Folks just can’t get enough of Palworld, the “Pokémon with guns” survival game that’s selling like hot cakes right now. While everyone and their mother’s getting in on the action, the game’s official servers are being plagued by cheaters and hackers that developer Pocketpair hopes will get stamped out in the new patch.
Read More: Pokémon Company Plans To ‘Investigate’ Palworld
While Palworld sells millions of copies and reaches millions of people, Pocketpair confirmed in an X/Twitter post on January 25 that the official servers have been inundated with hooligans exploiting the game. The studio said that although it’s “currently difficult to completely prevent all cheating immediately,” it intends to “focus even more on security” to create a safe environment for everyone to play in.
Pocketpair dropped a new Steam patch on January 25 that implemented “countermeasures against various cheats and exploits” while fixing loading screen bugs, world date display issues, and incorrect text problems. Xbox will get this patch, too, “as soon as it is ready,” Pocketpair confirmed on X/Twitter.
Palworld exploiters are killing players, stealing monsters
It’s unclear what “countermeasures” Pocketpair has deployed to curb cheaters and hackers, but hopefully they’re substantial enough to stop what’s currently going on. The game’s subreddit is full of folks discussing what’s been happening to them on the official servers. One person said another player killed them, which shouldn’t be possible at the moment since PvP is part of Palworld’s in-development roadmap. Another user said a “random level 16” player just walked up and started stealing their tamed monsters. Someone else had a similar situation happen and shared some video evidence. Maybe the most egregious incident, though, is the below story from redditor grimmorra69:
So earlier today when I was online minding my business setting up my ranch, some random lvl 50 somehow force joined my guild/clan (I know they did cause I’ve gotten other requests and denied them, I saw no request from said person) and made himself guild master so I couldn’t kick him, and then proceeded to start destroying my base. Then dropped me a bunch of resources and guns saying he’s made up for it. Out of sheer paranoia idk whether to continue on this server or find a new one…Was an official server too.
Another player, an admin on a hosted server, reported a similar incident.
According to Xyrem from the video game cheat prevention conglomerate Anti-Cheat Police Department, Palworld doesn’t have an anti-cheat system in place. They told IGN on January 25 that Pocketpair should change how the game’s files interact with the in-game items to ensure “the server side [reduces] things that can be exploited to cheat.” Xyrem said that, because “a lot of people are interested in cheating,” the studio should get on top of it before it gets worse.
“Everything is client authoritative,” Xyrem said. “Meaning most things you do inside the game are done via the client, the server does not check for any of these things. So for example, you can spawn items, manipulate your player’s speed, damage, health, etc. It’s just fixing a bunch of things to be non replicable in the client and make the server the authority to deal with replicating things to other clients.”
Kotaku reached out to Pocketpair for comment.
Read More: Palworld Devs Aren’t Worried About A Nintendo Lawsuit
While Palworld is 2024’s first major breakout hit, it’s not without its share of controversies. The game has been accused of using AI to generate its monsters while also being accused of plagiarizing Pokémon. Pocketpair swears Palworld went through all the necessary hurdles to avoid legal action from Nintendo, but on January 24, The Pokémon Company said it’d “investigate” the game. Yikes.