Xbox and Windows players cannot currently use ranked mode
Those trying to go back and play good old Killer Instinct for the past few days have run into an unexpected situation – they can’t play the main online mode at all.
The Killer Instinct community is currently reporting that a hacker broke the game’s online ranked modes, rendering them completely unusable.
If you try to queue for a match right now on Xbox or Windows version of KI, the game will just crash trying to sync the ladder information with the server before failing, and there there’s no way around it.
This does not currently affect the Steam version of the game, which has a separate leaderboard, but the majority of active players use Xbox Live.
BY|NickyFGC was among the first to sound the alarm that something was seriously wrong in a video to help raise awareness, and he’s understandably concerned for the community he’s been a part of since KI launched in 2013.
“It’s a huge issue for our community because the ranking is a big reason people play the game,” NickyFGC told EventHubs. “Despite what people think, we have a VERY active community with weekly tournaments and prize pools, and the leaderboard was a great way to prepare for those events. Players can’t just jump on it and find matches anymore.”
The alleged hacker(s) in this situation allegedly caused trouble for years in KI by adding a slew of fake users to the top of the ranked leaderboards while impersonating another player.
However, it looks like the leaderboards have probably reached their breaking point and no one can play.
“This person not only single-handedly deleted our main reason for grinding the leaderboard, but also deleted the entire mode,” NickyFGC said.
We don’t know if the person(s) involved were actively trying to take down the online service, but that’s the current outcome anyway.
Luckily, other online modes like Exhibition and Lobbies are still functional, so players can compete against each other using them, although some are reporting that their player ranks have been reset and connection times to servers may take longer.
This is still a big deal for the game because even though Killer Instinct was first released almost a decade ago, there continues to be an active and dedicated playerbase that is directly impacted by this hack.
Killer Instinct fans are also rightly concerned that this won’t be fixed, and ranked mode will remain permanently discontinued.
The game hasn’t received an update (aside from adding Xbox backwards compatibility) since March 2018, and former KI developer Iron Galaxy is no longer working on the series.
After 5 and a half years of being a legacy title, Microsoft may not consider the KI hack a high enough priority to fix (since they haven’t before), and that’s even if they knew how to fix it at this point too.
There is at least a big glimmer of hope that Xbox will make it happen because unlike other older hacked games like Call of Duty or Titanfall, there is no newer entry for gamers.
This Killer Instinct is the newest, and it is currently broken on its major platforms.
Xbox’s Phil Spencer has also spoken several times in the past about wanting to create another Killer Instinct, and there are rumors that something is in the works.
It wouldn’t exactly be the best look for Microsoft if they released a new KI in the near future when the last one was left in a broken state.
If all else fails, the community will likely be forced to upgrade to the Steam version of Killer Instinct, but that’s also not a happy solution for players who would lose years of hard work and progress.
Fans and gamers can help Microsoft become aware of the issue and show that there is a demand for it to be resolved via messaging. Xbox Support on Twitter and submitting reports to the Xbox Support website.
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