Pokemon GO developer Niantic reveals that some banned players who used third-party apps to view Pokemon spawning areas will have their access to the game restored.
Many gamers were shocked to learn that they'd been banned from Pokemon GO after using third-party apps to locate nearby Pokemon. Developer Niantic has now revealed that certain subsets of banned Pokemon GO users will be un-banned, allowing them to play once again.
In a post on Niantic's official blog, the developer discussed how it handled the bans and that some - but not all - bans will be reversed. According to the post, Niantic banned nearly every kind of account associated with the third-party apps, including the accounts that were responsible for scraping the information from Pokemon GO, as well as the users of apps and exploits. The post states that the developers are aware that some users didn't realize that using third-party apps that only showed the location of Pokemon, rather than manipulating the game itself, was considered against the TOS. After making some tweaks to the game's servers, Niantic is now ready to unban players who only used the apps to view Pokemon. This doesn't include players who used GPS spoofing to catch Pokemon outside their local area.
However, Niantic's blog post also points out that continuing to use third-party apps or exploits will get unbanned users banned once more:
"Add-on maps which scrape data from our servers still violate our Terms of Service and use of them may still result in an account ban going forward."
Although not all gamers will see their accounts restored, some lucky users will be getting a second chance at playing Pokemon GO. This is mutually beneficial, since Niantic has seen the number of daily players using Pokemon GO drop by 15 million users since its release in July. While the number of banned users probably only makes up a small fraction of that 15 million, it may provide a boost for Niantic.
Players who never used third-party apps or exploits will be pleased to know that the ban was necessary to help stabilize Pokemon GO's notoriously unstable servers. Niantic's post indicates that the external apps were acting like DDoS attacks, which caused the game's servers to frequently crash. This was a huge hassle in the first few weeks Pokemon GO was available, but booting the apps seems to have done a lot to help make the game more stable.
Considering that Pokemon GO still has many more features yet to come, it's a good thing that the developer is willing to allow players a second chance. With any luck, Niantic has also changed its automatic soft-ban tech so that charity streamers like Jimmy Derocher won't be subject to bans just for maximizing the EXP they earn legitimately.
Pokemon GO is available now for iOS and Android mobile devices.
Check out our Pokemon GO guides:
- How to Use the New Sightings Tool
- How to Win Battles
- How to Become a Gym Leader
- How to Get Pokecoins
- How to Catch Pikachu as a Starter
- How to Use and Hatch Eggs
- How to Catch Rare Pokemon
- How to Use Pokestops
- How to Control Eevee’s Evolution
- Trainer Rewards at Every Level
- How to Hold Gyms Longer
- Where to Find Specific Pokemon
- How to Trigger Pokemon Spawns
- Every Type’s Strengths and Weaknesses
- Catching Region Exclusive Pokemon