The Final Fantasy 14 community is in turmoil today as a popular mod GSHADE has been revealed to install malware on PCs designed to prevent tampering from third parties. Although mods and third-party software are both explicitly forbidden under Final Fantasy 14’s terms of service, GSHADE mostly improves the game’s aesthetics without altering its mechanics in any way.
As GameRant explains, it is possible to use some of GSHADE’s code in order to create third-party tools that could potentially provide players with an unfair advantage over non-modded games. In the mod’s Discord, mod maker Marot revealed that they deliberately placed malware in GSHADE to discourage third-party programs from tampering with the mod. The hidden code would force computers to shut down if GSHADE were to be accessed by a third-party application in a certain way.
"This was meant to be a lesson" to people who try to cheat, explained Marot, adding that regular users have nothing to fear from installing GSHADE so long as they don’t tamper with it. However, those reassurances weren’t enough to calm the community. GSHADE has since lost its endorsement on the FF14 subreddit and has been banned on a popular FF14 Discord.
Nervous players are also reporting difficulty uninstalling GSHADE from their computers. Detailed instructions can be found on this Reddit thread. Marot has since removed the malware from the most up-to-date version of GSHADE and stated that all future updates will be paused due to the controversy.
The GSHADE controversy comes soon after the Final Fantasy 14 community was rocked by allegations that the world's first Omega Protocol clear was performed by a team that at least partially used illegal mods. Square Enix took the unusual step of stripping not just the mod users but also the entire team's rewards and achievements after investigating and confirming that mods were indeed used in the record-setting run.
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