The ban fiasco started on January 22nd, when a treasure chest spawner was introduced to a mod menu created by Austrian hacker zJanny for Red Dead Online. This ability, along with other cheats afforded by the mod menu, are against the games terms of service. The treasure chest spawner was released via a hackers forum, and by February 15th, countless hackers from the same forum began reporting their accounts had been banned due to the use of the treasure chest spawner.
zJanny claimed to find a solution to the bans, posting this in the forum: “The 3 rewards in one treasure chest is detected. I am using it with just 1 reward per crate since a week no ban.” Responders to the post rejected this explanation, claiming to have been banned regardless despite never using the 3-in-1 treasure chest spawner. Things began to get more messy, when user big-shaq-skrra posted a reddit thread claiming their account was suspended after opening a treasure chest. They presumed it was a modder spawning them, and left the session after more modded chests began popping up. Unfortunately, this wrongful suspension means their character and progress will be wiped, and the Reddit user remarks that they are “done with online Rockstar games…”
Big-shaq-skrra isn’t the only one feeling the effects of the ban spree. An increasing amount of innocent players are coming out about their accounts being suspended and even permanently banned after unknowingly interacting with modded treasure chests. One player reached out to IGN’s Chris Priestman through Twitter to say, “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.” Affected players say Rockstar has been unresponsive and unhelpful in sorting out the situation, and their Red Dead Online experience is forever ruined. At this time, it is recommended that players avoid opening treasure chests found randomly in the world, and only those tracked down through the use of a legitimately attained treasure map.