By Dakota ‘DarkHorse’ Hills
Xbox and Windows players cannot currently use ranked mode
Update: Microsoft has officially addressed the online issues facing Killer Instinct via the game’s Twitter page saying they’re investigating the hacked leaderboards. You can find their full statement added to the story below.
Those attempting to go back and play some good ol’ Killer Instinct 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 a hacker has allegedly broken the game’s online ranked modes, rendering them completely unusable.
If you try queuing up for a match right now on Xbox or the Windows version of KI, the game will simply hang attempting to sync ladder information with the server before failing, and there’s no way around it.
This does not currently impact the Steam version of the game, which has a separate leaderboard, but the majority of active players use Xbox Live.
PAR|NickyFGC was among the first to sound the alarm that something is seriously wrong in a video to help spread awareness, and he’s understandably worried about the community he’s been a part of since KI launched in 2013.
“This is a huge problem for our community because ranked is a big reason why people play the game,” NickyFGC told EventHubs. “Despite what people think, we have a VERY active community with weekly tournaments and prize pools, and ranked was a great way to warm up for those events. Players can’t just hop on and find matches anymore.”
The alleged hacker(s) in this situation has reportedly been causing issues for years in KI by adding a multitude of fake users to the top of the ranked leaderboards while impersonating another player.
It appears the leaderboards have likely reached their breaking point, however, and now no one can play.
“This person has singlehandedly not only removed our main reason to grind ranked, but has taken the entire mode away,” said NickyFGC.
Whether the individual(s) involved were trying to actively take down the online service or not, we don’t know, but this is the present result either way.
Luckily, other online modes like Exhibition and lobbies are still functional, so players can fight each other using those although some are reporting their player ranks have been reset and connection times to servers can be longer.
This is still a big problem for the game because even though Killer Instinct first released almost a decade ago, there continues to be an active and dedicated playerbase who are directly impacted by this hack.
Killer Instinct fans are also justifiably worried that this may not get fixed, and ranked mode will remain permanently broken — but that apparently won’t be the case after all.
Microsoft was surprisingly quick to respond to the online issues currently facing KI, and while they don’t have a set timeline for when ranked will be functional again, it is nice to know at least that they are currently investigating a solution.
Thanks for flagging this and working with the services team to get ranked working again ASAP
The hacked leaderboards will be investigated!
will update once we have more information. https://t.co/Y53hWxzjdD
— Killer Instinct (@KillerInstinct) October 3, 2022
Source: Event Hubs