Data collection, invasive anti-cheats and more security threats are becoming common with modern gaming and it was only a matter of time before concerns about Genshin Impact arose. Here is a quick rundown of the main security topics with the game.
Data security has been one of the points of contention with Genshin Impact for a while now and it's hard to find concise answers on the internet since some of them can get buried under a ton of comments on forums. That said, the community and potential future players tend to ask a few similar questions that we will try to answer to the best of our internet-scouring ability.
Why are there security concerns with Genshin Impact?
One of the main concerns is the game's anti-cheat which runs on Kernel level. This was the case with all other games that have such anti-cheat measurements, including Fortnite (EAC), Rainbow Six Siege (BattlEye) and especially Valorant (Vanguard).
What is so special about Kernel-level anti-cheats?
They are invasive to your system but that makes them more effective when catching cheaters. Kernel-level anti-cheats are running in Ring 0 of the protection rings on your device.
If you're not familiar with the topic, you are probably going "I like your funny words magic man" by now. The simplest translation to a regular human language would be that protection rings act like hierarchies in security or intelligence organisations - individuals have different security clearance and the higher it is, the more access they have.
Similarly, anti-cheat software with Ring 0 access has the highest clearance possible. This makes it intrusive but more effective.
If other games use it, why are people concerned about Genshin Impact?
Just like the controversy with Valorant's anti-cheat system, Genshin Impact used to run the software at all times when your machine is on. The anti-cheat persisted even if you uninstalled the game, leading people to suspect it had malicious use as spyware.
The developers changed the way it works on September 28, 2020. Now it should properly terminate when you're not in the game and uninstalling it will get rid of the anti-cheat as well.
Is it safe to have Genshin Impact?
That depends on your definition of safe. It's not any riskier than running Fortnite, Rainbow Six Siege or Valorant and these games have massive player bases already.
Those who don't trust any software operating in Ring 0 will either have additional security in place or not play any of the aforementioned games, including Genshin Impact.
Furthermore, Genshin Impact's Terms of Service clearly state that some data will be collected. Whether you are comfortable with this fact or not is up to you to decide. As a reference, many other games and even websites are also pulling data when you use them.
So is AltChar collecting my data too?
No, we are not.
Genshin Impact anti-cheat doesn't look so scary now, why are people still boycotting it?
Almost every game these days has its share of controversies. Anti-cheat and privacy concerns are just a portion of those connected to Genshin Impact.
The actual boycott campaign that is trending these days is because of Eula . She is a character in the game that unfortunately bears the name that is the same as abbreviation for End User Licence Agreement (EULA), which could cause some confusion.