We have received a number of reports that Trainers have been experiencing random soft bans while using Lures, much like they have been cheating.

Soft ban issues started after a recent server side build went live on Niantic’s server. The build contained a fix that prevents GPS spoofers from teleporting to snipe Pokémon and Gyms.

The gist of the fix is that capturing a Pokémon now respects where you encounter it. One of the users summarised the changes:

  • lured pokemon = soft ban  – fixed now, lure freely!
  • sniping = soft ban
  • teleporting any distance = soft ban
  • they’ve done a LOT of changes
  • catching a pokemon is now treated where you encounter it
  • not where you catch it
  • that’s a massive change

The fix was reverted as a huge number of players complained that they’re getting soft bans which prevent them from playing. This fix was rolled out on Friday May 05, 2017 20:33:42 UTC and was reverted shortly after.

We’ve detected the date of the last server side build in the GAME_MASTER:

Dronpes, one of TheSilphRoad admins, also hinted that we should be hearing more soon:

Satwik9aari is not making a baseless claim here, travelers. This is worth observing and watching. We should know more soon. — source

“Sniping” is a type of spoofing. Previously, you could click any Pokemon in the world and quickly teleport home and catch the Pokemon. This would then record the area of capture as your home. This allowed people to instant catch things around the world but appear to be sitting at home.

Now, the game records where you engage instead of catch, meaning people cannot instantly teleport everywhere while appearing to sit in one location. They can still fly around a small distance without any detection so far.

Stay tuned trainers, Niantic is evidently working hard to prevent spoofing. We should be seeing more and more of anti-spoofing measures deployed in the near future.

  • Bartosz Rygielski

    Great news, ban ’em all!

    • Josh Hack

      What if you get banned for not doing anything. One of my friends got banned at level 29 and he never spoofed.

    • Bellal Amerkhail

      Yeah i got soft banned for catching a pokemon at the store and then my house..

      • vesra

        I got soft banned for teleporting a hundred feet. Wasn’t my fault the game server decided not to record my movement then teleport me when it finally caught up.

        • Bellal Amerkhail

          that sucks :/

        • Sui

          Niantic really should fix THEIR problem with the GPS before they ban people because they moved 100 feet because of NIANTIC’S GPS problem

  • Carnie_Vorex

    So if I catch a pokemon from a slowly moving bus I’d get a ban too? Not fair.

    • Phil Gisb

      “They can still fly around a small distance without any detection so far.”
      you’re safe.

      • Carnie_Vorex

        How small a distance? What if I’m catching a particularly stubborn ‘mon and the bus moves away like 500m or more?

        • jolson

          You should play Pokemon Bus instead.

        • Kiaan Mudaly

          They will probably only soft ban you if you go from on country or state to another so people can still spoof in a small area. So it’s not perfect but atleast people can’t snipe enough chanseys to get a blissey in one day.

          • Chris

            Why would you snipe Chanseys, when you can just catch Blisseys.

          • the2000guy

            If you find a 100% IV Chansey in Lvl 30 you have more chance of getting a Blissey with perfect moveset. Also for chansey candys obviously you need them to power them up!! The same apply for other Pokemon Like Tyranitar Lapras Snorlax and Dragonite.

          • Chris

            Eh, snipers would just snipe high IV Blisseys. Saves candy and stardust.

          • the2000guy

            Yeah but remember they are not very common to appear so they will try to farm them. They will catch as many possible to save enough candy to their arsenal.

          • Chris

            Lol. Ok.

          • the2000guy

            Remember, these spoofers they are never enough of what they have. A proof is in my country where most of the players who spoof, each player has over 50 gyms and it is a problem to destroy them because are all filled with Blisseys and it takes to me an hour to destroy just 1 and then the next day the gym is again lvl 10 with the same players.

          • Chris

            I’ve been in gyms with 10 Blisseys, and 3K Blisseys, and I don’t spoof, or snipe. I’ve also played with the same group of players and repeatedly taken gyms, over and over again. Perhaps you are simply outplayed?

          • the2000guy

            I encountered a lot of these gyms but the problem is that I play solo because most of the people of my same team spoof and I don’t want to waste the most important part of this particular game: Augmented Reality. So I take down myself these gyms in my town while the spoofers play in countries like US, Japan, Korea, HK, or Australia.

          • Kiaan Mudaly

            I play solo as well and at 3k blissey is most of the time unbeatable in the time allowed. And at my local park there are 4 gyms and a guy has a bot that takes over and trains up the gyms to level 10 so this code change probably won’t affect him.

          • the2000guy

            In one of the articles here I suggested that Niantic should ban Pokemkn with 10Hp and 10Cp in gyms. That the minimum CP should be 100. Why? Because they use the bubblestrat technique that I didn’t know what was until I figured out that with just one hit you can kill a Pokemon with double the CP of yours and will remain alive to then again repeat that process until you reach lvl 10. With that will give more work to the bots until they sue them because eventually that will go down using legal actions just like trackers.

          • Kiaan Mudaly

            They could eliminate a significant number of spoofers if they just added more pokestops to rural places cause I went out of the city today and say no stops but pokeMon still spawn. And they need to add a nearby and sightings tabs so people can see what’s around them. This could reduce the use of trackers.

          • Aaron James Atkins

            Shuckle and Misdreavus can still pull strategies even against 200 CP Pokemon with minimal resources, if any.

          • Ry

            Machamp bro.

          • Kiaan Mudaly

            I have one with counter and close combat and one with cross chop both 2ķ plus cp but I get bad data service to I can’t do get efficiently.

          • vision33r

            That’s because Niantic is too lazy to balance all the Pokemons. Blisseys are not supposed to to much damage while they can take hits. Shows how amateurish Niantic is in terms of balancing the game. If I see Blisseys I have to stack high DPS Pokemon and luck to get them down and pray that my Dodges aren’t lagged.

            Fixed the damn dodge lags, Niantic!

          • Kiaan Mudaly

            I minimized spoofers by taking over my local gyms daily and battling gyms while spoofers are trying to take them. It makes them less determined to train them up. But that just works for me.

          • the2000guy

            The problem is that some spoofers are also using bots to prestige the gyms up to lvl 10 and in less than an hour is complete. I prestiged with all Blisseys and take an amount of time to get the 8,000 points. And is time for Niantic to end this!!

          • vision33r

            Problem is that Blisseys are normal other Pokemons are too weak. The stats for all Pokemons have not been balanced while Niantic too busy preventing Poke maps. They don’t care about spoofers they just don’t want people to have maps which gives non-spoofers a chance.

          • Abhijit Biswas

            I worked hard to get one chansey which i could evolve to get blissey, the day i evolvrd it, i traveled to a new place and found another blissey 80 IV now i feel like a spoofer although i can only power up one of them due to candies…

          • the2000guy

            Do you understand the meaning of spoofer right? If not I will have to explain to yourself because not everyone is spoofer. By your explanation without doubt you are not a spoofer.

          • Abhijit Biswas

            I know I’m not a spoofer, it’s just that i used to say that anyone with multiple spoofers is a spoofer.

  • Josh Hack

    Does anyone else think niantic are taking this all too seriously? I understand banning botters and maybe some snipers, but what about the normal players that get banned, and the hardcore players that cannot play like they used to because of new restrictions. Why do we all need to be affected by others actions?
    I have been soft-banned many times before without spoofing. Isn’t that a little unfair?

    • vesra

      Agreed, between the soft bans for small server error teleporting and the moving to fast while sitting still, they have a lot of work to do.

      • GonzoI

        What you’re describing is exactly what I’m worried about. I haven’t experienced it yet, but where I work the WPS seems to have been shut off so occasionally my avatar gets flipped a few blocks away with the “moving too fast” warning. Same thing going shopping or sitting down in a restaurant. I could understand that much, though, but it also happens when I’m walking on a trail hundreds of feet from any structure, hill, or even tall tree if I happen to get a text message and stop to read it. Or walk past a tall building downtown (you know, where Niantic put ALL the pokemon and pokestops). If this results in soft bans, the game becomes utterly unplayable.

        I’ve heard all the excuses why GPS is at fault, but I’ve used GPS in my car for decades and it’s never once flipped me blocks away even in parking garages. I’ve used it on my phone with Google Maps and it’s never flipped me blocks away even in buildings and downtown. At worst, they say “no satellite signal”. This is entirely on Niantic. I get the need to end the spoofing plague, but you absolutely cannot have false positives.

      • Joel Jensen

        EXACTLY, gps drifting, oh boy, people are going to be getting soft banned for that, or like when you lose data connection for a few seconds or your gps stops working for a few seconds and your character teleports or runs away from your actual location, what then? cant they see who has been using what on accounts? like come on!

    • the2000guy

      Josh, they have been testing. Is not a final decision. But honestly they have to stop this way of cheating. Is really unfair that I play legally and walk my Larvitar to power it up while other just snipe all day to whatever place is a larvitar and to power their Tyranitar and even worse when they snipe 3,000 + CP Tyranitars from their beds. I am really sick cheating thing also of warching hundreds of Gyms with 10 Blisseys each and almost every gym has the same players. This is cheating obviously. So, Niantic has my approval of testing that. If not they can say goodbye to more players playing legally.

      • Josh Hack

        I agree with you, just think they really need to sit down for a few weeks and work something accurate out, rather than releasing/testing unreliable systems.

        • the2000guy

          Absolutely Josh, they have to improve that in order to avoid more complains of legal players.

          • Josh Hack

            Confirmed: just got soft banned for catching in a car!

          • the2000guy

            Damn, that’s extremely unfair. They have to measured the distance traveled in order to know whether or not are spoofing. They are causing too much trouble for doing that.

          • Joel Jensen

            wtf

      • JJ “Moo”

        What about people who dont cheat but are getting warnings of third party use on their account.
        I dont use anything for spoofing. I don’t even use the maps for scanning for pokemon. But every time I log on in I get this warning. If I lose my account because Niantic wants to stop cheaters, how is that fair for me?

        • the2000guy

          I think that’s unfair of using third party apps to check IV’s and get banned for that. You are not cheating by doing this. You just want to make sure that the Pokemon you catch is really worth it to keep. Honestly I check my IVs in the web. I don’t have an app to check my IVs in my phone. But I agree that is unfair what they are doing to you.

          • Joel Jensen

            i agree

          • Bellal Amerkhail

            Niantic bans people for using third party software even IV checkers. several people i know got banned for logging in an app, while others use screenshot apps which are safe for now.

          • the2000guy

            Well thats unfair, you should not be banned for doing this. However, people spoofs to get 100 IVs Blisseys and they do not get banned for that.

          • Jasper Williams

            That’s cheating!!! Talk chit about people who snipe and crap!!,cheating is cheating. Hypocrite!!

          • traviswrdunbar

            Just use the appraisal system built into the game, and you won’t have to worry about it. More than a few guides online to show you what each team leader says, so you can learn how to ID your best pokemon with just a couple seconds of reading.

      • Holykiller BE

        I hear you, makes sense for some (most actually) players. Gym spoofing is bad. But, there are some players who, as previously mentioned above, do not have access to gyms, stops, and mons. Further, what about folks who are severely disabled, i.e., have trouble walking, use crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, etc. How can they be expected to fully enjoy the “POGO” experience. Some disabled using power assisted devices like motorized wheelchairs depend upon batteries to power their chairs. A few blocks and the batteries are dead. This is a personal safety issue, not to mention the many hours it takes to recharge the batteries. The rest of the day could be shot!

        • the2000guy

          I understand your point. That’s a very difficult situation for these people to not play the game they should and for sure they want to. I dont know how Niantic can handle that situation. Also, safety is other issue that concern to people as well. Some people got killed, other have been robbed and even stabbed while playing.

      • Joel Jensen

        yea there is this dude that has like 8 accounts just with one higher up number on each account for his username. idub34, idubs34, ldub34, ldubs34, idub35, idubs35, ldub35, ldubs35. yea, not joking, and his character looks the exact same on each account and is level 34 and each account. he claims the rest are his brothers. bs. he team instinct btw. he also reported my account for spoofing even though he spoofs. i got soft banned for no reason until niantic found out and banned his original account. i contacted them about him and all his accounts this morning and they are possibly going to ip ban his device from playing pokemon go.

        • the2000guy

          Obviously all those accounts are bots. Thats a huge problem to deal with it. if Niantic doesnt sue the people behind this bots apps and software, the game will be unplayable at all.

    • Nathan Winger

      Definitely way too serious, the damage has already been done and I don’t think it’s a battle they can win. There are too many programmers willing to find a workaround. There will always be snipers. As long as you at least have somebody else willing to login to your account they can catch Mons for you where they are at. If you get soft banned all you gotta do is spin the same poke stop 40 times and your good to catch a Mon.

      • Julie

        Spinning a poke stop 40 times isn’t lifting the soft ban.

        • Nathan Winger

          Click on it, spin it, click out of, click it again, spin it, Click out of it. Do that 40 times. It works every time.

  • Alan

    If I login at another account and catching a pokémon for my girlfriend. Is I a sniping Pokémon?

    • the2000guy

      Let me explain how sniping works. Let say you are in New York and someone says to you that there is a 2600 Cp SNorlax in Spain. How can you catch that monsters in a couple of minutes? Easy, just change your coordinates to the place is Snorlax in the game after you logged in while playing in NY. Just wait until it appears, select it and then go back to NY and catch. That’s Snipping. And that way of playing should be stop because thats the reason you see so many Blisseys in Gyms. Chansey and Blisseys are rarer than Dragonites and in my country I was able to catch 3 Chanseys since the game started and having the game almost all the on wherever I went. Meanwhile I was able to find over 15 Dragonites. So that’s how rare is Chansey and watching in my country over 100 Gyms with all Blisseys thats definitively cheaters.

    • Bellal Amerkhail

      thats considered cheating if youre sharing accounts apparently.

  • Rillan

    So basically nothing changed

  • P-necio

    In Chile all the people is using hacks, fly gps or spoofing in Gyms with 3k Blisseys, many legal players stopped playing Pokemon GO for this reason 🙁

    • the2000guy

      In my country is the same situation. Most people use them to prestige their gyms very quickly to lvl 10 in less than half-hour using bots. While others spoof and create empire all over the towns. That is just unfair.

      • P-necio

        A example, this guy is spoofing since 8 months ago and Niantic never ban this guy, am really sick of this I spent real money in GO, is so sad. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f1123489f386da33d140ea419c3205a07b9fbb74ab947f34478951aa3250508.png

        • the2000guy

          Damn a Red Gyarados, I live in a water biome and haven’t catch a shiny magikarp yet. Meanwhile, did you report it?

          • P-necio

            We are in Santiago and here there is no water, that guy is from Santiago we have reported thousands of times and nobody does anything in Niantic, Chile is a country of spoofers in Pokemon Go unfortunately.

          • Bellal Amerkhail

            how do you know hes spoofing?

          • P-necio

            The guy win the gyms with me alone in that place, I play at night from 12 to 2 AM, I ride bicycle in dangerous areas of Santiago and always win the gym after you defeat it, the first day of Pokemon Go in Chile was already level 20 and has taken gyms throughout Chile from Arica to La Antartida, has been denounced in all Facebook groups of Chile about Pokemon GO and here it is still not banned.

          • Josh Hack

            They can’t afford to go to every individual case, that will take months, even years

          • P-necio

            2 days after 2nd gen in Santiago de Chile a City with NO WATER, Niantic is very slow. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fb8e72ac9e72be271abac6f012027e850ee950bd1abbf09d6879a34f545a513b.png

          • Bellal Amerkhail

            Damn that sucks he is ruining it for you

          • P-necio

            For me and legal people from Mystic Team that can not put their pokemon in those gyms because it is full of hacks/spoofers.

          • Bellal Amerkhail

            i am an instinct player and my own instinct players use alts to knock out my monster lol my 3300 cp dragonnite just left the gym and these are “legit” players doing it!!!

          • Dana Summers (RexHav0c)

            If they are using secondary accounts, they are not “legit” players. They are violating the ToS just like spoofers do. They are cheaters.

          • Bellal Amerkhail

            i agree

          • Sui

            I’m on team valor but all the gyms around me are level 10 mystic gyms. There’s only about 20 people that I see in gyms ever

          • P-necio

            Am valor too, Santiago de Chile is the city of blue spoofers, is very sad be Valor or Instinct here 🙁

          • Bellal Amerkhail

            yeha my own instinct members do that to me

          • the2000guy

            Ive herad that in Brazil is the same problem, that all gyms are dominated only by spoofers.

          • P-necio

            South America nest of spoofers, Niantic help us!.

  • beccher

    “Stay tuned trainers, Niantic is evidently working hard to prevent spoofing”
    Hahahaha, never played ingress?

    • the2000guy

      Never played Ingress. Do you mean that they dont have cheaters in that game?

  • Kyla Dittus

    But wat about the joysticks aka hacking some people need them cause some maybe in the hospital or disabled

    • Joel Jensen

      dont defend the disabled wanting to play pokemon go. not trying to be rude at all, but this game was not made for the disabled or 5 year olds. the purpose of the game is to get up and get moving, so that does not give any right for a disabled to hack. it ruins thebgame for everybody else.

      • Nathan Winger

        I will defend the disabled all day long who want to play this game. What do snipers gain by sniping? More of the best Pokémon? Who cares the worst they can do is put it in a gym. Every single Pokémon can be beat in a gym. Sniping doesn’t bother me at all. In fact when trading comes it will allow for all of us to have some of the best IV Mons.

        • Josh Hack

          So true. I commented on another article that I broke my leg a few weeks ago and was using a joystick while recovering and some people got so annoyed! Worry about content, not control.

          • Sui

            That’s still spoofing though, which is cheating

        • hallicalli

          It does not matter, if you think it is stupid to play the game as it is supposed to be played. If your aim is to get every Pokémon with 100% IV, you are just a another fool who misunderstood the purpose of the game. Very sad, but obviously you are not an exception!

          • Nathan Winger

            I’m not just talking about Pokémon with 100 IVs. I’m talking about the best Pokémon in the game in general like Dragonite, Snorlax, Tyranitar, a Lapras etc…. Its a joke trying to find them with the lame tracker we have and you have a 1 in a million chance of walking upon one if not worst chance, I could care less about IV. This game will never be what Niantic thinks it should be and thank goodness for that because it’s so fun with 3rd party trackers. Everyone has there own style of playing the game and that’s awesome. This game is seriously broken and Niantic cannot do a single thing about it. Account gets banned? So what, just head over to flameaccounts .com and get yourself a new level 38 account. It’s a joke how wrecked this game is in less than a year.

      • Sui

        I agree

        • Sui

          This wasn’t a game made for disabled

    • hallicalli

      They should than play Pokémon on the Gameboy, nobody needs the joystick in Pokémon GO, don’t be silly! And btw. nobody said, that the joystick ist not working anymore…

  • Joel Jensen

    wait, so a cyndaquil spawned while my mom was driving me home. and i needed 6 more candy for a typlosion. i pinaped the cyndaquil and caught it, but i had moved away as i was in a car. would i get soft banned for this? what about using incense on a bus? wtf? i understand them trying to fix the hacking problem but i dont want to get softbanned right after i legitimately got a typlosion through evolution. like come on. im 15 and at level 33 100,000 away from 34 and ive been playing the july 14, i dont want to get banned after all of the work that i have put into this game. i may be overreacting, but who wouldnt?

    • Bellal Amerkhail

      sometimes moving away at fast speeds causes the server to have to load and as a result whatever pokemon will run away. or your catch will lag.

  • Mr. Anonymous

    My house has a terrible GPS and is constantly teleporting me but I don’t spoof!!! I better not get soft banned for it!!!

  • KT718

    Why do I get the feeling this will result in soft bans for honest players who happen to catch mons in a car or whose gps goes on the fritz, yet will have little to no affect on actual cheaters because they’ll inevitably find another workaround?

    • Bellal Amerkhail

      My friend got soft banned for riding his bike with the game on lol. slow enough to hatch eggs too.

  • Jeff Mercer

    Yeah those idiot at Niantic have banned many Ingress players for “nothing” testing their bots, and when question do nothing because they cannot know why the bot banned you it is a virus made by a bunch of amateur programmers

    • Bellal Amerkhail

      niantic are amateurs, they couldve handled this game way better.

      • Josh Hack

        For a company as big as they are, they do make more problems than solutions

        • Ryan Castaneda

          This game started off with a 7 man team. They didn’t have the man power. It bigger now. They just went into this way unprepared

  • vision33r

    Depending on the honesty of GPS on smartphone is a big fail on Niantic. When honest folks don’t get a good signal and the GPS jumps all over the place you can get softban by Niantic in the past. Now they loosened the softbans. Back then if I was in a car trying to catch Pokeman I get softban a lot for moving too fast and my phone didn’t get a good GPS lock. Fix the gameplay don’t worry about GPS spoofing Niantic. You’re killing the game with all the Gym bugs and imbalances.

    • Josh Hack

      Well said

    • Dana Summers (RexHav0c)

      Wierd. I played Ingress for almost 3 years, and Pokemon Go since release, and I have never been soft banned.

      What would be your alternative to GPS? There is no other geolocation service that is widely adopted. Google was looking into an alternative but abandoned it because of possible privacy backlash.

  • Dave

    ““Sniping” is a type of spoofing. Previously, you could click any Pokemon in the world and quickly teleport home and catch the Pokemon. This would then record the area of capture as your home.”

    Incorrect. Previously you could capture it at home but the record showed you captured it at the sniping destination. Now if you teleport back home a flee ban is triggered.

  • Tom Ato

    cant they just take down the apps or hacked versions of pokemon go? like the actual applications that are available for download

  • jstaylor62

    So how do you have a level 10 Gym with 66K points? With a pair of users LeoLux1 and LuxLeo1 in the same Gym?
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/544bcf7a210398d3efd7af6f34190b9480f118776448d9082a04cb1c8e2e91ff.png

  • Andrew Mc

    Can someone recommend me a gps spoof that’s currently working?? Galaxy s6. My old stopped when I got the phone two weeks as insurance

  • Filip Sygdziak

    I got banned on Pokemon GO when I even DONT hack!!! What to Do so i can be unbanned???