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PSA: Update Elden Ring on PC now to avoid infinite death loop hack

Elden Ring screen shot
(Image credit: FromSoftware Inc.)

While you can technically play Elden Ring offline, you shouldn’t unless you absolutely have to. When you play FromSoftware’s beloved open-world RPG online, you can see messages from other players, summon partners to tackle tough bosses and invade other adventurers’ worlds to test your skills against theirs. Until today (March 24), however, playing online was inadvisable for PC players, due to a malicious hack that could essentially make the game unplayable. FromSoftware’s latest patch has fixed that issue.

Information comes from Elden Ring’s official patch notes (opens in new tab), which detail a series of small changes for version 1.03.2 of the game. The patch corrects a few small bugs related to a quest involving a character called Nepheli Loux, as well as a few navigation and combat issues.

The big fix, however, is this: “Fixed a bug in multiplayer that allowed players to teleport others to incorrect map coordinates.”

“Incorrect map coordinates” is, in this case, a bit of an understatement. If you missed the initial hack news, here’s now it worked: First, a malefactor would invade a player’s world. This is usually just a way to engage in player-versus-player (PvP) combat, which is either a nuisance, a thrill, or a core element of the game, depending on how you play Elden Ring. But instead of fighting fair, the invader would use malicious code to send the host player into an unreachable map location, where they would fall continuously to their death.

Because there was no way to avoid the fall, players were essentially stuck in an infinite death loop, potentially rendering dozens or hundreds of hours of playtime useless. (Elden Ring does not allow backup saves.)

Our recommendation was to play Elden Ring offline — or at least to play it online by yourself, since invasions generally only happen if you team up with other players. Now, PC players can safely log back in, provided they download the latest patch. Downloading the patch should happen automatically as soon as you launch Steam; if it doesn’t, the game itself should advise you to log out and update.

It’s also worth reminding console players that this issue didn’t seem to affect the PlayStation or Xbox versions of the game. If you’ve been playing Elden Ring on consoles, then feel free to continue playing online normally.

Now that Elden Ring has been out for about a month, players are starting to make some real headway in it. If you’re feeling lost, however, then check out our tips for where to go after defeating Queen Rennala.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.