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Rockstar responds to Red Dead Redemption 2 cheats debate

A Red Dead Redemption 2 player claimed that their Online character was reset for reporting cheaters, but Rockstar have confirmed this is not the case

Red Dead Redemption 2 player punished by Rockstar for reporting cheats: Arthur Morgan from western open-world game holds a pair of revolvers

05/09/2022 Rockstar Games has contacted PCGamesN to issue the following statement regarding this story: “We looked into this issue on the player’s behalf and there are no suspensions, previous or pending, on this account. However, the character was recently manually deleted by the player.” Original story follows below.

A Red Dead Redemption 2 player has had his Red Dead Online character reset to level 1, after he submitted multiple cheater reports to Rockstar complaining of hackers and griefers in the open-world western.

Speaking to PCGamesN, Red Dead Redemption 2 player Kevin Daly explains how he had encountered multiple opponents in Red Dead Online who were using the god mode glitch, alongside other exploits that made them invisible on the game’s radar, and immune to the lock-on function of opposing players’ weapons. Daly says that he submitted multiple reports regarding the cheaters to Rockstar’s official support channels, alongside video recordings of the cheaters in action, and their respective online usernames.

The developer responded by saying “cheater reports are not currently accepted for Red Dead Redemption 2”. After sending various follow-up reports and emails, Daly says his account was eventually banned for 30 days for violating Rockstar’s terms of service, with the developer also informing him that “in addition to being suspended, all [of Daly’s] Red Dead Online characters, progress, and inventory…will be reset. All Red Dead Online suspension, banning, and character reset decisions are final and cannot be appealed,” the developer added.

Daly shared the responses from Rockstar on the Red Dead Online subreddit, prompting frustration from the sandbox game’s player community. “This is ridiculous,” wrote one Red Dead player, with another adding “this will only bring more cheaters out of the woodworks, because they now know they won’t get banned for it”. Daly was then contacted a second time by Rockstar, with the developer seeming to backtrack on its initial replies regarding Daly’s cheater reports. “The latest response you received from us, that we do not accept cheater reports in Red Dead Online, was not correct,” the Grand Theft Auto creator said. “We absolutely do accept cheater reports, and we take both cheating and griefing very seriously in our games. I am very sorry that you have been having an issue with other players griefing, cheating, or using exploits in the game”.

The developer then offered Daly a variety of methods that he could use to submit cheater reports in the future. After being contacted by PCGamesN, Rockstar Games confirmed that both the initial email, claiming cheater reports were not accepted for Red Dead Redemption 2, and the follow-up, apologising to Daly, were legitimate emails from its player support team. The developer also said that the first message was the result of a “miscommunication”.

Daly says that his ban has now been lifted, but that his Red Dead Online character has been reset to level 1, and that this is yet to be remedied by Rockstar Games. Though he has been able to keep the in-game cash and gold that he had accumulated previously, he has lost all of his progress and upgrades from his original character which was close to level 100.

“The ban has been lifted but I’ve got to start from scratch,” Daly says. “I’ve spent around €15 of real money [in the game] and obviously €69.99 on RDR2 and Red Dead Online. It’s not much, really. It’s just the fact that you can spend thousands or small amounts, but at the end of the day if your situation in-game doesn’t affect Rockstar financially then they don’t seem to care.

“Honestly, I feel let down,” Daly continues. “I’ve been with Rockstar since the PS2 era and spent a lot of money. It seems they have abandoned RDR2 in favour of GTA Online and just let modders and griefers run amok. I know myself personally I’m not getting back into RDR2 as the fun has been removed.”

PCGamesN has previously reported how hackers in both Red Dead and GTA Online have been affecting other players’ games and online experiences. Earlier this year, Rockstar confirmed that it was “steadily moving more development resources towards the next entry in the Grand Theft Auto series,” with Red Dead players subsequently hosting an online funeral for the open-world western, which has not received a content update since 2021, and is expected to receive less attention from Rockstar as it enters full-scale development of GTA 6.

Despite having his account reset after reporting the cheaters, Daly is still being urged to try and get his character back to where it once was. “Honestly, I don’t have the energy to do it,” he explains, “but my wife is encouraging me, so she will help me get it back up to the level 100 or so that I had it at before. I’ll definitely be more sceptical of reporting cheaters or glitches from now on, though”.

As Rockstar seemingly shifts its focus away from Red Dead Redemption 2, we are still awaiting official information on the next Grand Theft Auto – you can find out everything that we know so far in our comprehensive guide to the GTA 6 release date, rumours, and facts. If you’re eager for more open-world action in the meantime, you can also check out our guides to the best sandbox games, or perhaps the best western games on PC, which naturally includes Outlaws and Fallout: New Vegas.