We are now slightly more than a month in from the day that Pokémon GO has been launched into initial markets US and Australia, and we’re now seeing the AR gaming phenomenon sweeping the globe in the weeks that come after as the game is released to more countries.
And as with any game, the quest to come out tops undoubtedly brings along its fair share of hacks and cheating techniques that people are willing to turn towards to get ahead.
In Pokémon GO, the term widely used for cheaters is called spoofing, and it involves players using third party apps to gain an unfair advantage, which of course violates Niantic’s terms of service.
While there are apps such as bots and trackers that spoofers use, the most common one concerns faking one’s GPS location to trick the game.
It has been employed by people since the early stages of the game’s release. For example, the players who reside in countries that got the game first would use third party apps to place themselves in places anywhere in their country, or even the world, to catch Pokémon that is only restricted in certain places.
On the other side of the fence, Pokémon fans in nations that haven’t gotten the game have also resorted to spoofing, but in this case, it is to get to play the games first before everyone else in the country.
This of course brought unrest among those who waited patiently, as they come to find that local Gyms are being dominated by high level players on launch day.
Niantic Finally Lays Down The Law
In a post this morning (or evening if you are with them in San Francisco), Niantic finally responds to the massive outcry that players have been yearning to be answered.
Here’s the post in full:
The developers of the game have finally come out to admit that they have been banning players, amidst rumours of them starting to take action against errant players since a week back, and they have quietly updated their FAQ section to mention the ban.
Though they make no mention as to how they are segregating the cheaters from genuine players, the bans have definitely hit close to home.
Here’s what you will see if you are one of these people:
This image was courtesy of a friend who got banned, and he even admitted on social media that it was fun while it lasted. There is no word as to whether he will create another account to play again, though.
To further confirm that you have been banned from the game, this is what you will receive in your email inbox. Pray for the day that you won’t receive it.
So if you have been spoofing and don’t want to get banned, it’s probably better to stop.