If you’re like the many thousands currently playing Borderlands 2, the hugely popular RPG-infused shooter from 2K Games and Gearbox Software, it’s likely that your attention is set on obliterating Pandora’s population and obtaining killer loot. Less likely is the chance that you’re thinking about viruses, bugs and glitches that can bring your co-op mission of doom to a grinding halt. Unfortunately, some gamers have found out about this the hard war. A new glitch has been making the rounds across all of the platforms, infecting games and corrupting save files. This could potentially mean losing hundreds of hours of game progress, stats and all of the loot that you have collected. This is the nightmare of any dedicated Borderlands fan, so you definitely want to pay attention to this article.

The origins of this glitch, which is aptly named “graveyard.sav,” are not known, however it has been making the rounds through cooperative gameplay. It is passed along from player to player, often unknowingly, and the effects become evident once the player dies. Rather than respawning and taking the financial hit in-game, you are stuck in limbo with the free roaming camera. When you exit out of the game or attempt to load another character, your save file is completely gone. As of this writing, it is believed that your save file is permanently wiped out and there is no known means of restoring it. For many, this means a significant loss of progress and acquired perks and loots, and the fact that it is created by somebody for this exact purpose makes it even more egregious.

The Gearbox forums have been abuzz with people chiming in about the glitch and how to best protect yourself from it. The first line of defence is to avoid playing with random players, and ensure that your friends do likewise. This is something many of us have already done, given that Borderlands 2 has an optimized “drop in, drop out” mechanic and improved matchmaking that is more conductive to playing with strangers. The other preventative measure is to back up your save file, frequently. On the Xbox 360, it is recommended that you use USB drives or memory cards to back it up. Backing it up to Cloud would be ineffective, since it automatically syncs with your hard drive data. Until Gearbox issues finds a fix for this glitch, erring on the side of caution is highly recommended.

Borderlands 2 was released on September 18, 2012 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. Be sure to follow the Gearbox forum thread more details on the graveyard.sav glitch as they emerge.