Bethesda has begun to crack down on Fallout 76 cheaters, banning accounts for the use of third-party modifications and so on. In a rather novel move, however, Bethesda is giving players with a ban a chance to get their account access back; if they write an essay about why cheating software is detrimental to online gaming!
Bethesda’s New Policy for Fallout 76 Cheaters
Modding has been a contentious topic since before the launch of Fallout 76. Both the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series have long had highly active and expansive modding communities; quite possibly among the largest for any gaming franchise. However, Fallout 76 does not currently offer mod support. Indeed, Bethesda have said that it could take a year post-launch for it to get implementation. The problem is that whilst all previous Elder Scrolls and Fallout games have been single-player experiences, Fallout 76 is an online multiplayer title. Whereas before, if a player used mods it would only affect their own game, now they can be used to gain significant and unfair advantages over other players.
Fallout 76 will eventually get mod support. However, it has to come alongside the option for private servers. In such a case, it will be possible for a player to play without others spawning in the same world. (Although direct multiplayer via invite could still be possible.) In this environment, the potential dangers of modding in an online space would be avoided. Unfortunately, the long wait, coupled with many players’ dissatisfaction with the current state of Fallout 76, has resulted in players risking bans to use mods anyway.
In recent weeks, Bethesda has been clamping down on the use of mods and other cheating. However, the company is offering banned players a rather original way of overturning the ban; “If you would like to appeal this account closure,” reads the email sent by Bethesda to affected players; “we would be willing to accept an essay on ‘Why the use of third-party cheat software is detrimental to an online game community,’ for our management team to review.”
Player Response to the New Policy
Reports of this email were recently shared by players on Reddit, prompting many angry responses. In some cases, players have claimed that their accounts were unfairly banned. However, this may actually be due to gamers using software which they didn’t realise could trigger a ban; programs like Cheat Engine and Reshade, for example. Hopefully, any truly unfair bans will be overturned by Bethesda in due course. However, for the time being players will unfortunately need to resign themselves to the fact that Fallout 76’s online nature simply doesn’t allow for the widespread mod use which the series is known for. At least, not yet.
Some players have expressed frustration at being banned for using mods which fixed perceived problems with Fallout 76. For example, the recently added option of ultra-wide resolution has been widely criticised by fans. As a result, a mod is available on NexusMods which offers a fix. Unfortunately, any player who uses it still risks receiving a ban. While in certain instances like this, a single mod might cause no real harm, Bethesda’s team likely don’t have the necessary time to go through every mod’s code to verify that it doesn’t cause any unintended (or intended) problems. In an online experience like this, the company’s blanket policy against mods does make sense, even if some are unhappy about it. Hopefully, Bethesda will prioritise bringing private server and mod support options sooner than initially planned to address many fans’ frustration.