Niantic has had its hands full since Pokemon GO‘s release combatting cheaters and GPS spoofers to keep the game fair. In its latest efforts to spurn cheaters, Niantic has revealed that gamers caught cheating will have their accounts branded with a mark of shame, as well as certain negative gameplay effects.

In an official release, Niantic explained that Pokemon GO players who catch Pokemon while using a third-party app to cheat will be have their caught Pokemon marked. A slash will be added through the image of each Pokemon that was caught under the effects of the third-party app, and Niantic warns that the Pokemon may not behave as expected.

The exact details on how captured Pokemon will behave is uncertain at this time, but fan speculation abounds. Some players believe that Niantic may implement a minor nuisance to players, like making cheat-assisted captures only use Splash, or preventing players from participating in gym battles with their ill-gotten Pokemon. Since the information was released alongside Niantic mentioning raids and upcoming features, it’s possible that cheaters may also be excluded entirely from new events that are added to the game, including Pokemon GO‘s first Legendary Pokemon.

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Gamers who think it’s worth risking it should first consider Niantic’s track record in hunting down cheaters. Niantic previously fought against Pokemon GO GPS spoofers and shut down multiple online spawn maps. Cheaters have also experienced being permanently banned from the game, while others have lost the ability to capture the rarer Pokemon in the game. While Niantic hasn’t been able to stop cheating entirely, it does seem to do a good job of eventually tracking down and punishing offenders.

With new features finally coming to the game and the Pokemon GO Fest just over the horizon, it would seem that Niantic is attempting to clean up the game’s reputation for new and returning players. Although it’s unlikely that this will stop cheaters completely – and it’s probably only a matter of time before cheaters find workarounds for the changes – it’s good to see the developer making a commitment to keeping the game as level a playing field as possible.

Pokemon GO is available now for Android and iOS devices.

Source: Sylph Road