Banned from GTA Online? Grand Theft Auto V PC Player Bans May be Automated

Rockstar has seemingly been laying down the banhammer on Grand Theft Auto V players, prohibiting them from playing the game’s multiplayer component GTA Online if they have installed mods, even if those mods were limited to the game’s single-player mode – but the bans may have been carried out accidentally.

The developer’s anti-modding stance has now led to Steam users attempting to take a stand, with them posting negative user reviews on the game’s Steam page. The number of negative reviews has already impacted its rating on the digital distribution platform, with its reviews changing from “Very Positive” to “Mostly Positive.” Considering the amount of players posting these angry critiques, it seems like only a matter of time before its rating plummets even further.

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While it was known upon GTAV‘s PC release that Rockstar wasn’t exactly embracing the modding community with open arms, the modding community found a way around the anti-modding restrictions the dev had placed in the game and eventually introduced a number of their own additions, including one in which players could insert a “land whale” into Los Santos.

Unfortunately for those who have been utilizing these mods, Rockstar began issuing GTA Online bans to players with mods installed, even if these mods had been used solely in the game’s story mode, or were merely superfluous additions to improve the game’s overall graphics.

This has inevitably caused an uproar among PC owners of the game, who already share quite a tumultuous relationship with Rockstar due to the company’s delayed response in bringing its games to the platform, with its Steam page currently filled with negative comments regarding Rockstar’s actions against modding.

One Steam user wrote: “Don’t get me wrong; the game is really great and everyone should play it. But the problem is that Rockstar is banning people from Online AND singleplayer for using a mod that just makes the FOV (Field of View) wider, making their 60$ wasted. Pun not intended.”


Automated Bans

However, Rockstar has previously stated that the FOV and similar cosmetic mods will not result in users being banned, with a spokesperson for the company saying: “Cosmetic mods are not a bannable offence. However if you require technical support after installing a mod you will need to uninstall the mod before we can help you with any issue you have, as we do not officially support mods.”

“To keep the gameplay environment as fair as possible for legitimate players, we routinely do sweeps to separate out cheaters and modders, and to reverse any illegitimate transactions. These sweeps are based on in-game automated detection, examination of suspicious gameplay statistics, and also manually-reviewed evidence submitted by the Community.

“If you were not engaged in any willful cheating or exploiting yourself, you do not need to worry about getting caught up in our work to separate out cheaters from the rest of the population.”

If cosmetic mods are allowed by Rockstar, then it is likely that the bans being dished out to players who have implemented the FOV mod and other such visual improvements are accidental, and are presumably a result of these sweeping, automated bans that Rockstar has implemented. 

If that’s the case then for the love of God, Rockstar, pull your shit together. Grand Theft Auto V‘s multiplayer component has had a number of problems since its initial launch on the PS3 and Xbox 360, with the problems still somehow managing to persist in its PS4 and Xbox One incarnations. The PC version is billed as the definitive edition of the game, but now comes along another issue that Rockstar will likely be forced to apologize for.