November 4th 2009 3:00 pm PT

Xbox 360 Console Bans


As you may have read online, we’ve been actively banning consoles from Xbox LIVE that have been modified to play pirated games. Our commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the more than 20 million members of our Xbox LIVE community remains a top priority. All consumers should know that piracy is illegal, and that modifying their Xbox 360 console to play pirated discs, violates the Xbox LIVE terms of use, will void their warranty and result in a ban from Xbox LIVE. The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive from manufacturers, retailers, and the third parties that support them.  This would also be a good time to remind you that the warranty on an Xbox 360 console is not transferrable and if you purchase a used console that has been previously banned, you will not be able to connect to Xbox LIVE.


Industry, Xbox 360 By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson


    Thank you MS for trying to crack down on the illegal activity on XBOX 360. Hackers/Homebrewers/Piraters/and whatever else these theives are called should have some type of consequence(s) for their actions. Thank you too Major Nelson for letting everyone here know that MS is making a valiant effort. But as I often say “Where there’s a geek there’s a way”, referring to these type of computer crimes. Meaning that criminals are always trying to find new ways to continue to beat out what ever deterrent that can be created to stop them. Granted without them things could not progress in the rapid fashion that they are by helping greater minds develope newer and better technologies. The action of ending the XBOX device from going LIVE is a small penalty but should prevent copy-cat offenders which are usually bad thinkers, weak minds, and/or followers. Thanks again. See you on XBOX 360 LIVE where I’ll MUR-DER-YOU!!!!


    Im already with you blinker…

    Im already well on my well to making the full on move to the PS3. I own 100+ Xbox 360 games and almost 30 PS3 games. And I am slowly stopping all 360 game purchases. Ive been through 4 RRODs with this system (2 premiums and 2 elites) and its about to happen again.

    I own a launch PS3 and a PS3 slim and havent had a single issue with either. And I play online for free!!!!

  • HeavyComponent

    That’s good for them!!! Just buy the game! problem solved!

  • TheDave545

    Can i ask people here, how can they tell if its a legit copy or not, ya see i work at a games retailer in Uk, so i sometimes get releases early, besides MW2 anyways (ordered Prestige Edition from HMV), so i dont wanna turn my 360 on 1 day and see your console has been banned.

    I have the reciepts to prove my purchases, but its the principal of the thing aint it, they cant ban people for playing games early, and i bet it will take a few days to get it sorted too.

  • Warrengonline

    @Blackbolt GT
    I’m glad to hear it and it is so much better to earn the right to own anything. I got Mirror’s Edge free (for helping a friend move) – look at my achievements. I’d appreciate it more if I bought it I guess.

    Um… That sounds really absurd. WHY would someone with a large collection of games get banned? Think about it. My Xbox360 collection is my largest collection of games (outside of my PS1, Neo Geo and 3DO. I even purchased OverLord(1) and it is still brand new in the pack, purchase last year in June – no time to play. I gave away ODST and another friend is borrowing Brutal Legend and Guitar Hero World Tour. And another friend is borrowing SceneIt: LCA and another friend has my SceneIt:BOS and Just Cause (loved the demo, the full version, ehh). And the ONLY games I’ve borrowed is Left4Dead and The Orange box (now own it as a friend bought it for me). And also, think again about the guy who owns only 4 games (how would you know?), but have played over 100+ games (by his games played in the profile). There is a thing called GameFly. So [mash] the thought.

    “For Free” is not always good, but PSN and interface is (kiosk-ish) nice, but also has A LOAD of issues in PS Home, such as ‘Phone Calling’ someone, having to hold the R2 button to talk. Keeping up with your friends is hard while walking. Sending game invites is simple, but KNOWING WHERE to go to accept such invites is confusing at first; are the things in the interface are the trade off. The quid pro quo is basically cross-game chatting, email, sending photos from flash drives, being able to read ‘sent’ mail is good, but can it replace being able to send messages to the console from the internet as with the Xbox360?

  • snoopydoggy

    Those who run MS won’t even know how to turn on an Xbox. Those who do the technical work for them know what they’re doing, and if you’re playing legit games a few days before release, you won’t get banned.
    It was already stated these bans are for pirated copies, anyone playing a legit copy is fine.
    For those that get away with it, there are how many million users on Live? You’re not that clever, its simple numbers!

  • rangerdangah

    I’m really happy that you guys are doing this. I write software for a living, and a whole lot of work and expertise is required to engineer the programs most of us take for granted. It is just a slap in the face to all of those that go through four (sometimes more) years of school, deadlines, planning, bug fixes, etc, just for it to be stolen.

    People argue that they’re not harming anyone, but what if everyone modded? Thank goodness the majority of society has a conscious, or the gaming industry would of died a long time ago.

  • aquateen216

    Yay Im Glad microsoft is doing this! Who is getting the modern Warefare 2 Limited Edition Xbox 360. i cant wait till monday night at the midnight launch.

  • oAssassin Xo

    In the end piracy won’t stop and neither will methods to stop them. People find a way to stop pirates, pirates find a way around it. People find another way to stop pirates, pirates find yet ANOTHER way around it. It the cycle goes on forever. I mean I am not sure how it is for consoles but with PCs piracy is easy.
    No matter how hard someone tries pirates always find a work around. Because when people try to do things like Starforce and crap then the public gets mad. See the problem is you can never stop piracy because the only real way to stop it is to implement a system that would end up hurting legit people too. And no one will stand for that. Many companies have tried these methods and been shut out! This is why piracy will exist forever in one form or another.
    Frankly I would pirate 360 stuff if I could. I don’t understand why 360 games cost more then PC games. And why on 36o I get charged for ridiculous Gold? When 360 first came out the difference between gold and silver was that gold gave you access to Multiplayer. Basically MS was ripping off people but knew people would it because we didn’t have a choice. Now they changed it to make it look like gold pays for the stupid features on 360 that most people don’t use nor want. >.>
    360 is a rip off all around but I only stay legit (for now) because theres not enough people to stand up against MS. Everyone says they hate MS but no one takes action. Typical of someone in the USA.

  • urla54cher

    amen oAssassin Xo!!!!

  • Joergen8

    I’m more pissed about glitchers, cheaters and hosts (as in the complete and utter impotence of Epic Games) in games like Gears than some cheapskates playing the games they want for free.

    These measures do nothing to whip Epic into finishing their games that I paid full price for. Year in and year out cornershop-MS lets their pet dog do its business all over their shoppers shoes.

  • SnoopDope

    For many people in the world, there is no other option than to pirate. Take for example gamers in Turkey, how do you expect them to buy legit games when Microsoft denies them the 3 years “global” warranty, when their console RRODs, just because they don’t live in a “supported” country ? No disc replacement programme, no hard drive transfer cable when they buy an elite, no eligibility for promotional offers, no access to many free demos and paid DLC that are region locked based on IP address location, No Nothing. So how do you expect these gamers to buy official games when MS doesn’t officially sell games to them ?

  • I Resendetra I

    SnoopDope, that would be their problem then. Pirating is illegal no mater how you look at it. Microsoft does not take kindly to it.

    I’m thankful that they are cracking down on these people. =]

  • Scythekain

    Has Microsoft thought about doing a rewards program for “narc’ing” out people we see getting achievements 1 – 2 weeks early?

  • On3Shot2Killz

    x box banned people who had legit copies that was, bs some of my freinds got banned for having call of duty early.

  • Gvaz

    Thanks for banning people who haven’t done anything wrong, idiots.

  • IP e a IH e a D

    I just got console banned like 5 minutes ago, but the strange thing is I have a legit 360 elite and have not modified my xbox in any way shape or form since buying it, yet i turned my xbox on n got a message saying I have console ban for violating the terms of use =S.. any tips/ideas of wot to do from anyone at all please as i have been punished for doing nothing :( ..
    Thanks !

  • Wingman1977

    If you have a retail copy of a game before it’s official release and your console is not modded, you will not get banned. Not matter what anyone says. I have yet to see anyone presenting proof that that their console was wrongfully banned. So anyone complaining that their console was wrongfully banned, I call bs until they present proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Wingman1977

    Also, Major Nelson himself stated back then (just before Halo O.D.S.T was released). If you have a retail copy of a game before it’s released and your console is not modded, you won’t have nothing to worry about.

  • Sunny Bunny 88

    Alright guys, listen u. First of all, the people getting banned right now either A) Have a mod chip or B) Are playing games that aren’t out yet or C) Are using a FLASHED xbox and playing games that aren’t stealth patched.

    Now I’ll elaborate. Mod chips are fairly rare as far as the xbox 360 goes. They are much easier to detect than a firmware mod (What most modders use nowadays) A firmware mod, is pretty much just a small file that you download onto the disc drive of an xbox. I don’t undertand it completely, but it essentially tricks the xbox into thinking that a burnt DVD is a real one. If used correctly, it is nearly impossible to detect those. Essentially, the only way you can get banned with a firmware mod is if you are playing a game that isn’t stealth patched (I’m not a hacker so I never bothered to learn what that meant, but Im guessing you have to change some files on the game disc or something to make sure nothing is wrong before you put it in your xbox)
    So really the people getting banned right now are either using a mod chip, playing games that didnt come out yet, or forgot to stealth patch their burnt games. So really, modders will always be a problem until the next xbox comes out, which will probably be impossible to download firmware onto(like the PS3)Microsoft is doing a good job by banning the modders, even if they only are banning the stupid ones.

  • Wingman1977

    They are not going to ban people who are playing games that have not yet been released (as long as their console is not modded and the game is a retail copy). Please stop spreading false information.

  • Sunny Bunny 88

    2000 people were banned for playing Gears of War 2 before the release date.

  • Wingman1977

    Because they had pirated copies (not retail ones).

  • Sunny Bunny 88

    Yeah and they had a different ID than the retail copies had so they could tell that they were pirated. Modders wait till the game comes out so they can copy the retail version.

  • Wingman1977

    Anyone who has a retail copy of a game that’s yet to be released and their console is not modded will NOT get banned.

  • aquateen216

    Wow my 13 year old brother got banned.

    strangest thing happened

    we press play on the left 4 dead 2 demo and it signed him out. and we tryed to sign back in and it said he was banned. so he unplug and plug it back in and it works fine. he then put a original copy of modern warefare cod4 and played it for a couple of hours. and we cut it off and an hour later we cut it back on to dominate in cod4 and it signed him out again and then said his console was banned. he has no modifications or pirate games. man this is bullshit. thanks for banning my brothers unmodified console. Just know i will not buy or support anymore microsoft products and will take my limited edition modern warefare 2 console off of preorder and buy a ps3

  • aquateen216

    Omg major im so sorry i retract that last statement.
    i had just recently found out the history on his xbox.his friend modded it and has been borrowing it and playing some burned games on my brothers system. i have told the kids parents and he is either giving my bro his unmodified console or his parents told me that his christmas is ruined and they will buy my bro an arcade version.

    while i did not know this i will continue to support microsoft. and i cant wait for my modern warefare 2 xbox 360. have a great time in savannah,ga and be safe

  • Apocalypse1309

    Good that they’re banning modders and pirates.

    1. If you bought the ORIGINAL game at a store that sold it before the official release date, you’re in luck; you will not get banned, you just got lucky and the store clerk made a mistake.
    2. Modded/rapid-fire controllers are OK, according to LIVE’s Director of Policy Enforcement. There’s really nothing they can do about it, unfortunately.
    3. Paying for games will motivate companies to keep cranking out AWESOME games.
    4. Of course Microsoft doesn’t want you to play pirated stuff… they care about making profits, and they care about the game developers making profits which they do by making and selling awesome games that people want to play. That way MS can continue to sell Xbox and LIVE. They’re not a charity… they make good games, awesome online experience, we give them money. Fair deal, no?
    5. For the modders whining about this: you agreed to MS rules when you signed up for LIVE. You broke the rules. Face the consequences.


  • otto888

    This ban system seems to have flaws…I have never modded or pirated on the xbox or xbox 360,I signed up for the preview program(the Netflix party 1),got accepted according to Microsoft connect,and MY CONSOLE WAS BANNED. M$ NEEDS TO FIX THIS.

  • Bishop Drako

    My console got banned to For no reason Why do we have to get hit in a cross fire.

  • Big Boss Z

    Just pick up a copy at 7 eleven if u want it that bad :)

  • Bishop Drako

    I’m thinking about getting a ps3 I hope Microsoft goes down or the need to change the junk. nice way to blow money microsoft. anyway Uncharted Looks amazing

  • Klecun

    Keep it up!


    I’m sure it’s been said 100 times before me, but I got my console banned today. I didn’t mod it and don’t play pirated games. Yes it was purchased used but I had no way of knowing that it was modded. They should at least allow us to send them in and pay to get a refurbished one, now I’m out what I paid plus another $200 bucks for another console. God damn pirates….

  • SuMeRiaN

    Damn it took seven pages for two people to point out the fact that people with legit copies are not getting banned. Ask yourself this, are you smarter than hundreds of Microsoft’s top people and lawyers? The answer is no… The people who have been banned are pirates.

    What the criteria is to bring down the ban hammer is a formula we will never know. Honestly I believe select titles mostly first party have an id. The system scans first for a game played pre release date and then checks the number against a database or at least for duplicates.

    Whatever they are using it’s not effective enough, I think they are missing everyone not playing prerelease. There has to be a way to detect the hacked firmware is running on the DVD drive.

    I would rather MS brick the DVD drive than issue console bans if you want my opinion. I do feel sorry the people this holiday buying consoles that have already been banned. I hope retailers start checking connectivity on boxes they are reselling

    In conclusion this is being blown way out of proportion, MS has nothing but I really wish they did. The account suspension forum is my favorite.


  • Bishop Drako

    You say that now wait untill you get hit 2 then who’s the pirate. I already bought a new xbox if this crap happen again then there is a problem. But there is always a Ps3 which is’nt banning no body. But any way microsoft is some what losing the battle cause every time I turn a round they find a new way to copy games. Are we really safe from this so called Ban Hammer. Lol Ms

  • loinbread

    Major Nelson, you’re sitting on rather precarious ground here. You haven’t just banned users from Xbox Live but also disabled functionality of the console itself. You’re going to have to find some justification for that in countries where the modding of consoles is legal for the purpose of backing up games, particularly when Microsoft have produced a console that is notorious for scratching discs.

  • pavlak

    as far i understand ban waves from live i simply cant understand damageing console ive got my retail disc of MW2 yesterday in a game store i was so happy ive got a receipt and everything but i visited InfinityWard site and saw the release date 10NOV got rly scared that i will be banned bcss of that left post at MS site and Infinityward Site . But guys there told me that it will be absolutely fine as ling as i have legit disc and unmoded console , and i do , but MS sometimes makes mistakes wich are hard to pull off . ps .. i will never understand why cant i cancel my payment thru account management ( sry for my english , its not my primary language)

  • Rahul Duggal

    Microsoft should try and shift on to Blue Ray or HD-DVD so as to bring down piracy rather than just banning people. Even Nintendo is doing the same with Wii-HD. Maybe try offline banning in future games !!

    BTW, Xbox 360 has awful quality. Im on my 3rd Xbox 360 after the earlier 2 RROD on me & the warranty had already run out. Maybe Major Nelson should send me 1000$ back for being loyal despite crappy Xbox 360 Quality.

  • loinbread

    Rahul, there is no high definition Wii.

  • Vugo28

    You know what sucks the much? I’ve been banned in this crossfire (1 week ago, before my Gold expired) and haven’t even opened my 360, i’m definitely not going to buy another 360 just because they are stupid. I’m out.

  • Caffman

    hey my girlfriend got banned for a day for having “get the frak out” (a phrase from battlestar galactica) on her bio. But it just amazes me how all these somalians have xbox 360s!

  • loinbread

    Caffman, maybe if she were a Farscape fan she would have gotten away with it. Seeing as how unpopular it was, nobody would pick up “get the frell out”.

  • dizzy lazy bone

    been looking at few gamertags across all leaderboards
    and still wondering about these tags that surprisingly havent been banned or reset yet
    yes im neron (locked his profile but check that he unlocked 10000+ GS achievements in 1 day)
    funkyboy k (playing games unreleased yet also suspected and playing pirated games)
    GTR BigBoss (Most likely hacking or gamesaving of some sort)
    i thought MS is all about fairness and legitimacy
    why arent u banning and reseting these tags to make them learn to play fair and nice
    theres actually so many tags i came across but only listed these
    maybe the community can help ban and reset these tags send a file complain against them

  • Rahul Duggal

    @ Loinbread , a Wii-HD with a Blue Ray Drive is in the works. It has been created just for combating rampant Piracy on the Wii

  • GS HaXoR

    LOL – Civilians getting caught in the crossfire.

    2nd hand 360’s will always have issues – RRoD & possibly modded by previous owner.

  • Symbiote Prince

    Get those modders!!! get ‘em real good!!

  • XboXR360

    F9^k Microsoft, I see they r trying to throw their weight around with this ban. If they r destroying data then a law suit needs to be filed. Under the law how can they so called own the software of something that u paid for. I see that They can take you off live, but for them to destroy your data that is a problem. I don’t care who sees this and could careless. I used to be a Microsoft head but I’m headed to Sony. If I buy a game and I have five systems which I do I’m not going to by five types of the game. If I backup my copy that I own then, that is what I do.

  • stststststq

    XboXR360, so when you defect to Sony and buy 5 PS3s, how are you going to make your backups then? lol. MS aren’t destroying any data. What they are doing is stopping people getting banned and saying “I’ll just use this as an offline console and buy another for online” and then moving one hard drive between the two. It stops people unlocking achievements on a banned box and then connecting the hard drive to their other unbanned box to have those achievements register on Live.