Pokemon fans have had a whirlwind of a week so far. Between the Pokemon Let’s Go announcement for Switch and the unveiling of the Poke Ball Plus peripheral, there’s already plenty to discuss and look forward to as E3 draws ever closer. It’s already been announced that the peripheral will be compatible with Pokemon GO, but that’s not the only good news for fans of Niantic’s popular AR game.
Yesterday, Niantic announced via Twitter that they’re taking further steps against cheaters in Pokemon GO. Specifically, what they’re doing is going after Pokemon caught using “third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay and violate our TOS.” What this means is that Pokemon caught through the use of spoofing services have been rendered more or less useless by the new measures.
Since much of Pokemon GO revolves around seeking out Pokemon in the “real” world, different Pokemon are found in different areas. New Pokemon have been added to Pokemon GO recently, so there’s certainly a temptation to try and obtain Pokemon that aren’t normally available in one’s home region, and this is where location spoofing services come in. The practice has always been frowned upon, but as of yesterday, there’s little reason to do it.
As part of our commitment to fun and fair gameplay in Pokémon GO, we’re continuing to take action against users who use third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay and violate our TOS. Pokémon caught using these services will appear slashed and not behave as expected.
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) May 31, 2018
Pokemon caught through spoofing will appear “slashed” in the Pokemon list. Slashed monsters cannot evolve, cannot attack, and cannot be placed in gyms. They are effectively worthless, and those who have them might as well just bite the bullet and remove them from their roster.
While this is certainly a major blow against Pokemon GO cheaters, it probably won’t be the last measure Niantic will have to take. Every online game has a subset of users that want to cheat no matter what, and those communities have proven time and again their ability to get around even the most iron-clad of anti-cheating measures. For now, though, Pokemon GO players can enjoy the game’s new Pokemon and upcoming features like connecting with Pokemon Let’s Go in relative security.
The game has come a long way since it launched in 2016, and if Niantic keeps pushing forward with fun new features, taking community feedback seriously, and doing their best to keep the playing field level, it’s a safe bet that Pokemon GO will continue to grow in the coming years.
Pokemon GO is currently available to download on Android and iOS devices.