Developer Dunskus also argued the app helped to level the playing field with "people who have faster PCs or are faster at clicking the necessary buttons (or set up a macro)..."
Others, though, have pointed out that Recon Bolt's instant character selection left players who don't use the app (or who had never heard of it) at a significant disadvantage. It's admittedly tough to argue with that. Being able to instantly lock in a preferred agent, before anyone else, is an objective leg-up before the match even begins.
Ultimately, the core problem may lie with how Valorant's agent selection is set up in the first place. At present, agents are chosen on a first-come-first-served basis, one that Dunskus hopes will eventually be replaced "with one where no one gets ahead through speed."
Valorant's fast-paced hero shooter format currently has it ranked as our top pick for best multiplayer PC games. If you're subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, you'll also be able to instantly unlock every agent playable in the game.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.