Ever since the release of Pokemon Go last July, Niantic has been fighting an uphill battle against cheaters and bots to play the game for said cheaters. Niantic has tried shadowbanning accounts that use cheating software, but with the latest update that focuses on co-op raiding with gyms, they’re taking that a step further.
In the Silph Road subreddit, which is dedicated to creating software that will make your Pokemon Go experience “easier”, a Niantic representative has posted a short update letting people know that their accounts will be flagged if they’re caught cheating with an identifiable marker. Kinda like a Pokemon Scarlet Letter, if you will.
With the announcement of Raid Battles and the new battle features, we are staying true on our commitment to ensuring that Pokémon GO continues to be a fun and fair experience for all Trainers. Starting today, Pokémon caught using third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay will appear marked with a slash in the inventory and may not behave as expected. We are humbled by the excitement for all the new features we announced yesterday.This is one small part of our continued commitment to maintaining the integrity of our community and delivering an amazing Pokémon GO experience.
That may not behave as expected line is pretty intentionally vague, but some speculation in replies to the announcement suggest that moves will be replaced with Splash or Struggle, or perhaps these marked Pokemon won’t be able to be placed in gyms. Niantic hasn’t elaborated on what the penalties will be, but it will hopefully discourage those who are botting their way to dominating gyms.