Rockstar has been in a constant battle against cheaters in Grand Theft Auto Online ever since the game was initially released. While the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are relatively clean now thanks to the suspension of character transfers, hackers and cheaters still appear on PC. Rockstar hasn't ever been lenient with hackers, and that hasn't changed.
This new clarification of GTA Online cheating policies was likely triggered by the upcoming release of Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC, which includes the game's multiplayer mode Red Dead Online. RDR2 has already been available on the Xbox One and PS4 for a year, and cheating on these platforms is next to non-existent, however the PC is a much more vulnerable platform.
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A number of new support articles published by Rockstar give players an overview of what actions warrant either suspension or a complete ban. These are the same criteria used by Rockstar itself when dishing out these punishments, so it doesn't hurt to be familiar with them. The offending actions are as follows:
- modding in online games
- exploiting or abusing game mechanics in online games
- participating in “money lobbies”
- account boosting
- account “recovery”
- promoting methods of abuse/glitching
- promoting modding of online games
- manipulating protected game data and code,
- interfering with other players’ gameplay experience.
Corrections are the least severe punishment a player can receive. If you had money dropped on you by a modder, or used an exploit to get large amounts of money, your account will be rolled back to the state it was in prior to the benefits being incurred.
The next tier is a suspension. This is used when you take a more active part in the disruption of GTA Online. In the case of a suspension, your account can't be used to log into GTA Online until the suspension is over, which varies in time depending on the infraction. Additionally, all progress on your account is wiped. Levels, unlocks, items, properties, GTA$ - all gone, except for any GTA$ acquired via Shark Cards. It's like starting from a clean slate.
Permanent bans are the last step of this dreary ladder and result in the complete and unending lock-out of your account from GTA Online. You won't be able to log into the multiplayer portion of the game with that Social Club ID ever again.