Fallout is a franchise defined by its lawlessness: in the wasteland, nothing can stop denizens from succumbing to their worst tendencies. Fallout 76 leans into the chaos by allowing fans to interact with one another, but recently, one group of players took things too far.
Fallout 76 supports up to 24 players per server, and these participants can talk, trade, and group-up with one another. While the game does allow player-versus-player combat, the feature is opt-in. However, there’s nothing stopping players from following you around and bothering you even if you don’t actually want to engage with them, especially given that Fallout 76 tells you where everyone is at any given time. You can, however, turn off voice-chat for your team.
As reported by Eurogamer, a day after Fallout 76’s launch, one player took to Twitter to share footage of a group harassing them. Through laughs, group members said they were targeting “gays” that they were setting out to “eliminate.” They continually attacked the player as they denounced “queers.” The clip has been watched over 16,000 times as of this writing.
Initially, the players in the clip were banned for only three days, but that punishment was recalculated shortly afterwards.
“We gave an initial ban of three days while our CS team looked into the matter further to verify the individuals involved and what took place,” a Bethesda spokesperson told Eurogamer. “After additional review, we have now permanently banned the players we’ve identified.”
Bethesda confirmed to The Verge that it spoke to Eurogamer, but had nothing to add. For their part, AJpls, the player targeted in the clip, critiqued Bethesda’s limited reporting options for Fallout 76, and suggested that the game should have non-PVP servers to avoid this sort of problem.
“These guys were running around targeting people and what if they targeted a kid playing that was struggling with their identity?,” AJpls told Eurogamer. “What if they said all those things to someone that was playing solo and didn’t have anyone to talk to? That can really mess someone up.”