You probably shouldn't play Elden Ring online right now

Elden Ring invaders are using a hack to corrupt the save files of unlucky PC players.

Elden Ring players are already stuck in an endless cycle of pain and suffering in the Lands Between, but some hackers are taking it even further by manipulating the saves of innocent players. According to both Reddit and the Twitter account EldenRingUpdate, this exploit occurs when malicious hackers invade players, ostensibly for player vs. player combat.

These hackers can apparently corrupt the saves of their unsuspecting victims, which forces the game to crash. When the victim reloads their save, they're trapped in a cycle of endlessly falling to their death, unable to escape. We know that the fathomless difficulty of Elden Ring is a metaphor for many things, but this is a little on the nose even by George R.R. Martin's standards.

Fortunately for PC players, you have a few ways to avoid this issue. The obvious one is to simply play offline, which has the unfortunate side effect of turning off the many helpful (and not-so-helpful) messages that other players leave in their wake. If the thought of missing out on the hilarious "try jumping" messages on the edge of every cliff bums you out — it's definitely still funny 50 hours into the game, by the way — since invasions in Elden Ring are turned off by default, you can simply do nothing and never run into an invader.

However, if you're really determined to try out your amazing Sonic the Hedgehog PvP build, there's another way to protect yourself against the hack: backing up your save. Savvy Souls players on Windows 10 might already know this trick, because, like previous FromSoftware games, Elden Ring stores your save in your AppData folder. The directory should be something like C:\Users\[your username]\AppData\Roaming\EldenRing, but it might be slightly different depending on your setup.

Simply take the contents of this folder and back it up somewhere safe before engaging in any PvP. Remember to back it up frequently, or else you might find yourself slaying some of those bosses a second time if you aren't careful. Some players have also reported that if you Alt+F4 before your character dies from the glitch, then quickly teleport to a Site of Grace, it fixes the issue, but we haven't been able to verify that. We recommend the backup method instead — or perhaps unplugging your ethernet cable if you really want to be safe.