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Hackers in Escape From Tarkov skip shooting, turn into invisible pickpockets instead

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Battlestate Games says they’re working on it

A player hunkers down in a filthy room, covered in tactical kit. Image: Battlestate Games

Survival shooter Escape From Tarkov has had technical issues since its soft launch in 2017, and they’ve only become more apparent with its burst in popularity around the New Year. A new exploit making the rounds allows players to become completely invisible. The team at Battlestate Games says they’re aware of the situation, and are working on banning the cheaters and tamping down the issue in their code. Nevertheless, videos showing the exploit are popping up all over Reddit and elsewhere.

Tarkov began gathering real momentum, rising up the ranks on Twitch and elsewhere, in January. Many high-profile Twitch streamers have moved over to playing the game exclusively, which in turn has led to more sales for the Russian team from Battlestate Games. It’s no wonder then that hackers have showed up on the scene to spoil people’s fun, and skim a little bit of cash for themselves off the top. A simple search on YouTube shows live demos of multiple hacking clients up for sale. The latest exploit added to the mix is particularly creepy, however, and players are seemingly helpless against it.

Tarkov is unique from other battle royale games in that you can load out with whenever loot you’d like before hopping into a session. The risk is that all of that hard-earned gear loot can be swiped by other players.

What makes the invisibility exploit so dangerous is that you don’t have to kill the other player to do the looting. Hackers have discovered that it’s far more lucrative to just hang out inside a session, pick-pocketing unsuspecting players who are otherwise completely unaware of their presence. One video shows a pair of players getting their kit stripped right off their bodies while they can only look on in horror.

The only defense against the exploit seems to be blindly shooting into the middle distance, but given how sound and AI works in the game that’s also a great way to draw a lot of attention to yourself. Or, if you get lucky, the cheater will hit the wrong button and expose themselves in front of your entire fireteam.

Battlestate’s chief operating officer Nikita Buyanov said in a post on Reddit that “all the needed measures are already being taken.” Here’s hoping that Battlestate gets this bug squashed, and fast.