Imagine loading up your favorite RPG and dipping into some casual matchmade co-op only to find that one of your teammates has stolen the powers of some dark god and used them to permanently delete key dungeons and quest fixtures from your game world.
That's the nightmare Genshin Impact players faced over the weekend as reports of malicious hackers spread around the community. Developer Hoyoverse says it's now not only fixed such exploits, it's also banned the players responsible and is pursuing legal action against the plug-in creators behind it all.
After a hectic weekend, the developer released a hefty statement on Twitter (X) addressing the panic. As it turns out, these reports were at least somewhat accurate. Some people were indeed "using plug-ins to tamper with game data and intentionally disrupt the gaming experience of other Travelers," Hoyoverse says. "In co-op mode, they were found using plug-ins to remove items from other Travelers' open world, preventing them from playing under normal circumstances."
According to footage shared amongst the community, this exploit was tied to the four-star character Kaveh. The working theory is that Kaveh's ability to detonate Dendro cores was somehow crossed with the data for other objects, letting him destroy essential environmental fixtures like dungeon gates. This could seemingly damage the worlds of co-op hosts and prevent them from, say, playing Spiral Abyss or farming specific items, or even using certain fast travel points.
Although these reports apparently weren't totally far-fetched, Hoyoverse says everything has now been fixed without permanent losses for any affected players. This comes with the small caveat that "currently, some items in a small number of accounts may not be restored yet. This will not affect Travelers' normal game experience. This issue will be fully fixed in a future update." Put those fears of a server rollback to rest, folks.
More to the point, the dev claims that reports of hacking were exacerbated by "developers and users of this plug-in posting content in the community or on video sites disguising themselves as victims to confuse the public and incite panic."
"Using such plug-ins to remove items from other Travelers' open world via the tampering of game data has seriously affected their gameplay experience," the statement reads. "To maintain fair play and protect the rights of Travelers, we have banned accounts using these plug-ins and will take legal action against developers, users, and disseminators of such plug-ins."
"We have always strived to maintain a healthy and fair gaming environment, and any attempt that jeopardizes the fairness of the game through improper means is strictly prohibited," Hoyoverse maintains. "At the same time, the development team would like to hereby declare that any game vulnerabilities have no relation to the design of the game, its plot, or characters. Please refrain from making unwarranted associations to negatively affect the experience of other Travelers. We hope that all Travelers can boycott plug-ins, third-party tools, and other unethical behavior to maintain a fair and friendly game environment together."
Last week, Hoyoverse finally showed off more of its next game, Zenless Zone Zero.