Pokémon GO users, pay attention. This one is for you. Niantic, the developers behind the popular game, have recently issued a note on their website outlining all of the ways you could get banned from playing for life, Endgadget reports.
“After reviewing many reports of in-game cheating, we have started taking action against players taking unfair advantage of and abusing Pokemon GO,” Niantic said. “Moving forward, we will continue to terminate accounts that show clear signs of cheating.”
In the note, Niantic listed all of the ways a Pokémon GO account could be banned forever.
“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,” the statement read.
It’s not just individual players that are getting banned, companies and apps are getting cease and desist notifications too.
— Nintendo Life (@nintendolife) August 18, 2016
According to Endgadget, Niantic recently shut down a long list of third-party Pokémon GO applications. PokéVision was one of them. This app allowed players to see all of the Pokémon in their area on a live map. Twitch, the leading video streaming and community platform for gamers is also getting in on the action of tracking down cheaters. Any Pokémon GO players found cheating on a livestream will get a strike against their account, Endgadget reports. Lots of alleged cheaters have already started getting permaban notifications via email.
If you’re just a regular Pokémon GO player and unclear about some of the things that are banned from the game, here’s a brief explainer:
Falsifying your location with GPS spoofing:
GPS spoofing means using a fake GPS signal to falsify your location. Pokémon GO cheaters have been using this hack to access rare and valuable creatures that may not be in their area, iTech Post reports. If you’re caught doing this, you could be permanently banned from Pokémon GO.
Pokémon GO Bots:
You also shouldn’t use bots if you don’t want to get banned from the game. There are a couple of different bots for Pokémon GO out there but most of them will automate the game for you. In other words, they allow you catch lots of Pokémon, visit PokéStops and level up on your experience points without leaving the house. These Pokémon GO bot programs are very popular, Comicbook.com reports that one of them, Insta-PokéGo, was started by former Dropbox employees. According to one of the developers, over 4,000 people had used it within two days of its creation. But apps like Insta-PokéGo may not be around for long and could get your account banned so use at your own risk.
According to CNET, an emulator is a program that allows you to play Pokémon GO on your desktop instead of on a mobile phone. There are also a lot of different programs like these on the market. Avoid using them if you don’t want to get banned from the game.
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) August 20, 2016
How to Get Your Pokémon GO Account Restored:
If you do receive receive a permaban, you can make an appeal and potentially have your account restored via a form on the Pokémon GO website. But there’s no guarantee that the ban will be lifted if you make an appeal.
Niantic insists that the permanent Pokémon GO bans are all in an effort to make the game fun and fair for every player.
“Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone,” their website states. “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.”
[Photo by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images]