Pokemon GO cheaters could be permanently banned, according to a recently-added entry on the game’s official website. The notice, which was added to the FAQ section last week, addresses permanent bans and how players can submit an appeal. Although some sources have suggested the entry indicates a massive ban will begin immediately, Niantic Labs has not confirmed the rumor.
In addition to encouraging Trainers to be respectful of the community and other players, the Guidelines strongly discourage cheating.
“Don’t do it. Play fair. Pokémon GO is meant to be played on a mobile device and get you outside to explore your world! Methods of cheating… include at a minimum the following: using modified or unofficial software; playing with multiple accounts (one account per player, please); sharing accounts; using tools or techniques to alter or falsify your location; or selling/trading accounts.”
Although they are labeled differently, Niantic clearly states that the Pokemon Go Trainer Guidelines will be enforced as strongly as the Terms of Service.
As explained on the Niantic Labs website, players who are reported for violating the Guidelines or Terms of Service will have their account flagged for review. Those who are determined to be in violation will be warned, suspended, or permanently banned, according to the nature and severity of the violation.
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 24, 2016
Pokemon GO was designed to encourage users to become more active. Although the game can be played at home, Trainers who are interested in catching a reasonable number of Pokemon, stocking up on free supplies and increasing their Pokemons’ combat power, must walk to Pokestops and gyms.
In an effort to capture more Pokemon from home, some players have used third-party software to “trick” the game, including software that falsifies their actual location.
As stated in the new FAQ entry, Pokemon GO players can now be permanently banned for a handful of reasons, including using third-party software to cut corners.
“This includes, but is not limited to: falsifying your location, using emulators, modified or unofficial software and/or accessing Pokémon GO clients or backends in an unauthorized manner including through the use of third-party software.”
Users who believe their account was wrongfully suspended or terminated have the right to appeal using a form provided on the Niantic Labs website.
Cheaters often have an unfair advantage over the other players because they manage to avoid playing the game as it was intended. However, there are ways for trainers to enhance their experience without cheating.
As suggested by iMore, Pokemon GO players should definitely visit local parks. In many cases, parks have multiple Pokestops, which allow them to collect multiple Pokeballs, potions, and eggs, in one general area. It is also more likely to find Pokemon where there are multiple Pokestops.
— My Nintendo News (@MyNintendoNews) August 14, 2016
IMore also suggests turning off AR, as the feature can make it more difficult to hit a Pokemon with a Pokeball. Trainers should also attempt to hit the Pokemon with a curve ball, as they will be awarded extra points.
Pokemon that are difficult to catch and break free from regular Pokeballs can be enticed with Razz Berries and are more likely to stay securely inside Great and Ultra Balls.
Most importantly iMore reminds players to be safe and respect others. In a recent update, Pokemon GO added their own reminders to the game, which discourage trespassing and playing the game while driving.
Although cheating in Pokemon GO is strongly discouraged and can lead to a permanent ban, there are hundreds of tips and tricks to enhance gameplay without breaking the rules. According to the official Pokemon GO website, the company simply wants to “provide a fair, fun, and legitimate game experience for everyone.”