It appears Bethesda is offering a bizarre way for folks caught cheating in Fallout 76 to regain access to their account. All they have to do is write an essay. No, seriously.
While Fallout 76 has only been out for about a month, folks have already found plenty of ways to alter the game using third-party software, including tweaking the visuals or even duplicating in-game items. According to a recent YouTube update from user JuiceHead (via Polygon), Bethesda has started swinging the ban hammer on folks caught using any such software, exploits or cheats. While many of those folks claim they've done nothing wrong and are arguing that they have been unfairly punished by Bethesda, several have shared emails from the company that offer an unexpected course to forgiveness.
According to the original post, at least three people have shared similar emails from Bethesda concerning their alleged cheating, all of which include a bizarre footnote that feels like it was pulled straight out of a high school classroom.
If you would like to appeal this account closure, we would be willing to accept an essay on 'Why the use of third-party cheat software is detrimental to an online game community,' for our management team to review.
So assuming that this is legitimate, Bethesda is reportedly offering cheaters a chance to be forgiven for their transgressions if they're willing to compose an essay explaining why cheating is bad. There's no telling if this is a tongue-in-cheek offer or a legitimate alternative to staying banned. If anyone reading this has been banned and decides to give an essay the ol' college try, be sure to let us know how things turn out in the end.
According to the Fallout subreddit, running software like Cheat Engine and Reshade is likely causing Bethesda's cheat detector to ping. So even if you aren't actually using it while playing Fallout 76, it's probably best not to have any such program running in the background. Otherwise, it looks like you'll have some homework to complete before teacher will let you back into the classroom.
Cheating in games (especially on PC) isn't new but, as far as I recall, this is the first time a publisher has offered guilty parties a chance to get back in their good graces by performing the equivalent of writing "I will not cheat off of my classmates' papers" on the blackboard 100 times.
Of course, I would be remiss if I did not mention that this is probably poor timing for Bethesda to get cheeky about something like cheating in a video game, especially as it pertains to Fallout 76. I mean, this is the same studio that promised folks a canvas duffel bag for the $200 special edition of their game, then delivered an inferior product because "canvas is in short supply," offered in-game currency as an apology and then magically found enough canvas to deliver what was promised in the first place. That's probably worth an essay too, right?