Cheaters have spoiled Diablo 4's new leaderboards and players are begging Blizzard to fix it quickly

Diablo 4 character close-up
(Image credit: Tyler C. / Activision Blizzard)

The top-ranked players on Diablo 4's new leaderboards aren't all playing by the rules. A new exploit has skyrocketed people's scores and players are hoping Blizzard fixes it before week 2's leaderboards start tomorrow.

Over the weekend, a method to boost your score in The Gauntlet, Diablo 4's new eight-minute speedrun dungeon, quickly spread throughout the community. Players found that you can start your run with a powerful buff from shrines in the open world, giving you a massive advantage over players who start with nothing.

Success in The Gauntlet already relies on the shrine buffs you pick up inside it to kill enemies while you run through the map. The Artillery shrine, for example, causes every skill to launch holy arrows in all directions, which saves you the time it takes to run to every group of enemies. Shrines also make you run faster, so you want one going at all times.

The best players plan efficient routes through the dungeon so that they hit every shrine on the way, but the exploit completely upends their strategies. A player who can start with a shrine buff can not only follow a much faster route, they can even make a build based on having a specific buff active. Diablo 4 streamer Rob2628 showcased a sorcerer build that leaves a trail of Blizzard patches behind it with the power of the Channeling shrine's unlimited mana buff. Normal players, however, have to optimize their builds around not having a buff from the start. 

Despite the exploit, sorcerer player Mekuna has maintained the highest score in the game. They tell me they don't use the exploit and will post footage of their best run tomorrow when The Gauntlet resets to a new layout. They, along with many other Diablo 4 players, want Blizzard to fix the exploit before week 2 and to disqualify cheaters from being immortalized on the permanent seasonal leaderboard.

A second exploit that allows players to enter the dungeon before it begins was recently found too, but the benefits from doing it aren't as strong as the shrine method.

Blizzard hasn't commented on the exploits, nor has it added any fixes to the notes for tomorrow's patch, which just has a list of unrelated bug fixes. If it's not fixed by tomorrow, the second week of The Gauntlet will be far less exciting to follow, and I'd expect some high-ranked players to quit until its competitive integrity is restored. 

Associate Editor

Tyler has covered games, games culture, and hardware for over a decade before joining PC Gamer as Associate Editor. He's done in-depth reporting on communities and games as well as criticism for sites like Polygon, Wired, and Waypoint. He's interested in the weird and the fascinating when it comes to games, spending time probing for stories and talking to the people involved. Tyler loves sinking into games like Final Fantasy 14, Overwatch, and Dark Souls to see what makes them tick and pluck out the parts worth talking about. His goal is to talk about games the way they are: broken, beautiful, and bizarre.