Pokémon Go players that have been caught cheating are facing a permanent ban from the game, according to Niantic, the app’s maker. Players that violate the game’s terms of service are being banned, and the bans can occur for any violation of the lengthy terms.
Reports of bans indicate that the company is only banning players that have used techniques to go beyond the game’s normal functionality.
GPS spoofing and bots are among the two offenses that are being punished. Players will use GPS spoofing to capture Pokémon that are located in different countries. Players that have had access restricted to region and have used GPS spoofing to overcome these limitations have also found their accounts banned as a result.
Bots, or programs that automate the game, are also being targeted by the company.
Niantic outlined the violations that can result in a ban on their website. The offenses that can result in the ban of a user’s account include: “using emulators, falsifying your location, using third-party software to access Pokémon Go clients and backends, and using unofficial or modified clients.”
The company has included a form where players that have been banned can appeal the decision. A ban may be reversed if it was issued by mistake.
Niantic has not revealed details on how they’re keeping track of the techniques a user uses on his or her phone to cheat. The internal system’s anti-cheating system is still very much a mystery, and users have stated account banning has been going on for some time.
Third-party application programming interfaces (APIs) are being discouraged by the community, too. Many developers of the game’s most popular APIs have also been sent cease and desist letters from Niantic.
Any players that have been playing Pokémon Go in a way that was not originally intended may face strict account bans as a result.