In a blog post this week, Niantic has outlined a new three-strike policy for Pokémon GO cheaters. The policy explains that players who cheat will receive a series of punishments, gradually increasing in severity…

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Through the three strike system, Pokémon GO cheaters will first receive a warning coupled with a downgraded gameplay experience:

  • You may not be able to encounter rare Pokémon in the wild. These Pokémon may not appear on the map or on the Nearby Pokémon tracker.
  • You may be excluded from receiving new EX Raid Passes.

The first strike will last for 7 days, after which gameplay returns to its normal form.

After a second strike, however, Niantic takes things up a notch. Users will lose access to their Pokémon GO account for 30 days, unable to access any portion of the game:

If your account is issued a second strike, you will temporarily lose access to your Pokémon GO account. When attempting to log into the game, you’ll be presented with a message stating that your account is suspended. You will not be able to bypass this message.

Last but not least, a third strike means that Niantic will completely and permanently ban your Pokémon GO account. While Niantic says there is an appeals policy, its detection is highly accurate and “very few termination are ever overturned.”

As for what constitutes cheating, Niantic’s policy is that any behaviors that violate the the Pokémon GO Terms of Service and Trainer Guidelines fall under the cheating umbrella. This includes GPS location spoofing and accessing Pokémon GO backends in an unauthorized manner:

For the purposes of this policy, we define cheating as behaviors that violate the Pokémon GO Terms of Service and Trainer Guidelines, such as falsifying location (GPS location spoofing) and accessing Pokémon GO clients or backends in an unauthorized manner, including through the use of third-party software or add-ons.

The full Pokémon GO cheating policy can be found on Niantic’s website right here.


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