Bungie has banned 400 Destiny 2 players on PC, but some of them have been overturned


Update: Last night, after a day of confusion over a slew of Destiny 2 bans, Bungie clarified a few things. The developer said that around 400 players were banned on PC for using tools that were a “threat to the shared ecosystem of the game”, which implies tools used to cheat or harass other players, though no specifics were offered.

These bans did not happen automatically, however. Bans happen after Bungie manually investigates a players. Reiterating an earlier tweet, Bungie also noted that using Discord overlays and other third-party applications would not result in a ban.

Despite this, the developer admitted that some bans were erroneous. Four bans made during the beta have been overturned, and in an update to the statement, Bungie explained that another group of players — no numbers — were also banned by mistake.

“As part of our ban review process, we have identified a group of players who were banned in error,” the update reads. “Those players have been unbanned. The bans were not related to the third-party applications listed above. We will continue to review the process we use to ensure a fun and fair game.”

Original story: Destiny 2 finally launched on PC last night — it’s quite good — and the ban hammer has already come down on a multitude of Guardians. By their droves, players have been complaining of unexpected bans, and many of them cite third party applications as the reason for why they can no longer play the game. Bungie denies this.

Capture programmes like OBS, or applications that add an overlay, are blocked by Destiny 2 out of fears that they could interfere with the game’s code. That’s why you’re probably frustrated about not being able to take screenshots. But apps being blocked is very different from users being banned, and Bungie has confirmed that it doesn’t ban people for using them. “That’s internet BS,” said the PC project lead.

This doesn’t explain what’s actually causing the bans, however, and players have been left baffled. Worse, these are not temporary bans, which Bungie calls “account or device restriction”. They’re permanent. “If a player receives a message that references an account or device ban,” the Destiny 2 help article reads, “They have permanently lost access to the activities indicated in the ban message.”

A few people complaining about unwarranted bans is par for the course, and should be taken with a grain of salt, but it seems like too many people have been affected for this to be a typical punishment for breaking the game’s terms of service.

We’ve reached out to Bungie and Activision for more information, and if you’ve been hit with a ban, let us know in the comments.


  1. Ghostwise says:

    I have not been hit by a Des2 ban. From this I can conclude that we are not so different, you and I.

  2. Kefren says:

    So they weren’t just banning players from the multiplayer side of things – they were blocking them from playing the game they’d paid for _completely_? That’s ludicrous. It’s only a game. I have no problem with blocking people off from connecting to a server to play multiplayer, but if you only play single player then you should be allowed to mod, tweak, cheat or break a game however you want. I’m glad this isn’t the kind of game I have any interest in. I thought their first Halo game was okay (good in some areas, average in others, boring in a few); and I think they once did a platform game I enjoyed. But if this is the way games with any multiplayer component are going, then I’ll stick to my offline single player games, thanks.

    • zarasque says:

      There is no offline mode in Destiny 2. It’s a MMO. A strange shooter MMO but it’s a MMO. That’s the reason why they are banned from the game altogether and not just the multiplayer, because everything is the multiplayer

      • Kefren says:

        So it isn’t possible to play the game without other people appearing in the game? You can’t play it alone?

        If you can play it alone then it isn’t an MMO, it is a game that can be played as an MMO, or as a single-player game.

        • LessThanNothing says:

          You can play the main story missions solo but it is an “always online” game…

          • Kefren says:

            I think this is going in circles!
            If you can play the game solo then there should be an offline mode. Then they can ban people from multiplayer, but not prevent people having some access to what they paid for.
            The fact that they didn’t implement an offline mode is a negative thing about this game and/or the developers, and which exacerbates the banning problem.

          • PseudoKnight says:

            Um, you can play World of Warcraft solo, but that doesn’t mean it should have a singleplayer mode. In this particular case you could argue that it’s setup in a way that would work well with singleplayer, but the logic of “if you can play solo” doesn’t hold up.

          • fish99 says:

            To be able to play offline they’d have to effectively distribute the server code with the client thus potentially compromising the games security. Technically you can get put into instances with no other players in other MMOs, but that doesn’t mean those bits of the game are available offline.

            Also even solo story missions usually begin in the shared open world with other players about.

        • jp says:

          Easiest comparison that comes to mind is Diablo 3.
          You can play that game 100% alone, yet its still 100% online only.

          • malkav11 says:

            It’s the very best example of a game that clearly has no business being always online – indeed the console versions aren’t and there are no relevant differences between them and the PC version – but is anyway and whose developers insist it couldn’t possibly exist without it. Destiny 2 at least has substantial portions of the game with passive multiplayer – i.e. you are sharing the world without necessarily adventuring together – which is not true of Diablo.

  3. Horg says:

    I’m a little surprised that they are still claiming they don’t auto-ban. Now they have admitted fault for an undisclosed number of banned players, what this implies is that DESPITE human oversight, permanent bans were being handed out for no significant reason. That sounds even worse than ”sorry guys we over tuned our auto-moderation software”, which is still the most probable explanation for this mess. Right now it sounds like they have a pathological liar in charge of their PR department.

    • elevown says:

      Not really – it still was probably errors in software – It doesn’t make much difference if it is a banning algorithm or like an error in the code that cross references player name to accounts or some other moderating software function.

      It could also have been an error in a human run process – or even human error. All those things happen. Human error isn’t some super rare or shocking thing – it happens in every company that exists – especially with new processes and software. As long as they fix the procedures if they were at fault or give further staff guidelines / training etc these things can be minimized.

      • Horg says:

        What on earth does any of that have to do with Bungie being caught out in a self constructed lie?

        • Asurmen says:

          Nothing about this suggests a lie so far. Humans are, funnily enough, fallible.

    • dagnamit says:

      They said they didn’t auto-ban anybody. They gave you a number, 400 banned. They indicated that some of these were overturned. (probably run up the chain of command and overturned by a supervisor or something) Where is your evidence that they are lying to you?

      • Horg says:

        You have not understood their statement. The 400 they identified as legitimate bans and the 4 they overturned are separate from ”a group of players who were banned in error”. This group has no specified number, and was snuck into the press release as an incidental update. The use of language is designed to make the reader believe that the problem was confined to 400 confirmed cheaters and 4 mistakes, where the reality is there is a much larger group of players who were banned by mistake, and Bungie wont admit how large this group is.

        So, as for Bungie lying, you have to accept that one of the following is true:

        They were telling the truth about personally moderating every ban, but banned a large group of players for no discernible reason, then blamed all the bans on ‘software that posed a threat to the game’. By admitting fault and reversing the bans, they have shown this to be a lie.

        Or, they were lying about personally moderating every ban, and have just realised that their automated cheat detection was generating a lot of false positives.

        Or, they had no idea what was going on, but as their press releases to date have all contained an explanation, we can conclude that they were lying to save face while they investigated.

        • fish99 says:

          Your logic is off. The bans were manual but probably relied on detection software that, as it turns out, wasn’t perfect, because you know, no software is.

          As for the second statement it’s clearly listed as an update, therefore overriding what they said in the first statement.

          What’s clear in all this is having bans with no appeal is unacceptable, and that Bungie need to communicate better. They really should say exactly what software will get you a ban.

          • Horg says:

            ”The bans were manual but probably relied on detection software”

            : |

          • fish99 says:

            Dude it’s not that hard to understand the difference between a human manually banning someone based on evidence collected by software, and the software banning without a human being involved.

            Or it could be the case that the software did its job right, but the human just messed up.

          • Horg says:

            It’s not that hard to understand that if fault was admitted and those bans were reversed, then the evidence was insufficient to warrant a ban. Therefore, either there was either no manual input, or the manual input was ineffective to the point where the system was effectively automated, and they still lied about blaming all of the bans on cheat software. Or, maybe that is hard to understand, as it’s gone right over your head.

          • Xerophyte says:

            You can get lost when using a GPS, without necessarily being in a driverless car.

          • Horg says:

            The logical fallacy of the false analogy. If you can’t make your point in plain speak then leave it be.

          • Xerophyte says:

            People had made the point that a person using an automated tool making a mistake doesn’t necessarily imply that the tool is fundamentally flawed and human error impossible before in the discussion. I figured an analogy might help clarify things.

            You’re free to be dense and smug instead of trying to listen to other people if you want, I suppose.

          • Horg says:

            I understand your point but it’s irrelevant. The scope for human or machine error does not change the fact that Bungie’s PR department lied about the scale of, and reason for, the mystery bans. The point, once again for everyone struggling to follow along, is that Bungie would have salvaged public relations better by admitting to a software problem rather than running with their initial lie (that all bans were legitimate) and later being forced to contradict themselves.

          • Asurmen says:

            Again Horg, point out where they actually lied.

  4. The First Door says:

    I always find it telling when companies are very eager to give exact numbers one moment (when they think it makes them look good) and reticent to give them out the next. It almost always means the number was a number that would make them look bad and they think that people won’t notice them not giving it out.

    It just makes me think of a politician saying something like: ‘Look, look, I’ve given out 500 free books to school children! I mean I punched some unspecified number of them in the face while I did it, but look at the 500 FREE BOOKS’

    • jonahcutter says:

      Actually, nowadays it would be more akin to:

      “We delivered care packages to 500 children in Libya. We blew up some unspecified number of them when we ‘regime-changed’ their government and they now live in bloody chaos. But 500 of them now each have a box of cookies and an educational “How To Avoid a Drone Strike” comic to enjoy before being sold in open-air slave markets. Next up, Syria!”

  5. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I have to say, rampant unspecified bans, especially some erroneous, very much make me not want to buy this product. I don’t want to buy something that seems to be regularly taking people’s access away for no stated reason.

    • dagnamit says:

      There are probably a million people, minimum, playing Destiny 2 on PC. It’s probably a lot more than that. 400 out of 1 million is, 0.04% of the player base. There’s no way in hell they banned all the cheaters, hackers and script kiddies currently in the game. I highly doubt these were “erroneous”, as you say, though mistakes can and will be made. Hopefully, those peoples’ bans are overturned.

    • fish99 says:

      There was a stated reason-

      “Bans were applied to players who were using tools that pose a threat to the shared ecosystem of the game”

  6. FuriKuri says:

    As long as autohotkey isn’t a “threat to the ecosystem”, I guess. Given how few of the UI shortcuts are reassignable, and that certain keys are completely locked out, I half suspect it will be…

    Let me use enter as a jump, bloody console devs!