Pokémon GO now punishes cheaters with bad monsters

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Pokémon Go
Niantic is cracking down on sneaky players.
Photo: The Pokémon Company

If you think cheating is the easy way to get ahead in Pokémon GO, think again.

Developer Niantic just rolled out a new update that punishes cheaters by only allowing them to catch lousy monsters.

What’s great about Pokémon GO is that you have to get out to play it. You can’t just sit on your couch with a bag of chips in one hand and your iPhone in the other if you want to catch ’em all. But some sneaky players have found a way to get around this.

Using bots and hacks, cheaters are able to spoof their location to catch Pokémon that they would otherwise have to travel miles to find. Others use them to find the precise location of Pokémon that are more difficult to obtain.

But cheating isn’t the easy option anymore. Niantic is finally cracking down on these “illicit” practices, and those found to be doing it will suffer.

The game’s latest update introduces a “shadowban” that prevents cheaters from catching anything other than common Pokémon. That means you’ll be able to get the likes of Pidgey and Magikarp, but certainly no Pikachu.

“We’re committed to maintaining the state of Pokémon GO and our community of Trainers,” Niantic explains in a post on Reddit.

“People who violate the Pokémon GO Terms of Service (including by using third party software and other cheats) may have their gameplay affected and may not be able to see all the Pokémon around them.”

According to a post on The Silph Road, a subreddit dedicated to the game, this is the first time Niantic has started banning cheaters using an automated system. It previously flagged guilty accounts for some time, then banned them all in “large banwaves.”

“While we cannot discuss the systems implemented, we can confirm that we are constantly refining new ways to ensure the integrity of the game in order to keep it fun and fair for all Trainers,” Niantic continued.

If you’re a Pokémon GO player who uses or has used cheats in the past, it might be a good time to quit if you want to continue enjoying the game and all it has to offer.