Dark Souls 3 PC Cheater Spent Hours Streaming Their Exploits This Weekend

Dark Souls 3 PC Cheater Spent Hours Streaming Their Exploits This Weekend

Dark Souls 3 PC has a big cheating problem, and it's not getting better. PC players were furious this weekend, as a hacker spent hours streaming while they pulled players into their game and immediately killed them. Here's what it looked like:

(The full archive isn't available, but I captured a slice over the weekend.)

The game's publisher, Namco Bandai, has not yet responded to my requests for comment, while developer From Software only quietly acknowledged the issue on Steam.

The hacker uploads videos to YouTube under the name Malcolm Reynolds, and they didn't respond to my request for comment about their motives for cheating in such a brazenly public fashion. Just a few days ago, however, Malcolm Reynolds sent the Dark Souls 3 community into a tizzy after claiming they'd found a way to modify the code and softban people:

In Dark Souls, softbanning is when you're banned from the public pool of players, but you can still play online with others who have been banned. Unfortunately, developer From Software has a sketchy past with softbans, often sending people who didn't do anything wrong into the softban pool.

With Dark Souls 3, a growing number of players have reported an "invalid game data" error when booting up the game, the result of an interaction with hackers or the use of cheats. That error doesn't automatically mean you're softbanned from the game, but it puts you on the path, if you don't load old saved data. Bandai Namco says players should use cloud backups, even though the game doesn't natively support cloud backups via Steam.

Malcolm Reynolds claimed that they could "softban people just by pressing R1". In the stream, they could dart across the map, stay invisible and take out enemies with only a few swings.

Combined with precious little communication by From Software about Dark Souls 3 hacking, the "news" freaked the hell out of people. I didn't report on it earlier, however, because I couldn't verify it was anything more than a threat to sow fear and doubt into a confused community.

It only got worse during his livestream, where he bragged about softbanning people through the exploits he'd discovered. There was no evidence he was able to softban anyone, but the prospect was scary.

Again, to be clear: there is no evidence a player can outright softban you from the game by invading your game and attacking you.

A huge thread blew up on the official Steam forums for Dark Souls 3, prompting a developer at From Software to finally chime in about it.

"Hello everyone," said Kimundi. "We have seen your reports and we are investigating this player."

Not long after, Malcolm Reynolds posted a video saying they'd been banned from the Steam forums, but their account appears to remain active.

"Fix your game, FromSoft," says their Steam profile, linking to a YouTube video alleging hacking. "IF YOUR SCREEN LOOKS LIKE THIS YOU HAVE BEEN VISTED [sic] BY THE MALCOLM REYNOLDS OF BROKEN ITEMS."

Here's that "screen":

Dark Souls 3 PC Cheater Spent Hours Streaming Their Exploits This Weekend

So far, people claiming to have been hit by Malcolm Reynolds, or people using the same hacks, have reported they haven't been softbanned yet.

"This happened to me last night," said one user. "I was sent back to firelink, given souls and made a dragon. I killed myself to get rid of it all. I received no game data error message and could still see summons."

If encountering a player like Malcolm Reynolds means game data is tainted, however, you might be in trouble without a backup. Fortunately, reddit user EntityZero created a tool to automatically backup your save. If you're playing online on PC, you should use something like this.

Dark Souls has always been messy on PC, but as the series has gained popularity, it's only become a bigger mess. Whether From Software is able to get this under control and restore player confidence remains to be seen.


Comments

    Reads a bit like a post about Nintendo and online connectivity but with much less doomsaying.

    From's efforts to 'fix' whatever you want to call the above will only be fleeting, until the next exploit is discovered. The game obviously is built to function a certain way (ie less exact mutliplayer pairings, the ethereal random-ness of the world in which the player finds themselves) so to expect this to go away completely would be to lose some of what makes Dark Souls 'Dark Souls'.

    I'm bemused the latest patch notes across all the platforms outright admitted a certain NPC/quest had been broken at time of reviews/launch.

    Oh, Dark Souls, you little scamp.

    Not sure i'll ever understand people like this. Do they get joy from the tears of others? I'd find it boring as hell. Might be good for a laff against a mate (as a one off) but aside from that...

    "Dark Souls has always been messy on PC, but as the series has gained popularity, it’s only become a bigger mess."

    It hasn't become a bigger mess, it's just that more people care about it now. I'd say it's slightly less messy than Dark Souls 1 and 2.

    "Not sure i'll ever understand people like this. Do they get joy from the tears of others? I'd find it boring as hell. Might be good for a laff against a mate (as a one off) but aside from that..."

    I don't understand it either, but I understand other peoples' reactions even less - apparently sending death threats etc. over a game! And if his profile says "Fix your game FromSoft" perhaps that is his motivation.

    Probably won't get fixed anytime soon. I don't get why people cheat like this, idiots.

    The pvp has always been a bit hit and miss with dark souls. Just a laggy mess with delayed hits, teleporting or no hit detection happening at all :/

    all that aside just play offline until they fix the hackers pretty simple. That way you avoid the baddies.

    Don't know if anyone noticed but his 'invasion screenshot' is from Dark Souls 1, so perhaps he's been cheating for ages.

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