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Niantic just made a major change to stop Pokemon Go cheaters

Published May 8th, 2017 7:41PM EDT
Pokemon Go: Sniping, spoofing
Image: Pokemon Go

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Last month, Pokemon Go developer Niantic confirmed that it was “working to add functionality to stop spoofing” in the game, which allows cheaters to fake their location to catch Pokemon anywhere in the world. Over the weekend, Niantic appeared to begin testing that functionality, as players were finding themselves “soft banned” (temporary unable to play) when they teleport across the map.

A member of The Silph Road Reddit community on Saturday shared a quote from the Discord channel of a developer of a tracking app for Pokemon Go. The quote implied that snipers — those who use dubious services to locate rare Pokemon — were being soft banned by Niantic instantly.

This revelation was backed up by Pokemon Go Hub, which received numerous reports from players that a fix had been put in place to stop cheaters from sniping and spoofing. In effect, the game now expects you to catch a Pokemon where you find it, so if you use illegitimate methods to encounter the Pokemon before warping to your actual location in-game, the game will notice and immediately issue a soft ban.

According to Pokemon Go Hub, this server-side update was pushed out last Friday. Niantic has already confirmed that it is investigating ways to curb cheating in Pokemon Go, but it appears that the developer has moved on to the next step of implementing those fixes. This will likely not be the last we see of Niantic’s solutions to cheating, so we’ll be on the lookout for more updates.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.