Niantic appears to be targeting those who are spoofing their GPS location and using bots.
Niantic, the developer who is behind the mobile game craze that is Pokemon Go, will not be banning players permanently for violating the terms of service, a welcome change for the game community. The bans appear to be targeting players who use GPS spoofing and bots to play Pokemon Go without having to actually walk around, tricking their smartphone into thinking it is located in a different country, for example, while bots automate portions of the game.
Niantic posted a notice on its website indicating that people can submit a ban appeal — suggesting that bans are possible to begin with. It also outlines what kinds of terms of service bans are possible, and notes that they include falsifying the location, using emulators and other software cheats through third party software.
While it’s not clear how Niantic plans to spot cheaters, there have been some theories circulating online. And it’s not the first time users have been getting some levels of bans, but this would be the first permanent bans from using third-party software. The Pokemon Company has been sending cease and desist letters to some of these software producers.
Niantic’s statement on the ban is below:
Submit a ban appeal
Your account was permanently terminated for violations of the Pokémon GO Terms of Service. This 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.