Elden Ring players beware. Users on Reddit (opens in new tab) and Twitter (opens in new tab) have shown that Elden Ring Hackers are entering players' games, crashing them, and sending the players into recursive loops, doomed to fall to their deaths as soon as they log back in.
In the video demonstrated by @EldenRingUpdate (opens in new tab) on Twitter, you can see an invader activating an ability that immediately causes the game to crash. This is followed by subsequent log-in attempts seeing the player load out-of-bounds and fall to their death.
⚠️Elden Ring PSA for PC players⚠️There's an exploit going around on PC where hackers will corrupt your save file while you're invaded. First they will crash your game, and when you open it back up, your character will be constantly falling to their death... pic.twitter.com/8et3bl8T1IMarch 18, 2022
In terms of prevention, there are two real options for the concerned player:
- Avoid online play: You don't have to launch Elden Ring in offline mode necessarily. Co-op and invasions are opt-in by area, and you can choose to not engage with this aspect. This is far from an ideal solution, however.
- Back up your saves: Elden Ring saves are located in C:/Users/[name]/AppData/Roaming/EldenRing (you'll need "view hidden files" enabled in File Explorer to see them). Just copy the folder whose name is a long string of numbers and keep the backup somewhere safe, updating it at your discretion.
If you find yourself the victim of this prank and don't have a backup of your saves, some users have reported a fix to get yourself out of the death loop. It's still possible to warp to another site of grace while falling, with the only complication being that you have a very small window to do so before dying and getting sent to a loading screen again.
Draiganedig on the Elden Ring subreddit (opens in new tab) claims that Alt-F4ing out of Elden Ring will give you more time for the maneuver on next logging in, but I a haven't been able to test this. Pressing "Y" on an Xbox-style controller while on the map screen will center your cursor on the Roundtable Hold site of grace (honestly a useful quality-of-life feature even outside of this situation.) The idea is to open the map during your brief window between deaths, quickly press Y, then start hammering the button to "confirm" your choice, which defaults to "A" on Xbox gamepads. I've embedded a video of a Twitch streamer, Kaimitsu_Enju (opens in new tab), successfully pulling the maneuver off:
A similar hack that corrupted save files through bugged items (opens in new tab) left by invaders existed in Dark Souls 3, and I recall bugged invader items also floating around as far back as Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition on Games for Windows Live. There were concerns in the community that a full-on malware security vulnerability (opens in new tab) present in the multiplayer of Dark Souls 1–3 could be grandfathered in to Elden Ring, but Bandai Namco acknowledged the issue and nothing of the sort seems to have come up in the month since Elden Ring's release. Dark Souls 3's PC servers, however, remain offline.