League of Legends Cracks Down on AFK Players With New Policy

Now, Quitting Doesn’t Just Ruin Others’ Fun

I’m sure we’ve all felt the sting of seeing a teammate leave the keyboard mid-game. We’ve all had that uphill battle where you’re forced to continue fighting, outnumbered and outgunned – getting more and more frustrated because it all started off so well, and if it wasn’t for that one quitter you could have totally beat these guys… you know it all too well. And in a team-focused game like League of Legends, where you’re often dependent on other players doing well in their lane, an AFK player can be especially problematic.

And now, Riot Games has started moving forward with a policy designed to put these troublemakers in their place. Queue delays (where a player will have to wait longer to find a new match) were already in place, but now they’ll be coupled with new “queue lockouts” (where a player can’t even join a queue) for a period of time – increasing as the player AFKs more and more. Reportedly, this could last up to 14 days for the worst offenders.

League of Legends key art

This is being done through a tiered system – if you AFK too much, you’ll up up a tier. And if things don’t change, you’ll get hit again and again with tier-ups until things improve. A day-long queue lockout begins at tier 4, and those 14-day lockouts exist at the max tier: 7.

Riot games stated that they’ll be taking steps to ensure that genuinely faulty internet connections don’t result in players getting treated like criminals. It’ll be rolled out selectively in a few regions before reaching the global system, too.

This concept is tried-and-tested, with similar systems appearing in plenty of other games before – though the nitty-gritty details of “duration of delays/lockouts happen” and “how sensitive the system is to momentarily-bad wifi” will vary from game to game. It’s been a genuine boon to some projects, while being a source of frustration for others. As bad as an AFK player is, being unable to play because of single connection disruption is probably worse. There’s no doubting that Riot will be looking very closely at how players respond to this new policy – so if you have any thoughts, let them be known!