Cheaters beware: Niantic Labs is trying to make Pokémon Go a fairer game to play for all. As The Verge previously reported, the development studio has quietly updated its terms of service for the hit smartphone game so it can dish out lifetime bans to players who are caught cheating, as opposed to kicking them out temporarily, which it has done in the past.
Violations of the new terms of service can include: “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.”
As you may be aware, there are numerous ways to trick the game into thinking a trainer is in another location, allowing the person to capture region-specific pokémon, or virtually run from one spot to another without physically moving. Bots, meanwhile, can be used to hatch eggs faster. If a player is found to have violated the agreement in any way, the account can get permanently, possibly irrevocably, banned.
Niantic went on to shed more light on why it has adopted a take-no-prisoners attitude towards cheaters, saying “Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone.” It added it will continue to fine-tune its anti-cheat engine, so those who are still using illegal, third-party apps and modified iPhones to skirt GPS restrictions are likely to receive a rude awakening from the company.
Those who think they have been wrongfully banned, and want a second chance, can use this form to reverse the decision. For privacy reasons, Niantic has cautioned the public against posting appeals on social media.
Source: The Verge