Pokemon Go bot programs are back in the spotlight, after Niantic shut down one of the biggest bots in the game last week. According to the Pokemon Go subreddit, many “players” who use GPS spoofing bot programs have been banned. They’ve coined it the “catch flee ban” and it could be a sign that Niantic is ready for a massive, more permanent ban.
Niantic doesn’t like cheaters, and they’ve rolled out massive bans before. Ingress is the game that preceded Pokemon Go, and also had a serious problem with bots and GPS cheaters. That is before they terminated cheating accounts on a global scale. The new Pokemon Go ban looks like it’s the beginning of the end for cheaters, and honest players everywhere can’t wait for it to arrive.
What is the catch flee ban?
Players using Pokemon Go bots could login using their account information, and have the program play the game for them. The bot would catch pokemon, spin Pokestops, incubate eggs and even more. The new catch flee ban makes it impossible for botters to catch Pokemon, and unlike soft bans the catch flee ban isn’t going away.
The catch flee ban looks to be permanent, which is great news for the Pokemon Go community. Pokemon Go bot programs ruin the balance of gameplay, and makes the game un-enjoyable for trainers that play honestly. Anyone who has encountered a level 40 player with a 3000+ CP Dragonite in a gym knows what we are talking about.
How can I tell if I’ve been banned?
If you are using a Pokemon Go bot program, many users have reported seeing the error message “failed to retrieve game data from server.” It’s a clear sign that Niantic has deemed your account as one that has violated the ToS. You can use this page to try and appeal your Pokemon Go ban.
What are soft bans?
Soft bans are the form of punishment that Niantic had in place before the new Pokemon Go ban. These soft bans would last a few hours at most, which emboldened cheating players to bot even harder after the soft ban was lifted. Considering how badly Pokemon Go bots unbalanced gameplay, it was really nothing more than a slap on the wrist.
In fact there were even online tools to help you unban soft ban punishments. These would usually be scripts that used the Pokemon Go API to spin Pokestops until the soft ban was lifted.
What makes the catch flee ban so important?
Unlike previous Pokemon Go bot ban punishments, the catch flee ban doesn’t seem to be IP related. It’s connected to your account, meaning Niantic knows who the cheaters are and what their account information is. Meaning it’s safe to say that Niantic has a real grasp of who the cheating players are, and it’s safe to say they are planning something really big really soon.
For honest players, the catch flee ban is important because it means that Niantic is listening to it’s userbase and trying to improve the game. It’s a hard pill to swallow for cheaters, but GPS spoofing and Pokemon Go bot programs are ruining gameplay. When players can use a Pokemon Go bot to gain upwards of 100k of experience in an hour and over 100 Pokemon an hour, you start to see how gameplay is affected.
If you are a player that’s been affected by the catch flee ban, and believe that the Pokemon Go ban is unfair you can always submit an appeal. However the use of GPS spoofing and bot programs is a clear violation of the Pokemon Go ToS, and Niantic has a right to act.
What do you think about the all new catch flee ban? Do you think a massive Pokemon Go ban is coming down the pipeline? Know anyone who has botted and regrets it? Let us know in the comment box below!