A recent wave of account bans had caused a spur in the Pokemon Go community. Allegedly, many players were banned by Niantic for breaking the rules in spite of not having done so. Depraved players took to Twitter and Reddit to express their displeasure. In a recent tweet, Niantic admitted to having wrongly banned these accounts and will try to help players get back their accounts.
We’re working on reverting strikes for some Trainers who incorrectly received punishments on their accounts. This will be done for Trainers automatically, whether or not they have contacted us. We apologize for the error.
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) July 27, 2021
Long-time players who have been active since 2016 were banned recently, this happened due to the game’s anti-cheating system having mistaken players’ third-party applications as malicious cheating software. Eurogamer reports that the extent of the ban varies from 7 days to permanent. Players are initially given a warning period of 7 days which will be extended up to 30 days on further violations. Severe violations will also invite a permanent ban on the account.
Many players who faced the issue missed out on Go Fest and other month-long events around the same time. Popular German Youtuber and Pokemon Go player Spieletrend was also banned from the game a few days after the Go Fest.
This is not the first time many players were banned for no reason, a few months ago in April many players started receiving 7-day bans for breaking the terms of service. A similar incident occurred last year when many users on iPhones were locked out of the game.
Niantic banning accounts comes as no surprise as it’s evident that a few players in the community rely on location-altering “Spoofing” services. These third-party applications provide a virtual location to the GPS thereby allowing players to move across the game without breaking a sweat. These apps give an undue advantage for “Spoofers” as the core mechanic of the game revolves around exploring the real world to progress in its Augmented counterpart.