Borderlands 2’s viral graveyard glitch 
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Geoffrey Tim
October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am

Catch-a-viiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirus!

I rather dislike playing multiplayer games with random people from the internet, preferring instead to stick to playing with a close cadre of comrades, or more likely…not at all. I now have even better reasons to stay away from random multiplayer, especially in Borderlands 2 – because there’s apparently some sort of wild viral infection going on in the game – like a digital sexually transmitted disease – that could destroy your save file.

According to users on Gearbox’ forums, there’s something going around they call the “Graveyard” glitch. It’s apparently something that started with the modding community – the folks who like to meddle with their savegames – that ends up filling your save with rubbish data.

It seems to mostly be “infecting” PC and 360 versions of the game at the moment – and might be something that Gearbox has put in place to…uh…discourage save file modding, or more likely, the result of somebody modding something they really shouldn’t have touched.

The graveyard.sav glitch that has been hitting so many players has turned out to be a “viral” infection of sorts that is passed across players, originating with the modding community. It may have been accidental, it may have been intentional, who knows. I’d rather not debate that here, I would like to keep this informative.

What is graveyard.sav? What does this have to do with me?
When you get hit by the glitch that turns your save into graveyard.sav, upon entering FFYL (fight for your life) and then subsequently dying for whatever reason, you will never respawn. You die and go into a free roam camera. If you try to load another character, dashboard, restart your xbox, etc, your save data is completely gone and there is no hope of recovering it at that point, as it is renamed graveyard.sav and is missing the majority of the data it once had.

What?! How did I get this?

As stated above, the glitch originated with the modding community and may or may not have been accidental. It spread from there, and it passes from the infected player to all other players in the game with said infected player. At this point, it’s a terrible chain, and chances are it passed to you through some randoms.

But I don’t play with randoms! I play with my friends only

Do your friends play with randoms? Have any of you ever had somebody come into a game and trade you anything? It’s easy to spread, unfortunately.

How can I get my character back?

Once your save file has turned into graveyard.sav, you cannot get your character back. Too much data has been lost at that point, and it is far beyond salvageable.

So how can I prevent this, or save my character if it gets effected later?

If you want to prevent this, you have to make sure you’re not playing with randoms, and that everybody you play with isn’t playing with randoms, AND that it isn’t currently effecting (sic) anybody in your group. Along with that, MAKE FREQUENT BACKUPS, and if you are on 360, do not backup to the Cloud, as it will sync with your HD saves and your backups will be overwritten, apparently. Memory card or USB drive is best.

If you get hit by this and recognize it (free roam camera, no respawning, etc), you can salvage your save.
1.] Quit (it’ll tell you you cant save, thats fine, hit quit without saving)
2.] At main menu, hit Continue
3.] Load up, hit start, hit Save and Quit
If you salvage your save in this way, and then continue to play, the next time you die, it will happen again, and you must repeat the steps above. I highly recommend following the above steps and then NOT TOUCHING THE SAVEafter that. It’s a logical assumption that due to how this is done, Gearbox will likely be able to remove the “infection” from any effected files with the patch once they get it out.

Can you explain what to look for a little better?
Your save data will turn into this if you are beyond help, but at least you will know what happened to you.

If you don’t quite grasp what I mean with the free roam camera, etc, watch the video below. It shows you what the no-respawn death looks like, what to look for in your storage device if you think you were hit with this (but at that point, you cannot be helped), etc:

A couple of other notes…
1.] The infected player does not have to be the host in order to infect other players in the game.
2.] Gearbox has already stated that they are aware of the issue in other related threads, and I’ve sent in a ticket with specific details because well, that couldn’t hurt.
3.] I wish I was making this up, but I couldn’t make this up if I tried! This has been tested with several players, with chaining the infection, having the infection hit multiple players at once in one game, etc. This is in fact a very real threat at the moment, and if you don’t take the precautions I listed above, it is possible you will be hit with it yourself.
4.] This is NOT related to any of the raid bosses, the DLC, etc. Even if you have the vanilla game, you can still be hit by this.

Remember; when you play Borderlands 2 with somebody, you’re playing with everybody that person’s ever played with.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to back up my save.

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces.I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.I am also the emperor of the backend