What Happens If I Update My Modded Xbox 360?

By David Lipscomb

Updated September 22, 2017

The Xbox Live Terms of Use strictly forbid the online usage of a modified Xbox 360. This includes any console considered able to facilitate cheating or network manipulation, preventing an enjoyable experience for other players. Updating an Xbox 360 is mandatory when these updates are released. In so doing, the modded console is exposed to the Live service, running the risk of a console ban.

Console Tampering

This is defined as any invasive action, with the altering of hardware to create an unfair advantage in the competitive Live environment. Additionally, this practice is recognized as a method of allowing pirated and other illegitimate software on the console. Updating the console allows Microsoft to recognize these abnormalities and possibly ban the console from Live play. Additionally, if the internal firmware have been altered sufficiently, an update may simply cause enough incompatibility to prevent any operation of the console.

Account Bans

A potential penalty for repeated occurrences of console bans or other violations of the Terms of Service is an account ban. Unlike a console ban, which only affects the hardware, account bans restrict violators from accessing achievements and other rewards gained online through Xbox Live play. This is considered an escalation, greater in severity than a console ban. However, console bans from detection of modding are often precursors to account bans.

One and Done

Console bans are irreversible. A modded console detected during a firmware or service upgrade is permanently restricted from Xbox Live use. Such bans are considered final. If you are not a modder, a way to avoid this is to purchase Xbox 360 consoles new, avoiding the risk of inadvertently purchasing a pre-owned and modded console. Remember that, at least initially, the console is banned, not the user. Microsoft does not consider who owns the hardware at the time of detection.

Other Consequences

If a console is banned for violations of the Terms of Use, the unit will not be repaired under any circumstances. For users that open and tamper with the console, this may become an issue in the future. Risks of damage from using improper techniques and unauthorized parts during the modding process potentially increase the chances of failure, leaving users with an expensive paperweight.