GPS spoofing, which is changing one's location to catch Pokémon in other cities, and other cheats will not be tolerated in Pokémon GO — the latest game developed by Niantic Labs.
The free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game has received a lot of popularity since its launch in early July this year. The game has been downloaded over 8 million times since launch by game enthusiasts all over the world. However, just within a week, multiple cases of GPS spoofing have also been reported.
Niantic Labs is not sympathetic to cheaters and is said to have banned many Pokémon GO users for cheating. However, the bans handed over to cheaters are temporary — also referred by some users as a soft ban, which may last between a few minutes to a few hours. The app gets back to normal after the ban is removed.
People found cheating will not be able to catch Pokémon or collect items from PokeStops. They also won't be able to battle or claim a gym.
Several users have now reported to have been banned from Pokémon GO.
"I did it with XCode by giving a direction to my test app ... it worked but now I [am not] able to catch any Pokemon. I'm not going to do this ever again," says a redditor.
Reports suggest that most of the users found of GPS spoofing are from rural areas who want to experience Pokémon GO in urban areas such as New York.
The bans are meant to stop cheaters from changing between towns and cities. But some were even banned for moving between streets in the same city.
While some users are afraid of being blocked, others are not worried and are suggesting the use of a good GPS spoofing app to play Pokémon GO in other regions.
"It doesn't really matter. I had mine on high accuracy for a while and switched to gps only because I thought it would fix my 'hopping' issue. It didn't. If you have a decent gps spoofing app, it should account for this anyway," says another redditor.
The game developer has not confirmed anything on the ban, but many users are eager to know the parameters that could result in a ban and the time frame until when the ban applies.
Getting blocked for a few hours may not deter many gamers from cheating. It remains to be seen if Niantic Labs will implement severe bans on users who are caught cheating regularly.