FFXIV GShade Problems Featured

FFXIV Gets A New Shade of Problems With Third-Party Tools

Another shade of drama

Disclaimer: Prima Games does not endorse the usage of Third-party Tools or plugins in any way, and reserves itself to only discussing the said topic. Such tools are strictly forbidden as recently reinforced by game producer and director Naoki Yoshida in an official statement and are considered a violation of the game’s ToS.

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Third-party Tools – or plugins, so to speak – have been in the spotlight of the Final Fantasy XIV community for both a while and very recently since the winners of the most recent World First race were found to have used external tools for their advantage. Well, turns out that another very popular tool, which people usually turn a blind eye to, has also been widely spoken of, and not for a good reason.

Reshade is a very popular visual enhancer for games that are widely used in many modding communities with The Sims being a notable example. FFXIV players are very familiar with a particular version known as GShade, which is normally inoffensive and harmless. Until it restarts your computer without your consent, of course.

Related: What is NoClippy in FFXIV? – Answered

The GShade Controversy in FFXIV Explained

A recent thread in Reddit has been receiving attention as it exposes the current issues with this particular tool. Players have noticed for a while that GShade has been receiving lots of updates almost daily, which was obviously bothering them. 

So to put an end to this, a sole developer decided to use Gshade’s own installer to transfer its shader presets to a GShade alternative. What they didn’t expect was that the application was programmed to restart their computer when used that way. Just like your everyday malware would do.

To make matters worse, a GShade official developer even admitted to adding that function as a way of “protection” for the installer. You can see a Twitter thread about the occurrence here.

At least it cannot get worse, right?

No, wait, it can. The uninstaller wouldn’t even completely remove the program at all. The easier way people found to do it was to uninstall FFXIV as a whole, as it was mentioned in both Twitter and Reddit thread replies.

And after everything hit the fan, the official GShade developer promptly apologized for the occurrence, saying that said feature was removed from the program, never to be reinstalled again. But would anyone still believe him after all that crap? Not a chance.

Gshade Controversy FFXIV
Image via Reddit

Shader Discords and similar communities have been advising against the use of GShade since then, as it could still be potentially an invasive tool. No one wants to have their computer randomly shut down against their will, after all.

TL;DR: Gshade updates a lot, someone tries to make an alternative. Developer gets mad, programs a malware-like function, and says it was on purpose. More problems are discovered, things go public, developer apologizes but nobody trusts him anymore at this point.

Related: FFXIV: How to Get Tantalus Cuffs

I Have GShade Installed, Am I In Trouble?

If the developer’s words are to be believed, possibly not, but it is better to be safe than sorry. The most indicated procedure is to completely remove the program from your computer as we’re not entirely certain if it’s safe or not.

The same aforementioned threads have pointed out ways to completely remove Gshade from your computer without having to download XIV all over again, as that could take a long while to do, so take a look at them if you, like a good portion of the community, used Gshade even if only occasionally.

Shaders are usually considered more of a “grey area” external tool for the game, as they don’t give any direct advantage or tamper with the player’s experience in battles in any way. Therefore, they’re usually left outside in plugin discussions.

Despite the “plugins bad” discourse that has gained traction lately, many of them exist solely to enhance gameplay in a non-invasive manner. But due to other more invasive extensions, all plugins and tools are outright banned, with no exceptions. 

Using them doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get punished. But if it happens, it’s all on you. Use them at your own risk.


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Author
Patrick Souza
Patrick has been working for Prima since 2022 and joined as a Staff Writer in 2023. He's been interested in gaming journalism since college, and that was the path he took once he had his degree in hands. Diligently ignores his ever-growing backlog to keep raiding in Final Fantasy XIV, exploring in Genshin Impact or replaying some of his favorite RPGs from time to time. Loves tackling hard challenges in games, but his cats are still the hardest bosses he could ask for.