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Niantic begins bringing the ban hammer down on 'Pokémon Go' cheaters

Pokémon Go has seen its share of problems in its first month of release, with crashing, connectivity errors, and inaccurate GPS indicators making the game almost unplayable at times. There’s another issue that developer Niantic is addressing right away: cheating. And if you’re caught pulling a Team Rocket from here on out, you’ll metaphorically suffer the fate of Jesse and James and get blasted into the stars.

“After reviewing many reports of in-game cheating, we have started taking action against players taking unfair advantage of and abusing Pokémon Go,” Niantic said in a post on the game’s website. “Moving forward, we will continue to terminate accounts that show clear signs of cheating.”

Related: New exploit lets players use eggs to seize Pokémon Go gyms indefinitely

Given the amount of time (and gasoline) it takes to build up a substantial force of Pokémon pals in the game, we suggest heeding Niantic’s warning. Current cheating problems include emulation tools and an exploit that allows players to capture a gym with a Pokémon egg, making it ineligible for combat and thus invulnerable to takeover by another team. Because holding a gym for a certain time period earns players additional in-game currency, which can also be used to buy more eggs, this exploit has the potential to completely break an already unstable experience.

“Our main priority with Pokémon Go is to provide a fair, fun, and legitimate game experience for all players,” Niantic adds. “If our system has determined that you cheated, then you will receive an email stating that your account has been terminated.”

If you think your account was unfairly banned, Niantic is allowing users to file ticket requests through its help center.