The best part of Pokémon Go is exploring the real world, making new friends, and discovering cool landmarks as you attempt to catch virtual monsters. Unfortunately, some players have sidestepped the exercise by using programs and third-party tools to trick the game into believing they’re walking around the world. Now, those who have cheated will now find their roster of Pokémon severely depleted.
“In order to prepare an environment where you can play Pokémon Go fun and fairly, we continue to take measures against actions that affect normal gameplay, including using [third-party] services violating the terms of service,” said a translated post on the Japanese Pokémon Go Twitter account. “A pink diagonal line is displayed in Pokémon caught using such a service, and it becomes useless in normal play.”
That’s right — if you caught a Pokémon using a program to spoof your location, it will now be completely useless. The name and level is still visible for any monsters caught this way, but there will not be an image of the Pokémon.
This is hardly the first time developer Niantic has punished players for using programs that violate the game’s terms of service. Earlier this year, Pokémon Go sent warning messages to accounts that it detected were using third-party software, and in some cases it also “shadowbanned” them. This kept them from seeing any valuable Pokémon in their area, though it appeared to be a temporary punishment.
Niantic has plenty of Pokémon Go content planned for the summer, including a Community Day on June 16. The game recently added Alolan Pokémon, which are alternate forms of previously available monsters, and you’ll now find Alolan Exeggutor if you explore.
If you’re in Chicago, you can also attend the second Pokémon Go Fest this July in Lincoln Park. Trainers will follow a 1.8-mile walking course as they catch new Pokémon and complete challenges. There will even be special lounges.
Pokémon Go will feature connectivity with the Nintendo Switch games Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! when they arrive November 16. In addition to transferring Kanto Pokémon between the Switch and mobile games, you’ll be able to send gifts and discover an all-new secret Pokémon.
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