RNASET2 is a ubiquitously expressed acidic ribonuclease that has been implicated in diverse pathophysiological processes including tumorigeneis, vitiligo, asthenozoospermia, and neurodegeneration. Prior studies indicate that RNASET2 is induced in response to oxidative stress and that overexpression of RNASET2 sensitizes cells to reactive oxygen species (ROS)-induced cell death through a mechanism that is independent of catalytic activity. Herein, we report a loss-of-function genetic screen that identified RNASET2 as an essential gene for lipotoxic cell death. Haploinsufficiency of RNASET2 confers increased antioxidant capacity and generalized resistance to oxidative stress-mediated cell death in cultured cells. This function is critically dependent on catalytic activity. Furthermore, knockdown of RNASET2 in the Drosophila fat body confers increased survival in the setting of oxidative stress inducers. Together, these findings demonstrate that RNASET2 regulates antioxidant tone and is required for physiological ROS responses.