Up until today, the only bans GPS spoofers and botters received were temporary. 4 hour long “soft” bans, that, as the name suggests, only lasted for 4 hours. And they were soft. Once that time was up, you were free to carry on cheating at the game.
Well, today things have (finally) changed. Niantic are going from 0 to 100 here, and are now banning GPS spoofers and botters permanently. No second chances, no warnings, just bans, baby.
This is, of course, a good thing. The average botter/GPS spoofer is a blight on the game; they take up extra server resources, have an unfair advantage when battling gyms, and aren’t playing in the “spirit of the game,” as Niantic CEO John Hanke would say.
But, there is downside to this story. A lot of the data that we now take for granted was discovered by people who were GPS spoofing and/or botting. For example, how would we know that the max level achievable is 40 without people botting and data mining the game?
And, how would we know for certain what Pokémon hatched from what eggs without the botters running around the world hatching, literally, millions of eggs? Yes, overall it’s a good thing that Niantic is cracking down on GPS spoofing and botting, but it also means (potentially) fewer game mechanic discoveries in the future.
Don’t worry; these guys are a smart bunch, and I’m sure they’ll have figured out a new way to GPS spoof/bot and avoid detection within a week or too. Hell, I’d even bet money on it.
If you’ve been hit with a ban, and you think that it was undeserved, you can appeal it by clicking here. If you’ve been hit with a ban and you know it was deserved, well, you can still click that link and send an appeal, I’m not going to stop you.