How to disable Easy Anti-Cheat in Elden Ring and play offline

Elden Ring Magic Image
Elden Ring Magic Image (Image credit: Bandai Namco)

Elden Ring ships with Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC), a measure taken to try and curb online cheating, but it can have a negative impact on everyone else. We've seen countless reports of poor performance and the game doesn't even launch through Valve's Proton compatibility layer on Linux.

You could disconnect your PC from the internet before starting Elden Ring, but not everyone wants to do that each time they want to play the game. A temporary solution ahead of FromSoftware coming out with a patch is to disable EAC altogether, as suggested by the Steam Proton community.

How to disable EAC in Elden Ring

We're using Steam for this guide:

  1. Go to the Steam library location where you installed Elden Ring.
  2. Go to steamapps > ELDEN RING > game.
  3. Rename start_protected_game.exe to something else. (I added "_original" to the end of the file name.)
  4. Make a copy of elden_ring.exe.
  5. Rename this newly made copy to start_protected_game.exe.
  6. Run the game through Steam as normal.

Elden Ring should display a notice that offline mode has been activated. You should now be able to enjoy the game (albeit a little more) without the anti-cheat software running, but you won't be able to participate in online play.

Disable EAC to play Elden Ring through Proton

Elden Ring EAC

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

As well as potentially improving the performance of Elden Ring, disabling EAC is vital to get the game running at all. FromSoftware hasn't worked in support for EAC and Proton to work together and as such the game will refuse to launch when running through Valve's compatibility layer.

It's a strange one since Elden Ring is supposed to be ready for Steam Deck, but if the game is having trouble running with Proton on Linux, it's going to be a similar story on Valve's new game console. That is unless there's a special build of the game with EAC support for the Steam Deck.

Even with EAC disabled, Elden Ring on PC appears to be a mixed bag. There's no ultrawide support, which is a shame since the world is gorgeous, and the 60FPS limit makes the frequent stuttering considerably more evident. Then there's the aforementioned mediocre performance even if you surpass the Elden Ring system requirements.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.