Rockstar Games addresses GTA Online banning bug concerns

For what it's worth, you're not *actually* getting banned for loading into GTA Online from Story Mode, despite a warning screen.

It's been a hot minute since the release of Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S, and we've had our first major bug occurrence with the games' life on a new generation of consoles. As the issue became widespread, Rockstar Games weighed in.

What's this issue all about? It's simple - which makes it all the more bothersome. A bug has caused Rockstar Games' anti-cheat software to trigger, at least seemingly, in some cases when players loaded into GTA Online directly from single player.

Essentially, with GTA 5's protagonist selection system, you can select your GTA Online character, which is a quick shortcut to loading into the multiplayer mode without having to exit and navigate a bunch of menus. This feature was intended to make playing the game more convenient, but for those who experienced this latest bug, it only caused issues and a fright.

Some players reported that, despite not using any kind of cheats or hacks or breaching the terms of use in any way, they would be met with a screen indicating a permanent ban from GTA Online when loading into the multiplayer mode straight from single player.

Enough reports of this bug have circulated online for Rockstar not only to look into it but acknowledge it publicly, and provide some insight - most importantly, when you encounter this issue, you're not actually banned.

The warning screen pops up, informs players that they have been banned, and boots them back to the main menu. Since the screen was designed with actual bans in mind, there is no way to get away from it other than returning to the main menu.

This new era for GTA Online isn't off to the smoothest of starts.

Thing is, you're not actually banned when you see this - seeing the warning screen is a bug, and trying to load into the game from other menus might still work. Due to the nature of the bug, your IP may still be flagged by the system, making logging in impossible until a fix is issued or, if you have the know-how, until you change your IP address by rebooting your router or using a VPN if you have a static IP.

Naturally, having to muck around with your IP settings is hardly ideal, but Rockstar is currently working on a fix, and reassuring players that encountering this bug won't have any lasting effect on your account or its standing. In the meantime, it's suggested to only log into GTA Online from the menu, rather than loading in from story mode directly.

Aron Gerencser
Gaming at least as long as he's been walking, Aron is a fan of all things sci-fi and lover of RPGs. Having written about games for years, he's right at home reporting most of the breaking news in the industry and covering the happenings of the e-sports world. Graduating summa cum laude from Università degli Studi Guglielmo Marconi with a BA in Media Production, Aron has been a game journalist since 2014. When not writing, editing or playing, Aron is building models which you can find on Instagram.
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