Cheating to gain a leg-up in Pokémon Go? You might want to quit it.
The game's developer Niantic on Thursday revealed that cheaters will be "shadowbanned," meaning they'll only be able to see the most common Pokémon. So, you'll be able to find Pidgey, Magikarp, and Geodude but don't expect to catch a Pikachu, Bulbasaur, or other rares.
"We're committed to maintaining the state of Pokémon Go and our community of Trainers," Niantic wrote in a Reddit post. "People who violate the Pokémon Go Terms of Service (including by using third-party software and other cheats) may have their gameplay affected and may not be able to see all the Pokémon around them."
In some cases, Niantic may send you a warning (like this) if it detects you're cheating, according to users on Reddit. The developer does not, however, appear to be informing people that they've been shadowbanned. It obviously won't take long for an avid Pokémon Go player to figure out they have been flagged, though.
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"While we cannot discuss the systems implemented, we can confirm that we are constantly refining new ways to ensure the integrity of the game in order to keep it fun and fair for all Trainers," Niantic said.
Niantic has reportedly employed other anti-cheating measures in the past, including a "soft ban" that prevents people from catching Pokémon for a day. One player had his legit 24-hour Pokémon Go marathon blocked because the game thought he was cheating.
If you're new to the game, be sure to check out Pokemon Go: How to Get Started and Catch 'Em All.
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