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Bethesda Is Reportedly Banning Fallout 76 Suspected Cheaters Until They Write An Essay

Fallout 76 just got a small ban wave for suspected cheaters, however Bethesda is giving players an out if they write a quick essay on why cheating is bad.

December 25, 2018

Without question, Bethesda Game Studios’ titles are some of the most modded games in existence–despite being nearly a decade-old game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim is continually being propped up by the modding community with expansions, added content, and texture packs. With this in mind, it’s almost crazy that reports are coming out claiming that Bethesda is banning players of Fallout 76 who are running third-party programs over the game. And it’s even weirder it comes with a homework assignment.

The string of events was first noticed by YouTuber JuiceHead (you can watch his video on the matter below) who had seen multiple reports that users were getting banned from Fallout 76 from using third-party cheat software. The emails select users are getting specifically say the following:


This account has violated the Code of Conduct and Terms of Service by cheating. The account was detected to be running a third-party application, which provides an unfair in-game advantage, while logged into Fallout 76. […] The use of this type of application is not permitted under any circumstances, nor for any reason. As a result, we regret to inform you that this account has been permanently disabled and will no longer be eligible to participate in any ZeniMax Online services.

Now the puzzling (if not interesting) difference to this unannounced ban wave is the alternate approach to get yourself un-penalized. According to the email, bans can be appealed if the player decides to write an essay and send it to the management team on “why the use of third-party cheat software” damages a game’s online ecosystem:

If you would like to appeal this account closure, 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.

While this is a likely an unprecedented move on the part of Bethesda, it isn’t unappreciated by all. Though outside the norm, many people would prefer having a solid avenue of redress and entry back into the game. So tip of the hat to Bethesda for that one.

On the other end, there is a varying amount of criticism from people who claim they were not cheating, but perhaps forgot to close third-party software they use with other games. According to these gamers, they are not happy about the indiscriminate bans, especially given some third-party software is used for graphical touchups or fixing in-game display problems.

With this controversy, it seems like misinformation has been flowing both ways:

  • While some sites and users are bashing Bethesda for punishing “mods,” there are distinctions between unpunished modding and third-party software.
  • However, not all third-party software (even the ominously titled “Cheat Engine”) are not all used for “cheating,” so many may be being banned just for simply having this software casually open or for non-cheating purposes.

Until we hear more solidly from Bethesda on the scope of these bans or what qualifies as non-permitted use, it’s going to be impossible to know what exactly will cause a ban. For instance, there has been notable problems with people getting banned for similar reasons on Destiny 2 due to their Discord overlay. So hopefully we will have more communication on this moving forward from Bethesda. Or, y’know, be prepared to write an essay.

In the meantime, Fallout 76 has had an interesting pick of news over the last month. On one hand, there is more than enough controversy falling around due to faulty microtransactions and the Duffle Kurfuffle of 2018. On the other end, they just recently revealed everyone playing the game (on any console) ahead of 2019 will receive the classic Fallout games for free.

Fallout 76 is currently available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. If you for some reason want to pop into the game now, maybe to take advantage of this offer from Bethesda, you can order the game through Amazon.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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