Belfast Telegraph

Pokemon Go: Lifetime bans for software cheats

Pokemon Go players who attempt to cheat at the creature-catching game are being handed lifetime bans by its developers after a string of complaints from other users.

Niantic Labs, the creator of the mobile app, has also begun legal action against software creators who have apparently breached the game's terms of use.

Some alleged cheaters have turned to software that is capable of playing the game 24 hours a day and tricking the in-app location system into thinking the user is constantly moving and catching Pokemon.

This has enabled players to greatly increase the power of their creatures, giving them an unfairly gained advantage when facing others in the game's "gyms" - the battle arenas users can fight to control.

On its website, Niantic said: "Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone. We will continue to work with all of you to improve the quality of the gameplay, including ongoing optimisation and fine-tuning of our anti-cheat system."

The developer has also begun to ban users it says are guilty of "falsifying your location, using emulators, modified or unofficial software and/or accessing Pokemon Go clients or backends in an unauthorised manner including through the use of third party software".

Necrobot, the developer of one piece of software that enabled users to trick the game, has already announced it is stopping all downloads over fears of legal action from Niantic.

"Due to legal action being started against other bot creators/devs (we did not receive a letter yet) the project development will be stopped," it said in a post on open source website Github, where its software had previously been available.

"All Source Files/Downloads will be removed."

Many users on social media have been celebrating the crackdown, which comes after heavy criticism of the game when its Pokemon tracking system was removed in an update, something many felt made the game too difficult.