Dragon’s Dogma 2 Is Inventing Fake Players and I Don’t Know Who to Trust Anymore

Beware the false Arisen.

screenshot from Dragon's Dogma 2

Of everything that sets Dragon’s Dogma 2 apart from other fantasy RPGs, its most inventive (and certainly the least controversial) feature may well be the Pawns. These player-created AI companions accompany adventurers on their journey and can even be sent to other players to return with knowledge, experience, and rewards. It’s a system that lets players forge a fleeting but important connection with each other that enriches the sense of the game as a living world — but as it turns out, that may all be a lie, and I’m in shambles.

With so many Pawns vying for attention, some are naturally going to be less popular, and Capcom has a fix for that. In the event that a Pawn isn’t getting hired by other players, the game will simply fake it, telling the Pawns’ owner that they were borrowed by a player who doesn’t actually exist, as spotted by Reddit user MrFoxer and reported by Eurogamer. The only way to tell whether that’s the case is to try checking the user’s profile. If they’re a fake, you won’t even get the option.

The other players hiring your Pawn may just be a figment of Capcom’s imagination.


Practically speaking, loaning your Pawn to a false Arisen works no differently than sending them to a real one. You still gain Rift Crystals and other gifts, and even get credit for completing your Pawn’s quest and receive a rating for them. But it just doesn’t feel the same.

When my Pawn comes back from a successful trip, I want to imagine that she helped another player out of a tough spot or bravely sacrificed herself to save them, even though it’s just as likely she fell off a cliff thanks to the game’s sometimes wonky AI. Whatever happened, it’s fun to think that another player picked my Pawn because of her expertly chosen selection of skills and impeccable fashion sense (all courtesy of me, of course) and that they enjoyed their time together.

Kitting out your Pawn is an art, as far as I’m concerned, and one that far too few people are practicing well. I can’t count the times I’ve looked over my potential companions in the Rift only to find Pawns with only half their skill slots full or dressed in something they absolutely shouldn’t be leaving the house in. Fellow Inverse writer Hayes Madsen has clued me in to a scam that some players are apparently running, where they’ll send a Pawn out in nothing but their undies and hope whoever borrows them gives them a new set of armor that the player can steal when they return. I can at least respect the hustle there, but there’s just no way I’m ever letting a warrior who looks like they’re wearing their last clean clothes on laundry day into my party.

I can no longer trust that there’s an actual player summoning my Pawn.


Assuming that some other players abide by the same “no scrubs” policy as I do, I make sure my Pawn looks her best before sleeping at the inn. That’s when the game uploads your Pawn and determines what they’ll look like to other players. A good set of skills is crucial to have them perform their best, but a great outfit is the first thing that’s going to catch another player’s eye.

I normally make sure my Pawn is looking her best at all times anyway, but there have been times I’ve downgraded her fit so I could put the better looking armor on my character. When it’s time to head into the Rift, though, she gets first dibs on everything to stand out from the crowd. That also means no capes that clip through other armor and no helms that will cover her entire face or hair. It can be time-consuming, but I thought it was worth it.

Now, I realize that I may have been doing all that just to impress some Capcom-created facsimile and all that effort feels like it may have been wasted. The worst part is, I’ve been playing Dragon’s Dogma 2 for weeks now, feeling smug about all the heart ratings my Pawn has gotten, and all the times she came back with a nice piece of loot instead of a rotten fish (another practice some of my fellow players have that I simply will not stand for). All this time, my dear Pawn may have been losing out to the countless mages with nothing but Fire Affinity on their toolbar and dingy robes that might as well be pajamas.

Let your Pawn wear the good armor. They deserve it.


Armed with the knowledge of these decoy players, I’m faced with a terrible choice: do I confront the truth and check every player who borrows my Pawn like I’m hunting doppelgängers in The Thing, or maintain the illusion and assume every time she joins another party it’s a legitimate one? For my own self-esteem, as well as my Pawn’s, I think I’m fine not knowing. It’s not like I’m going to stop spending every last coin I have to keep my Pawn looking good, even if I’m the only person who ever actually sees her.

When the Dragon’s Dogma 2 player base eventually dwindles, those fake players will keep me supplied with Rift Crystals and shiny rocks, after all, so maybe I shouldn’t begrudge them too much. I just hope that the game’s flesh-and-blood players appreciate the help of a Pawn as well cared for as mine until that day comes.

Related Tags