Niantic Begins Reversing Some Pokemon Go Account Bans

Niantic has begun reversing some Pokemon Go account bans, which affected users who were using "add-on map apps" to find nearby Pokemon.

Niantic has begun reversing some Pokemon Go account bans, which affected users who were using “add-on map applications” to find nearby Pokemon.

Earlier this month, Niantic began banning users that it said were “taking unfair advantage of and abusing” the game. This included users who were using apps that display nearby Pokemon on a map.

In a blog post, John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, explained the bans:

Each end-user app can be used as a collection tool by the app creator, invisibly collecting and forwarding data to the app creator with or without the knowledge of the end-user. These apps can have an effect similar to DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks on our servers. Because of this, we have had to ban some accounts associated with using these add-on map tools, leading to confusion by some users about why they were banned. This is a small subset of the accounts banned.

Hanke said Niantic made changes to its “infrastructure” that enable it to “unban” this set of users. Hanke also reminded users that the use of add-on maps is against Niantic’s terms of service, and that using them “may still result in an account ban going forward.”

Elsewhere, Hanke said accounts “whose sole purpose was to scrape data” will not be unbanned. In addition, players who used apps or websites to remotely capture Pokemon, battle or send Pokemon to Gyms or collect items from PokeStops will not be unbanned.

Hanke commented:

Our main priority is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate experience for all players, so aggressive banning will continue to occur for players who engage in these kinds of activities.

Users who feel they have been improperly banned can appeal their bans on the game’s website.

Readers: Have you used third-party apps or websites to help you play Pokemon Go?