If you have used a third party Pokemon tracker, a spoof or bot of any sort, you may be in the line of fire for a lifetime ban by Niantic.
The maker of Pokemon Go, Niantic, has begun cracking down on players who abuse the system and cheat to get ahead. This includes both soft bans and permanent bans. They also updated the Pokemon GO websites Terms of Service to reflect the new bans.
The offenses include falsifying locations, the use of unofficial software, emulators, and accessing Pokemon GO clients and backends using methods that are unauthorized, such as 3rd party tools.
Niantic has also explained that they are aiming to provide players with an experience that can be fun, fair and legitimate to everyone.
Niantic has also said “we are continuing to work on improving the gameplay quality, including optimization and fine tuning the anti-cheat system.”
How Cheats Work:
There was a report by Redditors that it was possible to ‘jailbreak’ the mobile device and bypass the GPS location restrictions put in place, allowing players to catch Pokemon worldwide without leaving their current location.
There are other 3rd party Pokemon tracking apps that allow players to find Pokemon around them. This became a very popular tool for players when Niantic removed the tracking system.
Niantic has already started to have many of these 3rd party apps shut down, and even taking some to court such as PokeVision. They have been updating often and sending out cease and desist orders to these 3rd parties, although there are some who managed to bypass their measures.
Previously, being caught cheating in-game resulted in players getting a ‘soft ban’ which prevented playing for 12 hours. However, Niantic has decided to increase the stakes and are now handing out lifetime bans when catching cheaters.
Although it is not clearly stated how they plan to determine cheaters, at least they have acknowledged that cheating needs to be eliminated.
Maybe they are simply hoping that threatening a permanent ban will lower the amount of cheating. In any case, if you got banned and want to appeal the decision by Niantic, you can submit your appeal here.