Pokemon Go Is Allegedly Punishing Cheaters With Crappy Pokemon
Flagged users are reportedly only encountering common monsters.
While the fervor around Pokemon Go may have died down since players were swarming the streets in search of pocket monsters last summer, the game still has 65 million active users. Many rely on unofficial third-party tracker apps to help them locate Pokemon, which developer Niantic does not permit. Now some players are claiming that they're being punished for using these services by only encountering common Pokemon.
According to Pokemon Go Hub, Niantic has quietly begun hiding rare spawns from accounts that have been flagged for cheating. The Pokemon Go community refers to this measure as a "shadowban." Players who have been affected will reportedly only find more common Pokemon like Pidgey and Rattata, even if they're in an area where rare Pokemon typically spawn. The issue appears to be so prevalent that some users have begun compiling a list of which Pokemon can and can't be encountered by shadowbanned players in a post on Reddit.
Niantic hasn't publicly addressed the alleged shadowbans; we've reached out for comment but are still awaiting a response. This isn't the first time the developer has tried to curb potential cheating in the game, however. Last summer, Niantic soft banned players who spoofed their GPS location. The developer was also quick to remove the Legendary Pokemon Articuno after it appeared in some users' games.
Since its debut, Pokemon Go has surpassed 650 million downloads. Back in February, Niantic added over 80 more Pokemon to the game, and the developer recently teased that Legendary monsters may finally be coming this summer. Other commonly requested features like trading and PvP battles are also said to be in the works.