When Bethesda called its Fallout 76 beta test a B.E.T.A. (Break-it Early Test Application), it probably wasn’t expecting PC players to break it so consummately just days before its November 14th launch.
To say Bethesda is showing its inexperience with online gaming is an understatement. Fallout 76 is being blown wide open on PC right now and there are already opportunities for hacks galore.
Posters on Reddit have identified a number of ways in which players can cheat in Fallout 76, ranging from incredibly simple tweaks to more complex hacks. For example, models and file integrity is not checked server side, so players are free to use Bethesda’s own modding tools to change the models. All other player character models could be turned luminous green, for example, or trees and vegetation could be shrunk so they don’t obstruct your view.
That’s just the start as well, with user ‘teetharejustdone’ claiming terrain and collision is handled client side. In theory, this would mean the files could be edited to allow walking through walls.
Things go even deeper from here as well, including forging data packets to knock other players offline, tell the server you have infinite health, or even grab specific players’ location. Even bullet collision is reportedly handled client side. Pair this with the ability to identify player locations and voila, instant headshots.
Since these claims were made yesterday, Bethesda has come out with a statement suggesting this is all wildly inaccurate.
"Many of the claims in the thread are either inaccurate or based on incorrect assumptions”, says Bethesda. “The community has however called to attention several issues that our teams are already actively tracking and planning to roll out fixes for. Our goal is always to deliver a great experience for all our players. Cheating or hacking will not be tolerated. We know our fan base is passionate about modding and customizing their experience in our worlds and it's something we intend to support down the road."
Bethesda doesn’t say all of the claims are inaccurate, so some are almost certainly possible. They are working on fixes, although it feels a little late in the day when progress carries over to the main game and we’re only just over a week away from Fallout 76’s launch. There are already mods available on NexusMods that begin to poke at the possibilities, including a lockpick hack based on an existing Fallout 4 lockpick mod, and retextured Nuka Cola bottles that point at being able to change the visual appearance of objects within the game world.
Has anyone had an opportunity to go hands-on with Fallout 76 yet? Do you think Bethesda's inexperience with online games could prove a disaster for a launch of this scale? Share your thoughts below...