Pokemon Go Gotcha Poke Ball

As a microcosm of the world at large, Pokemon GO has become a seething hotbed of inequality, jacked-up competition and crafty scammers. The kind of place where some folks think the only way to get ahead is to bend the rules or flat out cheat. Well, not anymore: Niantic is now permanently banning those that use location spoofers, optimization tools and Pokemon maps or that otherwise hack and cheat their way to the top.

On a new FAQ page on Pokemon GO’s support portal, there is a new section on appealing a ban. Niantic explains that accounts are now being banned permanently for violating Pokemon GO’s terms of service rather than temporarily banned as they were previously. In one fell swoop, cheating is now an internecine affair, one even more devastating to the cheaters than their fair-playing friends.

Those being banned are deemed guilty of the following (among other things): “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.”

FastPokeMap Pokemon Go map service

Obviously, all of these crimes fall outside what Niantic would expect from players of their game. Video game culture has always had a healthy undercurrent of cheats, hacks, mods and tricks to get ahead, so it’s no surprise that Pokemon GO is not exempt. How Niantic is picking up on cheaters is a still a bit of a mystery though.

Permanently banning cheaters is pretty extreme though – even if it is ultimately fairer to those that play by the rules. As Niantic notes, “Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone.” If you feel your account has been suspended unfairly, hit the source link for further information on how to appeal a ban.

Have you cheated at Pokemon GO? Do you think a perma-ban for cheaters is fair play?

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