After 7 months, Dark Souls 3 is back online

Watching sand fall through your hand in Dark Souls 3
(Image credit: Bandai-Namco)

After a quiet seven months for Dark Souls 3 PvPers, the PC servers have finally whirred back to life today, reviving the game's online features which have lain dormant since the discovery of a serious security vulnerability in the game's code back in January.

That means Dark Souls 3 players can once again enjoy all the thrills of player invasions, summoning, and contorting the game's soapstone messaging system to write some of the filthiest things imaginable. In the tweet announcing DS3's online resurrection, FromSoft indicated that the same features for Dark Souls 1 and 2 would follow in short order. With any luck, it won't take over half a year this time.

The vulnerability that caused all this furore was quite a nasty one. Publicised by a Souls enthusiast called SkeleMann, the exploit allowed attackers to gain low-level access to players' PCs and do stuff like steal login info, run programs, or just brick people's machines entirely. Luckily, the servers were shut down before there were any documented cases of it being used maliciously, but it's still pretty terrifying when you consider how many people still play the original Dark Souls games every day.

It's been a long time, but it's good to see Dark Souls slowly regain consciousness. For a while there, players were beginning to worry that the studio might just leave the servers offline forever, especially when the series' multiplayer tags disappeared from its Steam pages. FromSoft has been distracted by Elden Ring's launch for most of 2022, which goes some way to explaining why it's taken so long to get the Souls games back in working order, but it's still kind of wild that a set of games as famous and storied as these seemed to get left in limbo for a whole half-year.

But the age of dark is behind us, now begins the age of light (and perpetual, agonising griefing). We can put down the mods that attempted ersatz recreations of Dark Souls' online features and once again enjoy being crushed into jam by strangers from across the globe. On second thought, maybe I'll just leave it offline.

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.