Bungie wrongly banned an unspecified number of Destiny 2 players (Updated)

Update 2: Bungie has admitted that it banned an unspecified number of Destiny 2 players "in error", although those accounts have since been reinstated. It follows reports of players claiming they had been automatically banned because they were running unsupported third-party software—but Bungie said that none of the erroneous bans were linked to such software, and that using performance tools or overlays will not lead to a ban.

Read on for the original story (and subsequent update), in which Bungie said that players can't be auto-banned from Destiny 2. Bungie added last night that it had "identified a group of players who were banned in error". 

"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."

I suspect this won't be the last we hear of it.

Update 1: Earlier today (see the original story below), we reported that Destiny 2 players are claiming they have been automatically banned due to running unsupported software such as MSI Afterburner, while Bungie denies that performance tools or overlays can cause bans. Bungie has now posted a brief statement further clarifying how Destiny 2's anti-cheat systems work, and what can cause a ban. For starters, Bungie says that reports of auto-bans are false, as "Destiny 2 cannot automatically ban you, only Bungie can ban a player after a manual investigation."

Only around 400 players have been banned so far, according to the developer, and the bans were not issued due to use of popular overlay and performance software (OBS, Afterburner, Discord, etc). "Bans were applied to players who were using tools that pose a threat to the shared ecosystem of the game," reads the post.

Bungie also notes that it is overturning four bans that were made during the beta, but did not state the reason.

Anecdotally, we have been running Destiny 2 today with a cocktail of software also running: MSI Afterburner, Discord (with overlay enabled), FRAPs, Shadowplay, and OBS with the unsupported game capture. As expected, only the Shadowplay overlay works, and we have not been banned at this time. Without any deep insight into Destiny's anti-cheat system, we can't say anything conclusive, but if only around 400 people have been banned after manual investigation, it seems unlikely that software a large percentage of the playerbase uses was the cause. Bungie never stated previously that such software would cause bans. We'll keep an eye out for more reports from players, though, as Bungie's statement is all we have to go on at the moment.

One thing that remains unclear is what does constitute a tool that poses "a threat to the shared ecosystem." Presumably, running things like Cheat Engine would be a bad idea, but it's possible some less likely software is being targeted. We'll reach out for more information. In the meantime, here are Bungie's already-published rules regarding what can cause a ban. The original story follows below.


Original story: If you've visited the Destiny 2 subreddit in the last 12 hours, you may have noticed reports of players getting banned for using incompatible third-party software. Bungie has now responded, saying this is not the case. 

According to the subreddit, popular overlay applications such as Discord, Fraps, and MSI Afterburner prompt perma-bans—as well as capture apps like OBS and XSplit. 

Under the heading 'PC bans are not being caused by Third Party Applications', the developer says this: "Greetings fellow Guardians! How's PC launch going for you? We hope it's going well, and we're terribly sorry if you're having any issues with these likely, (for the most of you), inappropriately assigned bans."

The statement then points to this forum post from Bungie community manager Cozmo23 which reads:

Third-party applications that aren’t compatible with Destiny 2 may cause the game to not run but won't result in a ban. https://www.bungie.net/en/Help/Article/46101

Bungie adds: "We do not know any further information for the time being, but we will attempt to update this thread as updates come in. Thank you."

The post by Cozmo23 is seen here:

We've asked publisher Activision to shed more light on the cause of player bans—we'll report back as and when they reply. In the meantime, check out Tom's Destiny 2 review-in-progress.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.