Elden Ring Hacker wants developers to stop his big killing

Ring of Elden Has been hacked. This is perhaps not a surprise, considering souls games often have many issues with game-breaking exploits. But this is no ordinary hack. No, Ring of Elden is just the latest FromSoft game to be targeted by a notorious souls hacker with a particular penchant for invading players’ worlds and banishing them.

If you are familiar with dark souls hacker Malcolm Reynolds, then you can probably guess what’s going on. For the uninitiated, Reynolds is a longtime hacker of FromSoft games who has caused myriad problems for dark souls 3 and Dark Souls Remastered players a few years ago. In both cases, he modified the game code to banish people by giving them invalid items and status effects. Well he does the same antics in Ring of Eldeninvading people’s worlds and giving them items they would be better off without before killing them.

Reynolds uploaded a video to YouTube on March 9 showing off his latest hack, all his misdeeds to the upbeat sounds of The Edsels’ “Rama Lama Ding Dong”. First, Reynolds’ mouse cursor ticks a box marked “Hardscoping Tutorial”, then another box marked “This bans them”, with a small smiley face emoticon next to it. After that, the video becomes a quick succession of him invading players’ worlds and devastating them with a huge beam of fire coming out of his hand, along with a few other destructive spells. It’s such bullshit, especially because every spell he’s used – like fire ray – is heavily modified. Reynolds talked about how he makes other players’ lives in Hell Lands Between and what he sees as the rationale for doing so.

Reynolds said Kotaku messages on Discord stating that the exploit he used, this “Hardscoping Tutorial” thing, is actually a debugging item called pavel, used by devs during testing and persisting in game code but not present in the game itself. It injects this into a player’s inventory through various modified spells, including Meteorite spell which drops several purple rock clusters on the environment. Once the player dies and is returned to their own world, Ring of Elden registers this pavel as an invalid item, which the game interprets as proof that the player is a cheater, which in turn results in a softban where the affected player can only play online with other cheaters.

Reynolds said the game’s Easy Anti-Cheat system is exploitable.

“How you manage to bypass the easy anti-cheat is another thing,” Reynolds said. “There is basically a mask on anti-cheat. While this mask is on the game [only] cares about “who it is” and “what it does”, but once you remove that anti-cheat mask, the game doesn’t care who it is anymore.

This is how he was able to softban people, bypassing the Easy Anti-Cheat system and hacking Ring of Elden wasting people’s time – as if the game doesn’t do enough of that already with how punishing it is. It’s a headache to be invaded by Reynolds. You can’t do anything when it appears. His spells are broken and too powerful, so you just have to… take it. Complaints about Reynolds’ actions in Ring of Elden has not yet begun to surface, but it may only be a matter of time, as his name often appears in the Dark souls and From the hand Ring subreddits.

What are you doing? According to a popular Reddit post from April 2016, the best course of action is to go offline or kill yourself to avoid a softban. However, it should be noted that frequent disconnections can also get you banned.

Surprisingly, Reynolds wants to get caught hacking Ring of Elden. He said Bandai Namco and FromSoftware should use this as a lesson to implement better anti-cheat software that prevents hackers from exploiting game code.

“I am the necessary evil,” Reynolds said. “You might be asking if getting caught is part of the plan, and yes it is. If I succeed, will the game die? I don’t think so, but maybe Bandai will fix it. It’s time to go mobile.”

Bandai Namco did not respond to a request for comment.