‘Pokemon Go’: How to Appeal an Account Ban

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New York City residents gather to play Pokemon Go in Central Park. (Getty)

As Niantic Labs continues banning Pokemon Go players for cheating, they’ve also introduced a new system by which users can submit a ban appeal.

On Niantic’s official website, a page has launched on which gamers can enter their account information if they believe they were unfairly banned. Niantic’s goal is to ban any players who are attempting to cheat the game, but as with Ingress, the studio’s previous game, it’s not uncommon for unjustified bans to happen.

To appeal, simply visit this link, where you’ll be asked for your email address, your nickname in the game, and an explanation that you believe you have been unfairly banned from Pokemon Go. This service is still rather new, so it remains to be seen exactly how effective it is and how quickly Niantic will be able to respond to requests.

Niantic considers any use of third party software or hacks that modify how the game is played to be cheating. This includes falsifying one’s location so that the gamer appears somewhere on the map that they aren’t in real life. Niantic has also made clear that they consider the use of websites like Pokeadvisor to be cheating, although so far nobody seems to have been banned for that.

At the moment, it seems unlikely that all the users of services like Pokeadvisor will receive bans, as this would require hundreds of thousands of gamers to be banned from the app. Rather, Niantic’s focus at the moment is more on people who spoof their GPS locations, something the game designers take very seriously.

This GPS spoofing has been especially popular on Twitch, the online streaming community, but over the past week, dozens upon dozens of channels that were cheating at the game have been shut down and banned.

Niantic is also constantly on the lookout for bots that are designed to automatically catch Pokemon or take over gyms.

Of course, there is another type of ban in Pokemon Go called a soft ban, which is handed out for more minor offenses like using an account from multiple devices. While soft banned, a user can still log in to the app like usual, but they can no longer catch Pokemon or get items from Pokestops. The length of the ban varies, but it typically lasts for only a few hours.