A number of fans have registered concerns that upcoming online survival RPG Fallout 76 can be easily hacked.
Reddit user teetharejustdone submitted a post yesterday that detailed some of the issues discovered within the game, as well as the potential effects they could have. The details are a little technical, but essentially it seems that Fallout 76 doesn't perform server-side file and model integrity checks, which means that it's theoretically possible for users to hack the game to (for example) make player models stand out more, or change the terrain in ways that give unfair advantages.
It also seems that, according to the Reddit post, the network traffic in the game is rendered in unencrypted plain text, possibly allowing users to get in-game information on other players as well as potentially being able to completely knock their connection offline. Helping prove this, he linked to a mod by Desperatu which ports Systel's Fallout 4 lockpick bar interface mod to Fallout 76, letting player cheat on lockpicking. Other mods have also popped up, taking advantage of the game's current lack of server-side file verification. The full list of grievances teetharejustdone has is over on the Reddit post, so check that out if you want a full technical rundown.
Subsequent to the post's appearance, Bethesda responded, claiming that many of the assertions made in the thread are "inaccurate or based on incorrect assumptions". Despite this, the company says it's "actively tracking and planning to roll out fixes" for some of the issues raised by the Reddit post, suggesting that there is some validity to the claim. Furthermore, Bethesda says that "cheating or hacking will not be tolerated".
It's not clear which of the complaints in the Reddit thread are accurate and which are "based on incorrect assumptions", but if Bethesda is working to remove them, let's hope they won't be in the final Fallout 76 PC release. This isn't the first time Bethesda has been pulled up on technical issues in its games; releases like Fallout 3 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim were plagued with bugs at launch (sometimes multiple times), requiring extensive patches to fix game-breaking problems. Fallout 76 is online, though, so these problems potentially affect more than just a single person's experience if they're not fixed. We'll know for sure when the game has its full launch on November 14th.
Update: Reddit user yaosio has addressed the claims that Fallout 76 doesn't encrypt its data, and has submitted a post suggesting that the game does in fact use TLS encryption, complete with images as proof. The post itself is quite heavy on technical details, but you can check it out here.
Are you looking forward to Fallout 76? Do you have faith Bethesda will fix these bugs before it comes out? Let us know in the comments below!