It took a full month, but Bethesda has finally begun to make things right for Fallout 76 players affected by the inventory hack that swept through the game at the end of 2019.
On December 23, 2019, Bethesda informed the Fallout 76 community that it was making the inventory hack its top priority and invited any player affected by the exploit to submit a ticket to the company’s customer support team. However, it’s only been in the past few days that Fallout 76 players have begun to share on Reddit that they are finally having their stolen items restored by Bethesda.
The company is using cloned versions of players’ affected characters in order to replace the items that were stolen, and some players are reporting that Bethesda even doubled the amount of some or all of the pilfered items. In an additional attempt to make amends for the hassle caused by the hack, the game developer also gifted the swindled players with free Atoms, which is the in-game currency used to purchase items from the Fallout 76 Atomic Shop.
In late December 2019, a hack made its way into the PC version of Fallout 76 that allowed unscrupulous players to steal the entire inventory of their fellow Wastelanders. This hack essentially turned players into containers that could therefore be looted as if they were Fallout 76‘s lockers or item boxes. Players did not have to be grouped with the hacker or even open a trade with them. All possessions besides quest items, including goodies purchased from the Atomic Shop potentially with real cash, could be swiped from a person’s inventory without their knowledge or consent.
This hack could be carried off in less than two seconds and from a range of 200 meters. So even players who isolated themselves in the hopes of avoiding would-be hackers weren’t safe. Videos on YouTube showed the hack being carried out on unsuspecting players from the tops of buildings, behind trees, and sometimes even through walls.
In a nine-minute video posted online, a single hacker stole Fallout 76 items from hundreds of players. It’s not certain how many people ultimately took advantage of this hack, but if that video shows the damage that one cheater could cause, the math can become truly mind boggling when trying to determine how many Fallout 76 players might have actually been affected by the inventory hack.
In a Reddit post made days before the exploit went live, a Fallout 76 player warned others about the imminent hack, including the date that it was intended to be implemented, and shared that he had been informed about its potential danger directly from the hack creator. The poster also stated that Bethesda had been made aware of the problem and that they were supposedly working on a fix. However, the hack still made it into the game a few days later and ran rampant for a full day before Bethesda took Fallout 76’s PC servers offline to release a fix. Affected players were understandably upset and questioned why the company didn’t take the game offline before the hack could start wreaking havoc.
Now Fallout 76 players who were affected by the inventory hack find themselves facing a new but much more pleasant problem: what to do with all the extra items they were gifted by Bethesda.
Fallout 76 was released in November 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
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