In a statement on its website, Niantic announced users can be banned for falsifying locations, using emulators, modified or unofficial software and accessing Pokemon Go clients or backends in “an unauthorised manner”.
GPS spoofing enables players to trick the game into thinking they are in different regions, helping them to pick up rare Pokemon currently unavailable in their locality. Bots, meanwhile, let players automate portions of the game.
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 optimization and fine tuning of our anti-cheat system.”
Hundreds of users have taken to Reddit to try to unearth Niantic’s strategy, but it’s not yet clear how the developer detects foul play.
The Guardian has reported that a number of bot developers had been sent cease and desist orders.
Necrobot, a premium service for account farming, said: “Due to legal action being started against other bot creators and developers (we did not receive a letter yet) the project development will be stopped. All source files/downloads will be removed.”
The latest crackdown comes after a number of third party Pokemon mapping sites were shut down last month.
The move coincided with the removal of the nearby tracking feature, which has since been updated, and frayed relations with the game’s community.