Pokémon Go players now getting perma-banned from game

15 Aug 2016

A number of Pokémon Go players have found themselves locked out of their accounts after the game’s creator, Niantic, issued permanent banning orders for those caught cheating, but some are claiming they’ve been wrongfully banned.

As the Pokémon Go phenomenon continues to rumble on, Niantic’s latest attempts to crack down on cheating within the game have reached a whole new level.

While it had previously warned new players that cheating in the game would have consequences for their accounts, the company’s latest blog post on cheating has threatened players with permanent bans if they engage in “falsifying location, using emulators, modified or unofficial software”.

To further its point, players caught doing this will be banned permanently, with little-to-no hope of having their account reactivated.

The statement continued: “We will continue to work with all of you to improve the quality of the gameplay, including ongoing optimisation and fine tuning of our anti-cheat system.”

Niantic’s website does offer an email for players to submit their case if they feel they have been wrongfully banned, but the company does not indicate how long it will take for a ban to potentially be reversed.

One Irish Pokémon Go player has spoken to Siliconrepublic.com about how she discovered she had been banned, despite her claiming that she has not engaged in any cheating whatsoever.

Banned player spent more than €100 in-game

Having reached level 25 and almost completed the full collection of Pokémon in the Pokédex – the list of known Pokémon in the game – she suddenly found herself unable to access her profile in the game.

To make matters worse for this player, having downloaded the game through the Google Play Store following its release on 13 July, she has spent more than €100 on in-game purchases that are now worth nothing.

In total, she believes she has walked more than 200km to almost ‘catch ’em all’.

In the email sent to this user, Niantic state clearly that the user should “consider your account permanently terminated unless we reply back to your appeal”.

Similar complaints have appeared on sites like Reddit, where players remain unsure as to why their accounts have been banned.

We have reached out to Niantic for a response to these claims and will update accordingly.

Pokémon Go players image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic