Gaming Tech News

Niantic Hits Pokemon GO Cheats Where It Hurts

Dave Parrack 26-05-2017

Pokemon GO is meant to be a nice, good-natured little game for adults and children alike 10 Pokemon Go Tips and Tricks Everyone Should Know Pokemon Go is still fun even years after its launch. Here are the best Pokemon Go tips and tricks to get more out of the game. Read More . It’s designed to offer a fun diversion from the travails of real life. However, that hasn’t stopped people from cheating at Pokemon GO, and Niantic is now, finally, cracking down on the cheats.


There are various ways of cheating at Pokemon GO, but most involve using bots and unofficial apps to get ahead. Thankfully, Niantic is now taking action against the cheats, punishing them in a satisfyingly sadistic way. Banning people outright is out, and silently shadowbanning them is in.

Shadowbanning Pokemon GO Cheats

Niantic is now shadowbanning Pokemon GO players it suspects of cheating. And that means anyone caught using third-party software to gain an advantage over other players. Shadowbanning means players will still be able to play Pokemon GO, but their experience will be ruined.

Essentially, Pokemon GO players Niantic suspects of cheating are getting stuck with the useless Pokemon. Where a normal player would see a range of different, and potentially rare, Pokemon at a specific location, cheaters are only being shown the standard Pokemon no one wants. Like Pidgey, Geodude, and Magikarp, which now has its own game called Magikarp Jump.

After this phenomenon was spotted by Pokemon GO subreddit, The Silph Road, Niantic issued a statement saying, “Niantic is committed to maintaining the state of Pokémon GO and our community of Trainers. 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.”

Although this is an admission that Pokemon GO cheats are indeed being penalized, Niantic is refusing to discuss too many details, simply saying, “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 players.”


Niantic is likely keeping details to a minimum for fear that these cheats will find a workaround to the new shadowbanning system. After all, those players being shadowbanned are the same people who figured out how to subvert Niantic’s system in the first place.

Rare Pokemon? What Rare Pokemon?

Cheats have been a part and parcel of video games 7 Most Useful Video Game Cheats Ever At one time, single player games were shipped with hidden cheat codes that could be used to unlock an array of nifty powers and shortcuts. Remember those days? Read More since they first became a thing. However, unless the developer has purposely built cheats into their game, you can’t blame them for punishing anyone taking advantage. Shadowbanning is hitting Pokemon GO cheats where it hurts… by stopping them catching the rare Pokemon they so desire.

Are you still playing Pokemon GO? What’s kept you playing for this long? Have you ever tried cheating? What do you think of the way Niantic is publishing cheats? Is shadowbanning more effective than banning people outright? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Tydence Davis via Flickr

Related topics: Augmented Reality, Mobile Gaming, Pokemon GO.

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  1. Philip Bates
    May 31, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Wait, people who cheat get Magikarps? I've been after a Gyarados for ages, so sounds fine to me! Pidgeys are annoying though, as are Spearows and flipping Weedles.

  2. PokeGoHater
    May 30, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    I just don't understand how these guys missed on battling so badly.

    The formula for pokemon battles has been around for decades now, between the Gameboy games, Pokemon Stadium, and the card games. Yet somehow we ended up with wild pokemon that don't have to be battled and gym "battles" that are really just rapidly tapping on your screen.

  3. Donna
    May 27, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Still playing - never cheated - live in a rural remote area - so tend to travel to places to play - just got back from a cruise overseas and played wherever we went - will be a long time until I get to Level 40 but I will - meet lots of people around the place and chat

  4. Mason Mack
    May 26, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    It's all fine and good, but what if someone supposed to do if they are mislabeled as a cheat? I could have caught a Chikorita the other day, but it disappeared when I attempted to engage it, with an error message. I caught an Omanyte that appeared instead.

    • Evan
      May 26, 2017 at 6:12 pm

      That was its timer changing . Pokémon spawn in the same spot and change roughly every 30 minutes. You missed it when the game refreshed with the server. Just poor timing

      • Mason Mack
        June 1, 2017 at 4:28 am

        I believe it.

    • Donna
      May 27, 2017 at 5:33 am

      Been getting that also - but think it just the servers

  5. Raphael Alexander
    May 26, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    *Insert clapping and cheering sounds*