A number of Trainers has reported that spoofers and GPS snipers are now being targeted by Niantic’s new “slashed Pokémon” mechanism. See our What are “Slashed Pokémon”? guide if you’re out of the loop.

A few important things:

  • The new ban wave is not global, nor does it target all spoofers
  • The new ban wave targets mostly players with erratic movement patterns
  • We don’t know if the slashes are permanent

We’re trying to verify how widespread is the new “slash-ban-wave”, but it seems that it’s mostly targeting players who’ve been consistently using GPS spoofing methods to jump around a wider regional area.

This mainly includes players using maps to “snipe” high IV rares, regional collecting globetrotters and other malicious variants of GPS abusers. The common trait among all affected players is a lack of caution and severe use of GPS spoofing tools.

We are able to confirm that this ban wave does not rely on detecting 3rd party app usage specifically, but uses historical player location data to observe irrational and impossible movement patterns.

It’s unclear how much data/offenses are required to flag yourself as a spoofer, but one of the Trainers who reached out to us shared the following:

“I only went to JP once or twice for a couple of hours, couldn’t get Farfetch’d, went back, took 1 gym and now half of my screen is red. Can you help???!”

Curiously, this appeared in one of the largest Discord cheating groups:

As the situation develops further, we expect a few things to be answered:

  1. Does the algorithm still only ban botted/snipped Pokémon or anything is a target?
  2. Are only Pokémon with legacy moves targeted?
  3. Are slashes permanent or they go away after a week/two?

Stay tuned for more news, we’re watching this one closely.

  • Kim Werk

    It should stay permanent!
    Why slash a pokemon to unslash it after a few weeks, if it’s sniped/cheated catched, then slash it and be permanent!

    • Alvaro Chuquiure

      Agreed

    • James Smith

      I agree it should stay permanent it will show these spoofers using just anything to spoof and not the one that keep them safe. Me being a hardcore player turn spoofer I can say not of mine are slashed and haven’t been shadow ban never will. I’m careful and I don’t show off so ppl think I’m a casual. People need to do research before using something.

  • Zapmeister

    Do whatever it takes to stop spoofing. If the current penalties don’t work, then hit harder until they do.

    • eMike

      +100500

      • Lynne Dean

        I don’t see spoofers spending money to Niantic. I see screenshots of their original items and pokemon bag size a year into the game. I see them dropping 4 to 6 accounts in one gym. Any money they do spend goes to third party apps and Bossland hash keys not Niantic. If someone goes from UK to Australia to Japan in 3 hours it should be a no brainer that they spoof.

        • KenKiri

          I know plenty spoofers and some spend hundreds on the game. They def love spending.

          • Oscarv

            It seems many cheaters spend because they think the company will then be less willing to ban them.

          • GonzoI

            And there’s no reason to doubt an unproveable, self-serving claim from the sort of people who would cheat on a game like this?

    • the2000guy

      Eventually they will get permanently banned if they don’t stop that behavior. The situation here is that Niantic is earning a lot of money from spoofers. This is not Ingress where most of the players don’t spend money on it.

  • ASWIN RAYEN

    Waste of time…. all of them(spoofers) quit pokemon go and then started playing clash of clans and clash royale … Pokemon go is going to be end soon ….lot of person dont want to get of home to play pokemon go….me and my class mates uninstalled pokemin go

    • Thablackguy

      Then why are you here? Go home troll. The game is not dead nor is it close to it.

    • David

      I don’t agree at all. I meet and know a lot of high level people (real people not just players inside game) around my area and we are all very happy to see spoofers left the game, which bring less frustration and more fun to us.

    • leonidaswin

      In the last week I´ve met 8 players thanks to the update, this game is just starting.

    • Alvaro Chuquiure

      Your argument sounds like a sore spoofer, as more measures are taken against cheating more ppl will have to come out and play, as long as the game keeps releasing new content that is, and the next step are Legendaries so at least there will be hype for a couple of months.

    • GonzoI

      Give it up. No one is buying the spoofer sob stories. You hurt the game by cheating and driving off legitimate players. You did not provide any benefit at all to the game by “keeping it alive” through your cheating while others were trying to legitimately play. You do not constitute a large enough demographic to matter at all except for the disproportionate damage you cause. You do not have ANYTHING you can use to justify what you did. Just stop. Stop spoofing, stop defending spoofing, and stop trying to convince other people what you did was ok.

      It’s an online game and you weren’t out in public, so just drop your spoof account and move on. You don’t need to salvage it or protect any reputation. If you want to play legitimately, start fresh. If you don’t, find something else. Make a clean break with it and stop digging this hole.

  • If you really cared about this game you wouldn’t care about spoofers….

    • GonzoI

      Spoofers are killing the game. It’s awfully hard to justify your effort walking long distances to put your best Dragonite in a gym only for it to be blasted out immediately by people who are nowhere around. Despite the fantasy BS from a few spoofers who can’t do basic math, the vast majority of players do play fair, including the majority of paying customers. Spoofers aren’t helping the game by padding numbers or paying a significant amount, they’re draining the life out of it like leeches.

      • Jim

        People who use maps to chase down rares are not 1% better than someone spoofing. Yet they act like they are doing nothing wrong. When you have 50 Snorlax 50 Blissey and 75 Dragonites where is the fun?

        • GonzoI

          I won’t argue that they aren’t hurting anything, but people quit the game in droves citing spoofers taking gyms. Spoofing is by far the worst problem.

          That said, those maps are made by spoofed locations and bots. The harder it is to spoof, the less those maps will impact the game.

  • Jess

    Join Pokexperience(dot)com for 100 IV Rare Pokemon coords

    • leonidaswin

      hahaha you kidding right??? if not, shame on you.

  • Jess

    Check out PokeXperience!

  • Pokemon Trainer N

    The pokemon should just automatically be transferred instead of just slashed…

    • Mirrrr

      Noo slashed is cool. then they cant show off anything that they got legit anymore either.

    • Alvaro Chuquiure

      i think its like a shame mark, but if they get un slashed makes no sense. I hope they never get un slashed.

      • GonzoI

        It’s a psychological thing. They get to stare at their hardly-earned prize that they expected to be great, but now they can’t show it off and can’t use it. But it’s what they wanted, so it’s hard to just get rid of either. It becomes an albatross.

        Just deleting them gives people a clean break, and cheaters will just cheat again if they get a clean break.

  • Carla Romina Chica Gutierrez

    Which is this server of discord?

    • KenKiri

      probably pokedex100

  • leonidaswin

    Really happy about this, it´s a step to PvP more reliables.

  • Pascal F

    Sorry to post offtopic here but why are some of my comments being sent for approval and never getting approved? Am I doing something wrong?
    They are just regular comments, not different from those that get posted normally.

    • Zapmeister

      Yes, there is some mysterious moderation going on. I had an article in a different thread removed shortly after I posted it. I have assumed it was because I was excessively critical of the new gym system, but can’t be sure of that, as no explanation of any kind was given.

    • Lee Ejerl

      My Comment was deleted too by saying that It is true that more 50% of this game are spoofer at that keep this game stays alive. Niantic don’t want to totally banned them to keep the count stay above their minimum level. Not like it used to be so many incident like pedestrian get run over by a drivers playing Pokemon. So, it’s either no more player playing Pokemon or we run out of Pedestrian to run over. LOL.

      • Pascal F

        What confuses me is the fact that they don’t get deleted, they just never get approved and posted.
        And I was just describing some of my raids, answering a question, literally not one controversial word.

  • Aman Bedi

    Slashes should remain permanently, spoofed accounts should be banned permanently!

    • Otto Gustafsson

      Agreed. All level 37+ players (38-40) have disappeared from my area. They had location locked Pokemons of the Gen1 at the gyms and MaxCP Tyranitar with perfect IV on the first day of the Gen2 release. Being physically at the gym where no-one was visibly nearby was taken back by the same guys in 20 minutes and it was again at Level 10. Now if they have lost their Pokemons, this is good news. I really don’t care, because they have stayed in their homes while others were really playing.

      • GonzoI

        This makes me feel better about the Mr. Mime I have been seeing around town since the gym rework. Saw it again (same one) last night, so it might be legit. I have been meeting the real people behind accounts that I see around still, and the number of Raid participants match people physically present now. Hopefully we’re seeing the tipping point where spoofing becomes rare.

      • Hamstrman

        As someone living in NYC, there are plenty of legit level 38-40s here, but that could be anomalous, since it is a huge, densely populated area. I also have a perfect Tyranitar. It’s easy to get around here and if you stand at a major area like Bryant Park, there is a confluence of 7 stops where you can stand in the middle of them all, spin, catch, lure, repeat for hours. One of them is now a gym too. Some people sit in their office building and spin and catch without having to move (and playing legit).

        I know a couple of people who have hit the catch cap for the day just by doing this. And put a lucky egg on during a double XP event and stand there for 8 hours a day… you get 2.5 million XP by the end of the week. I don’t have that much time to devote to the game, but I’m halfway to 37. If I played every day for hours I’d probably be level 39 by now.

        But of COURSE plenty of high level people are spoofers/botters. It’s just not a hard rule like a lot of people think.

    • Tim

      If you knew that there are more people playing this game by either botting or spoofing that playing legitimately, and I don’t mean just more but a lot more then you would understand why they can’t just ban everyone, it wouldn’t look good and this game would probably be dead with out the sponsors if everyone found out that that 64 million active users were really only abou 25 million if everyone got banned

      • kosenko

        Most of the users are map scanners and casual players who downloaded the app. Most of the distance walked are scanners and bots.

      • Lee Ejerl

        So true!

  • Marcus Elmore

    This is pointless. Rather than banning spoofers, who they can clearly see, they are doing to minimum just to say they are doing anything at all.

  • Josh Hack

    The definition of a spoofer “Similar to a hacker, but the things a spoofer does are completeley legal and don’t harm anything in any way” See the words don’t harm? it’s a game, not something to overreact like this for. That’s life. Some give themselves advantages, others work the long and hard way. Life isn’t fair. Games are for entertainment. Stop whining and accept that some (like me) are either physically handicapped and/or live in rural Kansas. I spoof because there is just one gym near me. When I say near, I mean it’s about 8 miles away. I also cannot afford a ds for Sun and Moon. I use a joystick. You can’t police this game forever. There will always be those evil spoofers…

    • Higher_Ground

      What about the handicapped individuals playing legitimately? You feel okay kicking them out of gyms?

      • Leonardo Isaias Zerda

        Seems he feels okay with that, because his comment is just selfish.

    • GonzoI

      Actually, like any game, it can be policed as long as it’s running. You can choose not to participate in gyms if you want to claim you “don’t harm”, but otherwise you are doing harm. No one is putting up with the lie that you aren’t anymore.

  • Higher_Ground

    JC just ban them permanently and be done with it. Obviously they do not have the resources to go after everyone so the bets deterrent is an overly harsh lifetime ban.

    IOW stop cheating already.

    • Zapmeister

      While I’m as keen as anyone to see an end to location spoofing, I can also see a problem with account banning in response. The method used to identify spoofers may not be 100% reliable, so you may wind up banning legit players, which would be a PR disaster if complaints of that spread all over the forums.

    • GonzoI

      Bans in any game do not stop cheating. Cheaters just make new accounts when you give them a clean break like a ban because they don’t have as much effort invested as a real player. You have to break their childish mindset to stop them. These weird disabling measures are more effective because few cheaters are going to cut their losses when their ill-gotten gains are right there taunting them. Cutting losses takes maturity that inherently is lacking in cheaters.

  • Mandy Kota

    I feel dumb asking this— I understand what GPS spoofing is, but what exactly is GPS Sniping? Spoofing “puts you” in places far from where you actually are, but I don’t know what the gps sniping is.

    • leonidaswin

      Sniping means place yourself in a certain place with coordinates of a rare Pokemon with hig IV or CP , just to capture it.

      • Mandy Kota

        Ah, thank you very much for clarifying that!

  • Petter Eckerbom

    I have a friend (yes it is actually a friend and not just me trying to cover up) who botted last summer and now got his pokémon slashed. I found that very interesting, doesn’t that tell us that they can slash on other merits then movement? Surely they don’t have his movement data stored from that long ago

  • Lee Ejerl

    Last year at Pokemon hangout you see hundreds of people playing but then earlier this year at this same place while playing they look at me like “are you still playing that game?” I had to dim my iPhone and pretended that I’m not playing Pokemon. So the reason why Niantic does not want to completely ban spoofer coz they want to keep Pokemon stays alive. More than 50% of remaining players are spoofer and only a very few are honest serious player and some are just so and so. I got excited with the new update at first then I have to keep feeding my Pokemon to stay alive on my gyms. It’s not a family fast time anymore my kids don’t even to go with me to battle the gyms or catch. And I don’t have anybody to show off my L37 account and rare Pokemon since they all stop playing. I’m done with this game. Good Luck everyone!

  • -ph-

    Forget the past and put down the question right way: How much painful is to meet a virtual trainer in the current system? Hmm, if one shaves of his history experience, the answer is very interesting. I want the other trainers to kick my monsters out of the gyms, I want them to attend the raid battles – regardless they are physically on place or sitting at home in their sofa 🙂

    • Zapmeister

      Very painful. The problem is that your “virtual trainer” can boot my defender within minutes of its arrival, so I gain nothing. Physical trainers take time to move between gyms, giving my defenders that time to gain some credit. Yes, you want your defenders to be evicted in the current system, but not until they’ve had time to earn some coins.

      Botting and location spoofing were the only problems that Niantic really needed to solve. Unfortunately, they did much more than that.

  • Lee Ejerl

    Last year at Pokemon hangout you see hundreds of people playing but then earlier this year at this same place while playing they look at me like “are you still playing that game?” I had to dim my iPhone and pretended that I’m not playing Pokemon. Last month we went to San Francisco Pier 39 on a family visit so me and my wife stayed till pass midnight to catch pokemon. It’s so breezy and cold at Pier 39 the place look so dead but so alive in Pokemon screen all stop are lured and the gyms are battling but no one there. So the reason why Niantic does not want to completely ban spoofer coz they want to keep Pokemon stays alive. More than 50% of remaining players are spoofer and only a very few are honest serious player and some are just so and so. I got excited with the new update at first then I have to keep feeding my Pokemon to stay alive on my gyms. It’s not a family fast time anymore my kids don’t even to go with me to battle the gyms or catch. And I don’t have anybody to show off my L37 account and rare Pokemon since they all stop playing. I’m done with this game. It’s time to my cut down gas bill, no more hanging out for hours at the poke stops just to fill up your item on unsafe neighborhood. Maybe I will be back when Niantic change the game by allowing your trainer to walk within 10-20 miles radius that will make the game more fun and safe. Good Luck everyone!

  • Lee Ejerl

    This Go Hub only want to keep comments that this game still alive. The truth is only a few a playing honest game the rest are spoofers. That’s why they only slashed their Pokemon to keep the game stays alive.

  • hilmanefef

    Oh come on Niantic! Its because you’ve sent me wrong flag on my first account and banned! Now I have 100’s account botted with minimum 29 level. Lucky me, my accounts was botted before 2017. So they are still safe about the shity red slash. lol

    • Zapmeister

      If you’re a botter, then perhaps you can answer a question for me. What’s the point? Most people play to meet the challenges that a game presents and overcome them to gain a sense of achievement. But if a robot is playing the game on your behalf? I don’t get it.

      • Lee Ejerl

        Robot is used by hackers to sell the account. They don’t play.