Pokemon Go is handing out lifetime bans to players who cheat

Do you want to be permanently banned from Pokemon Go? It’s easy: just cheat.

In an update to its terms of service page regarding appealing a ban, Pokemon Go creator Niantic Labs says those who use bots or cheater apps to play the game may have no recourse:

[Reasons for a ban] 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.

Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone. 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. If you believe your account has been terminated in error incorrectly, you can appeal that termination through this form. For privacy reasons, please do not post appeals on social media.

What we don’t know is how Niantic Labs plans to discover who’s cheating. Its language is vague (Niantic doesn’t advise against certain apps), and it’s not clear what technology it may use to discover if you’re actually cheating.

Short of monitoring your smartphone’s location and algorithmically cross referencing it with your activity, I’m at a loss for how Pokemon Go hackers would be caught. The terms of service specifically address emulators and spoofing, not any of the many apps promising to help you find Pokemon in your area.

But if you’re one of the (likely tons of) users who are taking advantage of third-party clients to catch ‘em all, we’d suggest you stop.

Via The Verge

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