Anime fighting game under attack by hackers who have made it unplayable
Guilty Gear StriveArc System Works’ mega-popular 2D anime fighter is under attack by hackers who have resurrected a deadly exploit that apparently renders the game unplayable for some players online.
Like most competitive games, Guilty Gear Strive has a method to store player data. This is called the “R code” and it contains all kinds of information, from the in-game handle to the win-loss record, among other things. It’s not the most stable, as players reported a couple of years ago that R-Code bugs wouldn’t allow the game to connect to online matches. And last December, hackers discovered they could change a player’s R code details, such as a name, in the middle of a match to crash a game. It seems that this exploit has reared its head again, as hackers find that they can not only change a player’s name, but also force a player to send in-game chat messages and create memory leak issues that slow a match to a review. This issue seems to affect the most Struggleits online modes including arcade, dojo, training and others.
whoever uses this r-code exploit can now use this vulnerability to cause the GGST client to have some sort of leak, slowing the game to an unplayable crawl
this happens even in training mode, and does not happen with steam in offline mode
— Moist | Hotashi (@hotashis) 2 January 2023
As Struggle Pro Julian “Hotashi” Harris said in a Jan. 3 YouTube video about the exploit that it seems to happen at rare intervals “since whoever is doing this hacking thing [appears to be on] Eastern European time. In addition to sending unsolicited messages and crashing games, Hotashi noted that the hack could “cause some sort of GPU or CPU leak”, forcing Struggle to slow down your computer to an unplayable speed or, even worse, “black screen your computer.” Hotashi also said that while you’re more likely to be targeted by this exploit if you’re a prominent figure in the community, the problem isn’t just relegated to PC streamers. Console players are said to have been affected as well. I guess no one is safe now.
Fighting game commentator Stephen “Sajam” Lyon said talk of the hack is an important discussion to have as Frosty Faustings, a well-known tournament circuit where Struggle will appear, starting February 2nd. So players have a hard time getting their training in while this exploit is running rampant.
“It’s a function that allows you to follow people in Guilty Gear Strive“, Sajam said. “And then, even if the person isn’t streaming their matches live, you’ll know when they’re online and playing people and doing things. So the way you have to practice is you have to play in offline mode.”
Kotaku contacted Arc System Works for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication. However, Zack “Shini” Tan, an Arc System Works producer said on Twitter that he is “back at the office” and looks at the reports.
Meanwhile, the R-Code exploit has gotten so bad that a Struggle The VTuber tournament scheduled to start on January 6 was exposed for now. Hopefully Arc System Works can fix this soon so people can get back to playing.