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GShade Malware Controversy Surrounds The Popular FFXIV Third-Party Tool

The developer behind GShade added a “feature” that could reset PCs.

The controversy surrounding third-party tools in Final Fantasy XIV continues. Last week, it was related to the World First race and raid teams using third-party tools that gave them a leg up in the competition. That saw one team having their first-place completion stripped from them, with another team taking World First title.

Now there are issues surrounding GShade, one of the bigger third-party mods used by many FFXIV players. GShade allows players to tweak the visual aesthetics of FFXIV; it doesn’t impart a gameplay benefit, but players use it to make the game look brighter or more colorful. Folks who are heavy into glamour tend to be heavy GShade users.

Earlier today, some players noticed that their PCs were restarting. Twitter user Perchbird_ pinned the problem to GShade, noting that the tool would restart if a user ran it improperly. This issue is related to another user, NotNite, trying to find a workaround for a new GShade update and password system, and then GShade’s developer combating these tactics.

GShade developer Marot Satil admitted to adding the code in a recent update, but downplayed those who called it malware. “Anti-tampering code is not unusual in proprietary software. It is impossible to trigger that code by running the GShade installer as a normal end-user in any fashion. This was meant to be a lesson to [NotNite] specifically about taking this approach to the problem; anything could have been in the payload and you’d have been responsible for distributing it to people and triggering it,” said Satil in a GPOSERS Discord conversation.

The key phrase here is “anything could have been in the payload.” This is largely the problem and resetting one’s PC does definitely count as malware. Anything could’ve been in the tool, and saying you could’ve made it worse does not engender confidence. Some players found they couldn’t even uninstall the tool. The details surrounding this controversy are why the FFXIV team doesn’t want you to use third-party tools.

In response to the backlash, Satil said that they would be removing the code from GShade. “This function has been removed from the GShade installer, and will never be re-implemented again. Moving forward, I will also be looking into easing up the update requirements associated with GShade, as they are ultimately what led to this conflict in the first place,” they said, via Reddit. They also offered a way to remove the tool if the uninstaller didn’t work.

In addition, the GPOSERS Discord is moving back to focus on GPOSERS specifically, rather than GShade as well. “Due to the recent controversy with GShade, this server will be reverted back to its original intention of serving GPOSERS monthy magazine. GShade will remain available on GitHub and will not receive updates for the time being,” said GPOSERS mod Leeja.

A number of users are moving to ReShade, a third-party tool with similar features. In fact, you can find a number of different guides that’ll help you switch from GShade to ReShade. That said, you should always realize that the same thing can happen with other tools. Always protect yourself!

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