Ever since Grand Theft Auto V launched on PC last month, there’s been one persistent question: Is modding okay? After all, the ability to tweak the game is the primary reason most people held out for a PC version, and even without official mod tools we’ve already seen some incredible work—from whales falling from the sky to guns that shoot cars to Half-Life 2's gravity gun.
But the question reached a fever pitch this week with many users claiming they’d been banned from GTA Online for using mods in singleplayer. Not so, says Rockstar.
In a new FAQ, Rockstar officially addresses the mod question. Here’s your answer:
“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.”
It’s basically exactly what we’d hoped—singleplayer mods are fine, while multiplayer mods are not. Why it took Rockstar nearly a month to clarify a question everyone’s had since launch, well, I don’t know. But at least we have an answer.
Now the main question is what’s happening to all the users who report they’ve been banned for singleplayer mods. The hardest part for users is that Rockstar’s bans tend to come in waves, the same as Valve’s VAC-bans, meaning it’s hard to isolate what the problem is or why you’ve been targeted.
Because of these bans, there’s also a movement on PC to transfer GTA V multiplayer onto custom servers, bypassing Rockstar and its banhammer entirely. Actually, two movements. Whether or not Rockstar will shut these projects down remains to be seen.