While Apex Legends has been suitably entertaining for the dedicated battle royale fans enjoying Season 11, fans of Respawn Entertainment's inaugural shooter have had a rough time in recent years. Fans of Titanfall, and more recently with Titanfall 2, have had to deal with years of high ping lobbies, hackers, DDoS attacks and crashed servers, among other interference that's essentially made the multiplayer experience impossible to play. In that time, hardcore fans have organized several efforts in an attempt to "save Titanfall," all to no avail. Controversy, consistent hacks and server attacks, as well as a lack of developer support have wore down Titanfall fans.
Now, the hardcore Titanfall 2 players have taken matters into their own hands with the "Northstar" client mod released this month. This enables PC players to set up and host their own custom multiplayer servers for Titanfall 2, all of which are fully customizable to any degree that server mods would like. Whether it's a purely traditional Titanfall 2 multiplayer experience, or players want to be thrown into the map by the ever-charming BT Titan, sporting custom weapons/equipment, that is also possible. Custom servers are exactly what the hardcore Titanfall 2 community needs, and may be the key to breathing new life into the multiplayer shooter.
Titanfall's Enduring Server Issues And Attacks
This wasn't always the case with Respawn Entertainment's servers for Titanfall 2 multiplayer. However, in the years since launch, vulnerabilities in the server architecture have been abused by hackers time and again. While Respawn Entertainment has assured no personal data breaches or anything of the sort have occurred in any of the server attacks, the official multiplayer servers have basically been rendered unplayable several times in the last few years.
From Respawn Entertainment's perspective, the studio gets put in a tough place, considering the game is not really the studio's focus for developer support at the moment. Much of the development and support staff is focused on managing Apex Legends, which has had its own fair share of issues with cheaters and hacks itself, leaving what effectively amounts to a skeleton crew on support for Titanfall 2's multiplayer. Respawn Entertainment's community coordinator, Jason Garza, notably mentioned in July of 2021 that the studio "only [has] like one or two people on it because the rest, everybody else is on Apex Legends..."
It is unusual for a game as popular as Titanfall 2 once was to be so negatively affected by various security vulnerabilities so often. By contrast, other popular multiplayer games from 2016 (Overwatch, Street Fighter 5, Battlefield 1) have not experienced this degree of server vulnerability or hackers/DDoS attacks. Granted these aren't exactly one-to-one examples, but even an EA-published game like Battlefield 1's multiplayer servers have effectively outlived Titanfall 2's official servers. With these new custom servers spearheaded by the Titanfall 2 community, players are taking matters into their own hands.
How Custom Servers Are Reviving Titanfall 2 Multiplayer
Titanfall 2's Northstar mod, which is publicly available on GitHub, gives players the ability to host their own servers for multiplayer. As simple as it may seem, it's a godsend to those struggling with the constant hacks and attacks on the official servers. Additionally, for those looking to spice things up, custom servers are compatible with "custom scripts and assets to create custom content," presumably meaning any moderator capable of creating things like new guns/equipment/etc. could implement them in-game as well. However, beyond any value that custom content can bring to the game, Titanfall 2 players are now way less at risk for hackers or server attacks.
The Northstar mod doesn't eliminate the possibility of hackers from abusing these custom servers as well, but the nature of private servers reduces vulnerability significantly. Hackers would need to identify the host's IP address, which are inherently more difficult to find without being on a "master server," as explained by the SaveTitanfall Twitter account. Setup is relatively quick and easy too, meaning players looking to get into a stable multiplayer match will have a sufficiently easier time queueing into multiplayer. The only downside is this understandably only applies to PC players, meaning console players don't get to share the same luxury.
For the hardcore Titanfall 2 fans, this is a huge development. Years of controversy and hackers have rendered traditional Titanfall and Titanfall 2 multiplayer unplayable; whether it's been high ping and crashed servers, or hackers griefing players, there have been reported issues with both Titanfall games since 2017. Custom servers will absolutely encouraged players, especially the hardcore fans, to come back to Titanfall 2's multiplayer once more. Plus, considering all the publicity that the Titanfall/Titanfall 2 server issues have received, news of this workaround could bring back former players as well.
Titanfall 2 is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
MORE: The Events of the Titanfall/Titanfall 2 Hack and Controversy
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