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Rockstar block hackers from summoning KKK characters in Red Dead Online

Arthur also disapproves

Red Dead Online cheaters get up to all sorts of mischief by summoning various NPCs from the game data into the world. As only one of oh so many examples, there was a spree of two-headed skeleton attacks several months ago. Mischief becomes more malign when they, say, summon white-robed KKK members to attack other players. So of course they’re doing that. Rockstar say they have removed the ability for these character models to be summoned in Red Dead Online.

Rockstar recently shut down their online servers for Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 for two hours on the day of the memorial service for George Floyd, a Black man who was killed by police in Minneapolis last month.

In the following days, Red Dead Online players started seeing an increase in racist behavior in Red Dead Redemption 2 servers. Hackers use a cheat menu to grab the KKK character models from RDR2’s singleplayer campaign and insert them in multiplayer servers as NPCs.

Be warned, the images in the tweet below include racial slurs and characters dressed as hooded KKK members.

There’s of course never a time when spawning a gaggle of KKK members to attack another player is good. The hacking bit is rude. The griefing is rude. Weaponizing symbols of hatred is more than rude. Given the current protests in the United States and around the world against police brutality that disproportionately targets Black people, now is an even more bad time than usual for that behaviour.

Rockstar put a stop to the illicit summoning with a patch for the online game. One player explains that it seems Rockstar check a player’s online status, listens for an NPC (PEDs, in their parlance) summoning event, and deletes the PED immediately if it’s one of the KKK models.

However it’s been achieved, Rockstar haven’t commented publicly on the fix. They have confirmed to Polygon that “the game no longer allows for this racist cheat,” in Polygon’s words.

Also in the screenshots above are spoofed messages in Red Dead Online that appear to come from Rockstar—a cheating phenomenon we’ve seen before in GTA Online. It doesn’t seem like the KKK character fix also addressed that thorny cheat, so beware of false “Rockstar Message” notifications on screen.

It would be better yet if Rockstar found long-term ways to crack down hacking in their online servers, but I suppose this will do for a quick fix to this particular problem.

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Lauren Morton

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