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Pokemon Go Softban, Shadowban, Permanent Ban and Three-Strike Policy Explained

There are several types of warnings and bans in Pokemon Go as follows: Activity Warning, 3rd Party Application Warning, Softban, Shadowban, and Permanent ban.

Some players are confused when receiving one of these warnings/bans, not knowing the reason or the cause. For this reason, I will explain why some of the players are getting these notifications.

Activity Warning

This is usually from using an application that logs into your account such as an IV Checker. This does not affect gameplay, but if you continue to use what caused your warning you will get a shadowban.

3rd Party Application Warning

This warning pops-up when the system has detected an application on your device that is not allowed (blacklisted). This does not affect gameplay and is usually caused by some Fake GPS application. Also, it doesn’t target GPS spoofers but targets accounts used by third-party apps such as IV checkers, online trackers, and bots.


GPS Spoofing, traveling and traveling too fast (while in a moving car), or sharing accounts, will get you soft banned, up to 12 hours. There are two ways to check if you’ve been soft banned:

  1. Any Pokemon will instantly flee when you try to catch it
  2. Players can’t loot from PokeStops


  • The limit is 3500 Pokemon/7 days on a rolling period
  • Players can catch Raid Bosses if soft banned
  • Stored quest rewards will “flee”
  • Players can spin PokeStops
  • Players can start an encounter and then catch the Pokemon later (3-4 hours)

NOTE: There is a Daily/Weekly catch limit in the game which is 1,000 Pokemon per day or 7,000 per week. This so-called “Catch Ban” doesn’t affect Shadow Pokemon. Yes, you can catch 1k Pokemon per day using Gotcha/Go Plus and playing in a bigger city for 7-8 hours.


Shadow Bans are where you can not see rare Pokemon. You can still hatch eggs, spin stops, and catch Pokemon, and does not affect Raids.

This is usually caused by using a 3rd party app like an IV Checker (IVFly, IV Go, AliG IV, Blossoms Pokemon Go Manager) that logs into your account. It can also be caused by botting – there have been some reports of this happening because of spoofing (but not entirely verified).

Temporary Ban

The reason for this ban is the same as Shadowban, but this time your account is locked for a limited time (1-2months). If you’re temporarily banned, the following message will pop up every time you’ll try to log in – “Failed to Get Game Data.”

Permanent Ban

And last, we have the permanent ban. This is where you can no longer log in. Typically it cannot retrieve data from the server. Bots cause this.

I know that most of the Pokemon Go players are already familiar with these warnings and bans, and probably some of them have already received at least one, but this can be very helpful for the newcomers.

Pokemon Go Three-Strike Policy Against Cheating

Strike 1 Warning

If this strike is issued, you will see a warning message within the Pokemon GO app informing you that we have detected cheating on your account.

In addition to this warning, your gameplay experience may be degraded in the following ways for the duration of the warning:

  • You may not be able to encounter rare Pokemon in the wild. These Pokemon may not appear on the map or the Nearby Pokemon tracker
  • You may be excluded from receiving new EX Raid Passes


This strike will last for approximately 7 days. After this period, your gameplay experience will fully be restored.

Strike 2 Suspension

If your account is issued a second strike, you will temporarily lose access to your Pokemon GO account. When attempting to log into the game, you’ll be presented with a message stating that your account is suspended. You will not be able to bypass this message.


This strike will last for approximately 30 days. After that period, your account access will be restored.

Strike 3 Termination

If you receive the first and second strikes and continue to cheat, your account will be permanently banned.



The following is recognized by Niantic as cheating:

  • Using modified or unofficial software
  • Playing with multiple accounts (one account per player)
  • Using tools or techniques to alter or falsify your location (“spoofing”)
  • Sharing accounts
  • Intentionally exploiting a bug to gain a reward
  • Abusing refund policy and mechanism
  • Buying or selling in-game currency or items on third-party platforms
  • Buying/selling/trading accounts
  • Any other activity that is in violation of Niantic’s Terms of Service

I don’t encourage players to use specific apps to spoof/cheat. Now, Niantic is very strict with their policy of catching Pokemon, and you might receive one of the above-mentioned warnings or bans immediately.

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Dejan Kacurov

Hey there, I'm Dejan! Let me take you through my life, where family, gaming, and CrossFit play prominent roles. Since day one, I've been surrounded by the love and support of my family. Growing up, every moment spent with my parents and siblings was filled with warmth and laughter, creating memories I hold dear. As a parent now, I've experienced a whole new level of love and responsibility. My two wonderful kids bring endless joy and a sense of purpose to my life. In the digital realm, I found my passion - gaming. Whether I'm conquering the world of Apex Legends or embarking on adventures in Pokemon Go, gaming fuels my sense of adventure and competition. Beyond the virtual world, I discovered the exhilaration of CrossFit. The challenging workouts, camaraderie with fellow fitness enthusiasts, and constant drive to push my limits have become an integral part of my life. Balancing family time, gaming, and CrossFit has been a journey of self-discovery. Each passion complements the other, bringing fulfillment and joy to my daily routine.


  1. Niantic must have a different ban now I can play but I catch find a shiny for nothing I also can’t find the shiny ones on gyms I just went through 42 raid passes and still no shiny giratina can you help me they say odds are the same for everyone obviously not

  2. There’s a lot of people spoofing how can you stop them from spoofing I play the game right I expect other people to do the same it’s just not fair that people spoof

    1. you can’t. deal with the fact that some people aren’t going to play the game right. just because you play the game right doesn’t mean everyone has to, thats childish. spoofing is useful in myriad of ways, and people make extra money from spoofing to trade pokemon bought on ebay/amazon.

  3. Ok not sure what is going on I can catch Pokémon still but I can not collect items or new research from pokestops????? Never experienced this ever. It’s been lasting for the last couple of hours any suggestions.

  4. i accidentally left my software on that changes my location so i could watch foreign shows that aren’t available in my country,
    and guess what! BANNED. at least give a warning.

    1. The same has happened to me, you should close any GPS apps such as Pokemon GO when using a VPN to watch TV shows that is unable to watch in your country, i feel the same and i have been given a warning and have been soft banned.

      1. How do they detect the spoof?
        Surely we aren’t using software on the end users device for this….?

        Get you an SDR and learn everything about GPS, L1, L2, and the format of these ~1-2 ghz transmissions.

        Spoof like a boss.

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