Pokémon Go anti-cheat update

Niantic Comes up With An Innovative Way to Crack Down on Pokémon Go Cheaters

Niantic opens up a new front by “shadowbanning” bot accounts.

Pokémon Go developer Niantic after giving repeated warnings to stop spoofing, has finally snipped on players using third party software’s by rolling out a new anti-cheat system.

Instead of banning the players, the game developer has come up with a unique form of punishment. It has made rare Pokémon disappear for cheaters.

Players who use dubious software’s to locate Pokémon are being soft banned. This server side update was pushed out last Friday.

This measure targets previously flagged bot accounts for third party Pokémon go tracking apps, used to pick up a rare Pokémon not available in their location.

How the feature works?

The game expects the player to catch a Pokemon where it is found. If a player tries to spoof his location the game will notice it and the anti-cheat feature will ban him from seeing most popular, rarer beasts Pokemon on the map. He will be able to find and see common creatures like Pidgey, Rattata, Ekans, Geodude and Zubat.

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Also cheaters can be banned anytime soon from playing the game if they continue cheating, honest players should not worry as the anti-cheat feature will only affect naughty accounts which are already flagged.

Here’s a photo example of what will happen shared by Pokémon Go Hub.

The left screen, shows a flagged account with Geodude, while the normal account on the right shows three additional (and rarer) Pokémon in the same location.

The offending programs that could get an account flagged are called mappers and trackers.

These mappers and trackers give Pokémon Go app extra information like: showing players where certain Pokémon are likely to offspring and remove some of the mystery from the game.

What is Shadowban?

Shadowban is effectively banning cheat players by hiding rare Pokemon and moving them into a fixed version of the game, where they can’t see rare spawns. It means that cheaters will be blocked out from seeing rare Pokemon spawns even if they are the exact same area as other players. They will only be able to see and find the common ones such as Pidgeys and Rattatas.

According to one Reddit user, players who are flagged as cheaters are receiving the following message, just in case they don’t realize that the game isn’t as good as it used to be.

Will this put a full stop to cheating in ‘Pokémon GO’?

Niantic has taken various measures to stop spoofing in the game like: in August last year they permanently banned cheaters, taken steps against GPS spoofers and snipers in the game. But this did not change much so now they have decided to reverse some bans. They are now not completely locking out the cheaters, but making them use a fixed version of the game.

Hope this may bring some change but players using third party application say it is not cheating, these apps encourage them to play. But all this does not change the fact that players who use them have an unfair advantage over other players who do not. The game developers know that usage of trackers is not good for the game, therefore, they launched shadowbans to curb cheating in Pokémon GO.

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Niantic is implementing more and more precautionary measures against cheaters because of the upcoming Raids feature.  The players playing fair game are benefitted as the playing field is now more even than ever.

Regardless, this latest feature for Pokemon will need continual updating, as tracker app developers have already started looking for a work around. In this regards they have begun creating new accounts to for those flagged as cheating. And so the ‘Pokémon Go’ tracker war continues, following the development of new techniques to block manipulators.

Preeti Seth

Preeti is a technical writer with Systweak. She covers new technology and troubleshooting. She loves gadgets and is an avid reader. In her free time, she likes to travel and explore new places solo.

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