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Niantic unbans some Pokemon Go players who used map apps

This is Niantic's one and only warning.


Perhaps in an attempt to show clemency, or perhaps to stem the tide of Pokemon Go players moving on to greener pastures, Niantic has lifted bans placed on some accounts that used add-on map hacks.

In a statement published to its website, Niantic admitted that some players might not have known that map apps were capable of more than just showing nearby pocket monsters. "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 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."

Niantic remedied this situation by adjusting its terms of service, allowing players banned for the aforementioned reason to resume catching them all. However, this is a warning, not a free pass: add-on map apps are still prohibited going forward.

Further, Niantic said that players guilty of using map apps represent a small subset of users being given a second chance. "Accounts which used apps or websites to remotely capture Pokemon, battle or deploy on Gyms, or harvest resources from PokeStops are also not being unbanned. 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."

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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