Niantic Answers: Yes, We Will Ban ‘Pokémon GO’ Cheaters

Have you been tricking Pokémon GO systems to get an unfair advantage over other players? Know that Niantic is getting serious about cracking down on cheaters and you’re probably already in their to-do list.

Earlier this week, ComicBook reported that Niantic Labs has already started cracking down on Pokémon GO cheaters. Apparently, a huge number of those playing Pokémon GO and using unfair methods like GPS Spoofing and other bots are already getting banned by Niantic. Soft bans were primarily implemented on these Pokémon GO cheaters (soft bans meaning players can still access Pokémon GO but could not really do anything inside the game such as getting items from PokeStops, catching Pokemon, or battling or claiming gyms).

Soft bans from Pokemon GO are now getting turned into permanent bans
Soft bans from Pokemon GO are now getting turned into permanent bans

In the previous weeks, Niantic has already taken time to reiterate their stance on cheating, as stated on Pokémon GO’s terms of service(TOS):

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.

Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone. We will continue to work with all of you to improve the quality of the gameplay, including ongoing optimization and fine tuning of our anti-cheat system.

But, of course, whoever reads the TOS anyway? After a massive wave of Pokémon GO bans issued by Niantic Labs and numerous people complaining about the actions, Niantic is finally offically addressing the cheating front through the official Pokémon GO website, saying:

Trainers,

After reviewing many reports of in-game cheating, we have started taking action against players taking unfair advantage of and abusing Pokémon GO. Moving forward, we will continue to terminate accounts that show clear signs of cheating.

Our main priority with Pokémon GO is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate game experience for all players. If our system has determined that you cheated, then you will receive an email stating that your account has been terminated.

With this new directive by Niantic Labs against Pokémon GO cheaters, accounts of those caught tweaking the Pokémon GO systems will be permanently banned. This means that the account will be deleted and cannot not be used to access Pokémon GO anymore.

GPS Spoofing is a popular Pokemon Go cheat
GPS Spoofing is a popular Pokemon Go cheat (via iStock)

A huge chunk of the Pokémon GO cheating was brought by GPS spoofing, which enabled players to trick the GPS locator of Pokémon GO to allow them to catch location-specific Pokémon without having to move a single step.

Pokémon GO cheaters aren’t the only ones being targeted by Niantic in its aggressive quest for foul play. A number of Pokémon GO bot sites are already closing shop to escape the wrath of Niantic. One of these is NecroBot, a Pokémon GO tool that enabled users to capture Pokémon and claim items from PokeStops without even taking a step outside their house. NecroBot’s Necronomicon explains on the NecroBot GitHub page:

Due to legal action being started against other bot creators/devs (we did not receive a letter yet) the Project development will be stopped.

Those who felt they have been unjustly banned from Pokémon GO can still also submit an appeals via the appeal form on the Pokémon GO website. Niantic Labs strictly discourages Pokémon GO users whose accounts they feel have been unfairly terminated to air their grievances on social media for privacy reasons.

[Featured image via iStock]