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Updated: Rockstar has released an question and answer update clarifying the situation on single player mods and what is going on there, among other questions. Here is the statement on the question about using mods in particular from Rockstar:

We have always appreciated the creative efforts of the PC modding community and we still fondly remember the awesome zombie invasion mod and original GTA map mod for GTAIV PC among many other classics. To be clear, the modding policy in our license has not changed and is the same as for GTAIV. Recent updates to GTAV PC had an unintended effect of making unplayable certain single player modifications. This was not intentional, no one has been banned for using single player modifications, and you should not worry about being banned or being relegated to the cheater pool just for using single player PC mods. Our primary focus is on protecting GTA Online against modifications that could give players an unfair advantage, disrupt gameplay, or cause griefing. It also bears mentioning that because game mods are by definition unauthorized, they may be broken by technical updates, cause instability, or affect your game in other unforeseen ways.

Original Story:

Modding has caused a stir in the gaming community once again as reports of being banned for using mods in Grand Theft Auto V flood the Steam store page. While bans for using mods or cheats online are nothing new, these bans also seem to be targeting people who use them exclusively in single player mode.

Rockstar has never officially supported modding, and even took measures to make modding in GTA V difficult. A recent update also disabled a program used to run them, but it is not clear if this was deliberate or not. If purposefully done, then it is clear that Rockstar does not want mods at all in GTA V.

Mods have been used to great benefit in countless other PC games, allowing mod-makers to improve graphical quality, unlock new customization options, or even create completely new content for games. GTA IV has even been heavily modded with little issue, making it  likely that Rockstar is being overly vigilant in protecting the integrity of online play.

Any mod at all seems to be drawing bans. One particular mod that allows players to alter the field of view more than normal has been claimed as the sole cause of being banned by numerous players. Even if not actually used while playing online, it appears that simply having a mod installed may be all that it takes to be banned.

Rockstar customer service is also inconsistent about this, with some players reporting that the official stance is that single-player only modding will not draw a ban, with others claiming to be told that using any mod, even ones in single player, is breaking the terms of use.

Until more information is available, the best course of action may be to stop using mods entirely if you have any hopes of playing GTA V online.  We have reached out to Rockstar for more information and will update this story when more information becomes available.

What do you think of the bans coming out for using mods in GTA V? Do you think Rockstar is going too far? Do you think preventing mods could harm the game in the long run?

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Clint Smith

I'm an ex-carnie who has been gaming and writing since I was a kid. Lately you can find me over-thinking in RPGs or failing my way through a plethora of indie games.