Genshin Impact drops controversial anti-cheat measures after “privacy concerns”

Genshin Impact is here, and while the free-to-play adventure initially drew notoriety for its often-striking resemblance to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, initial impressions have suggested that there’s far more than a cheap knock-off here. On PC, the launch has met with an additional bit of controversy, as players discovered an anti-cheat program that would continue to run even after Genshin Impact is closed or uninstalled.

Now, the developers say that the anti-cheat will “no longer run in the background after the game is closed nor after the game is uninstalled”. The update should be live by the end of Tuesday, September 29. The devs say the changes come after they “realized that the default activation of this mechanism may have caused some privacy concerns for players.”

In its previous implementation, the anti-cheat system only read system information while the game was closed, according to the blog post – “it does not process, save, or upload information in any way whatsoever.” The measure was there “in order to prevent the use of certain external plug-ins that operate when the game is closed; this is to help protect the fairness of Genshin Impact for all players.”

Other games have caught similar flak for running protections at system boot – Valorant’s anti-cheat system is probably the best-known example. The argument that Genshin Impact’s aggressive implementation is there to preserve “fairness”, however, is a bit more shaky – the game’s multiplayer offerings only include co-op, with no competitive option.

YouTube Thumbnail

Instead, the anti-cheat is likely there to preserve the free-to-play game’s gacha mechanics. (You’d call those loot boxes if you’re not especially familiar with Japanese-style mobile games.) Early player impressions have suggested that the grind is none-too-onerous early on, but the real test on that point will be in the days and weeks to come.

If you’re looking for more free PC games, you know where to click.