The hacking issues in Titanfall 2 have been the subject of controversy recently, but it's never gotten quite as bad as it has now. Respawn Entertainment has confirmed the existence of an exploit that can be used to crash games remotely, and are working to fix the problem. However, despite assurances from the developers, rumors claim that the issues are more serious.
The problems can, to a degree, be traced back to Apex Legends. The popular battle royale game set in the same fictional universe as Titanfall – while notably lacking Titans, even though huge mechs would make any battle royale awesome – has achieved a huge measure of success since release. Accordingly, Respawn has been focusing mainly on Apex Legends.
This has led many fans to feel that the Titanfall universe, and the last release – Titanfall 2 – are being neglected in the name of profit. It didn’t help that, with reduced developer focus, cheating and hacks became more common in both Titanfall games, with no sign of fixes being on the way.
We are aware of reports of a security vulnerability affecting Titanfall 2 and are investigating. We have no other information to share at the moment but will update once we do.
— Respawn (@Respawn) September 8, 2021
As hacks and cheating got worse and worse, it was clear that sooner or later bigger exploits will be deployed in lieu of any serious enforcement. The exploit, which Respawn has acknowledged via Twitter, seemingly only crashes the game of affected players, forcing them to restart and booting them from on-going matches.
However, as the exploit spread, so did rumors and panic about more serious issues that could leave players’ machines compromised. These rumors are almost definitely nonsense, but they’re worth noting due to how much exposure they’ve received.
Based on nothing but a cropped, unidentified screenshot from some Discord server, the exploit can also allow hackers to execute code on local machines. In this screenshot, the admin posting the information recommends that users go as far as to uninstalling the game for their safety.
Now, even if the source of this claim was even remotely credible, there are a few issues here that render it nearly impossible. Remote Code Execution, or RCE, somehow appearing across all platforms out of nowhere with zero warning in the hacking community or any proof stretches the limits of belief, and even if this were magically true, uninstalling the game is a pointless measure if you just do not play multiplayer matches.
Respawn Entertainment followed up their initial post with a Tweet clarifying that while they are still working to fix the exploit, the engineers have determined that it really just is a regular crash-causing exploit and not some doomsday hack that will compromise your PC or console. If anyone still believes the rumors at this point and suspect that Respawn is part of the conspiracy, we hope you’ve been wearing your tin foil hats, too.
The hacking controversy surrounding Titanfall 2 reached a head earlier this year when would-be activists introduced a hack to Apex Legends in a weird bid to raise awareness about the problems with Titanfall 2. The hack which was largely unmalicious presented players with a popup directing them to a webpage describing the situation and the concerns of Titanfall players.
In any case, the misguided attempt definitely did not have the intended result. Respawn Entertainment employees had to go into the office on their weekends and days off to counteract the hack. The stunt certainly didn’t earn any goodwill, and it didn’t galvanize further technical support for either Titanfall game.
Hopefully, the exploit will be fixed soon, and the good news is that while having the game crashed is annoying, it cannot cause any serious harm to your machine.