Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason These Innocent Red Dead Online Players Are Getting Banned

The Red Dead Redemption series oftentimes encourages players to be the dirty lowdown scoundrel that they've always dreamt of becoming. Red Dead Online is a game full of bank robberies, bounty hunting, and narrow escapes from the law. That's all part of the fun, but several players have run into trouble when taking the real-world laws of the game into their own hands.


According to a report from IGN, Rockstar Games has begun banning players for using loot chests that have been spawned in the game by hackers. The problem here is that the bans didn't only affect the hackers themselves.

Unfortunately, there were apparently many players who didn't realize that the treasure chests had come from unscrupulous sources. Many other gamers have opened or otherwise fiddled with these chests and have suffered the same consequences, receiving bans for unknowingly benefitting from someone else's hack. 

Attempts to explain the situation to Rockstar have gone unheeded. As one player explained to IGN's Chris Priestman, "Myself and at least 4 others in the r/reddeadonline community have reported being wrongfully suspended by Rockstar and have had our characters reset, losing all progress ... Rockstar does not listen to any of us in our efforts to contact them about being wrongfully banned."


The players in question have been told that they simply have to wait for the ban period to be over and they can resume playing. However, as mentioned previously, they've lost all of their character progress and will have to start from scratch when the ban is lifted.

This is certainly a disheartening consequence for any gamers who were genuinely shocked by the ban. It's not unusual for cheaters who have been caught to protest the consequences of their actions. However, when an innocent player gets caught in the crossfire, it's a real shame.

Possibly the most upsetting aspect of this story is that at least one of the hackers in question has admitted that they had actually intended to get innocent players banned. One of these hackers said they were purposefully spawning golden treasure chests in high-traffic areas to trick as many folks as possible. You'd be in the right if your first thought here was, "What in tarnation?"

Most of the time, chests in the Red Dead games are hidden pretty well. In fact, some of them can only be found with the help of treasure maps. This could help some players differentiate between the hacked chests and the legit ones. Basically, if you're out on the prairie and you see a treasure chest just chilling in the open, maybe carefully guide your horse around it. As tempting as it is to check for riches, it's better to be safe than sorry when dealing with cheaters.


It's also worth noting that this is far from the first example of Red Dead having a problem with cheaters, which could partially explain why Rockstar has taken such drastic measures. Red Dead Online has been dealing with an infestation of hackers for quite some time. Some modders have used their skills to steal money from other players, as well as strengthen their own weaponry and gain access to inventory they haven't otherwise earned. Some spooky Red Dead hackers with a love of mad science recently unleashed an invincible two-headed skeleton on unsuspecting players. 

Earlier this week, it was reported that Rockstar was none too pleased with modders who had inserted an adult-themed mini-game into Red Dead Redemption 2 that parodied the company's embarrassing "Hot Coffee" controversy from the 2000s. It's honestly not that surprising that Rockstar would be fed up with all of the hackers, but this kind of "scorched earth" response is a bit of a shock.

Hacking and modding has been a major issue in another Rockstar property, Grand Theft Auto Online. With that game, players have found all kinds of creative ways to cheat, including freezing their own bank accounts at a high number and modding in tons of murderous aircraft to go after their competitors. Others have been content to mod the game to fit their own bizarre sense of humor


Cheating in online games can sometimes turn into something like a snake eating its own tail. A few years ago, a GTA Online player hired a hacker to help him recover from being affected by another hacker. It's kind of wild how these things can pile up on one another (especially in games with Rockstar attached).

Let's hope that these affected Red Dead players won't have to resort to those kinds of tactics. Maybe this will all get sorted out and the innocent parties involved can get back to their regularly-scheduled rootin' tootin' cowboy shootin'.