Trainers, like any video game where players must follow the rules and play by them, Pokemon Go has rules and regulations that must be followed to avoid unwanted actions such as warnings or bans.
There are several types of warnings and bans in Pokemon Go as follows: Activity Warning, 3rd Party Application Warning, Softban, Shadowban, Temporary ban, and Permanent ban.
Pokemon Go players can get these warnings/strikes for multiply reasons, but most players are warned or banned for breaking Pokemon Go’s TOS. Some players are confused when receiving one of these warnings/bans, not knowing the reason or the cause. For this reason, I will explain more about all types of warnings and bans in the game.
Here is a list of all types of bans and what’s the cause.
New Anti-Cheat Measures
Niantic and Pokemon Go announced new anti-cheat measures. Here is the official announcement:
“We will be ramping up enforcement against these behaviors across our games, and rolling out our improved approach to anti-cheat. We are starting now by taking action against a number of accounts who we found to be in violation of our terms of service or player guidelines during recent in-game events in Pokémon GO.
This is only the first step in implementing our improved cheating behavior detection and enforcement systems. These improvements will be integrated into all Niantic games to detect and punish players on a consistent and ongoing basis, rather than in waves, as we have in the past.
Looking ahead, we’ll continue to improve our methods and processes to ensure we’re staying ahead of any new behaviors that allow players to unfairly exploit game rules.”
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, for up to 12 hours. There are two ways to check if you’ve been soft banned:
- Any Pokemon will instantly flee when you try to catch it
- 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 Pokemon Go. The daily catch limit is 4,800 catches, and the weekly limit is 14,000 catches. This so-called “Catch Ban” doesn’t affect Shadow Pokemon. Yes, you can catch 4800 Pokemon per day using Gotcha/Go Plus and play in a bigger city for 7-8 hours straight.
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).
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.”
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
Disciplinary actions: If this strike is issued, you will see a warning message within the Pokémon 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 Pokémon in the wild. These Pokémon may not appear on the map or on the Nearby Pokémon tracker
- You may be excluded from receiving new EX Raid Passes
Duration: This strike will last for approximately 7 days. After this period, your gameplay experience will fully be restored.
Strike 2: Suspension
Disciplinary actions: If your account is issued a second strike, you will temporarily lose access to your Pokémon 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.
Duration: This strike will last for approximately 30 days. After that period, your account access will be restored.
Strike 3: Termination
Disciplinary actions: If you receive the first and second strikes and continue to cheat, your account will be permanently banned.
Cheating in Pokemon Go
So what’s cheating for Niantic? Well, here is what’s 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 violates Niantic’s Terms of Service
I don’t encourage players to use specific apps to spoof/cheat. Now, Niantic is very strict with its policy, and you might receive one of the above-mentioned warnings or bans immediately.
If you are a video game developer and you have a submission to make, you can mail us at [email protected]