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Halo 4 banning and enforcement


Online games are at their best when everyone plays fairly and treats other players with respect. Halo 4, like many online games, can enforce adherence to fair play by using game-specific bans.

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What is a ban?

A ban prevents an Xbox Live profile from using online features of Halo 4. Bans are specific to a player’s profile, so changing a banned player’s gamertag does not eliminate a ban. Banned players will see a message stating the terms of the ban when they try to use certain features of the game.

Note A player can be banned from Halo 4 independently of other Xbox Live enforcement actions. A user can be banned from this game but still be able to use Xbox Live and play other games online.

What counts towards a ban?

Generally, players are banned for repeated demonstrations of offensive behaviour, cheating or unfair play. Players can also be banned for accessing content (saves, map packs and so on) licensed to a banned profile.

Halo 4 uses an automated ban system that builds a digital case of wrongdoing before any ban is enacted. The system looks for patterns that can't happen accidentally and includes exceptions for benign events such as failed connections or limited game skill.

Examples of unacceptable behaviour include:

  • Violating the Xbox Live Terms of Use
  • Violating the Xbox Live Code of Conduct
  • Cheating or "griefing" (intentionally ruining the fun of the game for other players)
  • Manipulating network performance to improve your online performance or degrade another player’s
  • Skill, EXP or credit boosting, habitual quitting, sitting idle in games and other unsociable and unsportsmanlike behaviour
  • Impersonating a 343 Studios or Microsoft employee on Xbox Live
  • Playing on a hacked or modified console or profile

How can I tell if I've been banned?

An in-game message explaining the details of the ban appears when you try to access online features of Halo 4.

Players who are banned because of hacking or mods get a connection error when they try to access online features.

What happens if I've been banned?

Most bans occur because of unacceptable behaviour or content, such as lewd player emblems. On the first offence, a player receives a temporary ban from using that feature. Subsequent offences lead to another temporary ban or a permanent ban.

Banned players have limited access to the game based on the terms of their ban. Bans for hacking or using a modified console blocks access to all online features of the game. These bans are always permanent.

There are many features of the game that are still available to banned players:

  • Single-player gameplay
  • Custom multiplayer games (though in extreme cases these can also be blocked)
  • War Games Map Pass and downloadable content

Can I be banned if someone else uses my profile or console?

Yes. It is your sole responsibility to keep your account information secure and not share it with others who would abuse it. 343 Studios has no way of detecting who is playing using your account, and if your gamertag is caught cheating or displaying unsportsmanlike behaviour, it will be banned.

Will you reverse my ban?

No. There is no appeal process for bans. Bans will stay in force for their stated duration. To keep your online gameplay privileges in good standing, immediately cease any unsociable behaviour and wait for the ban to end.

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