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As Elden Ring booms, Dark Souls’ servers are still broken

An Unkindled knight in Dark Souls 3
(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Four months since Dark Souls’ PC servers were taken offline, publisher Bandai Namco and developer FromSoftware are yet to announce when they’ll return.

The Dark Souls, Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls 3 multiplayer servers were suspended (opens in new tab) on January 23, shortly after community members discovered (opens in new tab) a serious security exploit. Through accessing the game’s multiplayer, unscrupulous players could run commands through your computer without permission, opening the door to hackers taking control of your PC.

Bandai Namco reinstated Dark Souls’ multiplayer servers for consoles on February 9, but kept the PC servers offline while it “set up proper testing environments”. It said the PC servers would not go live again until after the release of Elden Ring, and that it had extended its investigation to ensure its latest title didn’t suffer from the security issue. That was the last official update the publisher has publicly provided.

Elden Ring doesn’t appear to have been affected by the server outage at all, however, with its multiplayer remaining active since it was released in late February. It suggests the security issue was fixed in time for Elden Ring’s launch, or never cropped up in the game at all.

Melina wearing a cloak in Elden Ring

(Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Forgotten souls

While Bandai Namco has continued to release a swathe of patches for its latest blockbuster release, including rebalances to make things easier and tweaks to the hardest bosses, the Dark Souls series has been left languishing. With the servers offline, PC players are unable to access the games’ messaging, invading, and summoning systems. 

Those wanting to replay the Dark Souls series on PC, or coming to it for the very first time, aren’t currently able to enjoy the full, proper versions of its games. Players have been left longing for the servers to return so they can resume their usual multiplayer shenanigans (opens in new tab), as well as admonishing FromSoftware (opens in new tab) for providing few progress updates.

The latest inkling we’ve had about the state of the servers came through a Reddit post (opens in new tab) earlier this month. After contacting Bandai Namco customer support about the outage, one user was told “the developers are actively working on resolving the issue in question” but it “did not have an estimate of when this is expected to happen”. 

While that confirms the issue hasn’t been forgotten, it doesn’t give much hope that the servers will be back online anytime soon. For now, if you want to play Elden Ring’s predecessor trilogy, you’re best off picking it up on console, where the servers remain unaffected.

Callum is TechRadar Gaming’s News Writer. You’ll find him whipping up stories about all the latest happenings in the gaming world, as well as penning the odd feature and review. Before coming to TechRadar, he wrote freelance for various sites, including Clash, The Telegraph, and Gamesindustry.biz, and worked as a Staff Writer at Wargamer. Strategy games and RPGs are his bread and butter, but he’ll eat anything that spins a captivating narrative. He also loves tabletop games, and will happily chew your ear off about TTRPGs and board games.