Pokémon GO developer Niantic has offered some clarification on its policies for players who cheat their way to success in the game. The mobile sensation will make use of a three-strike system made up of warnings and further punishments in an attempt to "provide multiple opportunities [for users] to change their behaviour".
The first of these strikes acts as a simple warning, with a message appearing in the app informing users that cheating has been detected on their account. This strike lasts for seven days, during which time the offending player may not be allowed to encounter rare Pokémon in the wild or receive new EX Raid Passes.
The second strike is a temporary suspension. When attempting to log into the game after a second offence, players will be presented with a message stating that their account is suspended - a lockdown that will stay in place for 30 days. The third strike is the simplest of all, however, with any players committing a third offence after ignoring their first two strikes receiving a permanent ban.
Niantic defines 'cheating' as behaviours that violate the Pokémon GO Terms of Service and Trainer Guidelines, such as using third-party software to falsify your GPS location or accessing Pokémon GO clients or backends in an unauthorised manner. Players who feel that their accounts have received strikes unjustly can appeal against the decision.
The developer has also issued the following to support this system clarification:
"A strike serves as a warning. Everyone can make mistakes. That’s why we have created this policy to enable offenders to learn from their mistakes and change their ways. If you have been issued a strike, don’t ignore it. Take action to ensure that you do not commit any further transgressions."
As always, we'd encourage you to play fairly and stay safe. Imagine losing two years of progress just because you used a third-party app to move your character a few metres down the street...