Exposing anti-cheat systems.
A notorious hacker who’s been slaughtering and softbanning players in Elden Ring has said he’s a “necessary evil”.
Malcolm Reynolds has already caused issues in Dark Souls 3 and Dark Souls Remastered, and now he’s at it again in Elden Ring.
Not only does he invade a player’s game and kill them through powerful spells (a totally legitimate game mechanic), his spells are hacked to imbue their inventory with an invalid item that results in a softban by FromSoftware.
That item is a debug item called ‘pavel’ that’s in the game’s code but not the game itself. As an invalid item, the game interprets the player as cheating.
To do this, Reynolds is circumventing Elden Ring’s Easy Anti-Cheat system, something he says is exploitable.
“How you manage to bypass Easy Anti-Cheat is another thing,” Reynolds told Kotaku. “There’s basically a mask over the anti-cheat. While this mask is on the game [only] cares about ‘who it is’ and ‘what it’s doing,’ but once you take that mask off the anti-cheat, the game doesn’t care who it is anymore.”
There’s little that can be done by players once invaded as Reynolds’ spells are too powerful to fight against, as the video below shows. A disconnect or suicide is perhaps best to avoid the softban.
Reynolds’ intention is to get caught hacking and expose the system so that FromSoftware and publisher Bandai Namco implement better prevention methods.
“I’m necessary evil,” Reynolds said. “You might be asking if getting caught is part of the plan, and yes it is. If I pull it off will the game die? I don’t think so, but maybe Bandai will fix it. Time to go mobile.”
Eurogamer has contacted Bandai Namco for comment.