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Niantic banned more than five million players for cheating in 2020

Over one million were given a permanent ban

Niantic banned more than five million players for cheating in 2020

Niantic banned more than five million players across Pokemon Go, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Ingress in 2020.

As detailed in a blog post, over one million people were given a permanent account ban, meaning more than 20 per cent of cheats received the toughest punishment.

However, after being given the first warning, 90 per cent of users curbed their cheating ways.

"This is quite encouraging for us, as we continue to find the right balance between punishing casual cheaters versus the more egregious ones," said Niantic.

"We are constantly tweaking and improving our existing detection methods by collecting ground truth from player reports and other channels of feedback, to ensure we are accurately detecting cheaters and minimising false positives."

To catch...

It isn't often that the augmented reality specialist offers an update on the state of cheating in its games.

"We don't talk much about our anti-cheat efforts, partly because we don't want to provide cheaters with information that can help them understand our detection mechanisms better," Niantic said.

"But, rest assured, our reluctance to share is not due to a lack of effort or intent from our side."

However, Niantic has invested in new technologies and staff members to combat cheating across its portfolio. The company claimed it would be "reinforcing efforts in the coming weeks."

A cheat

The company is constantly after player feedback, through it which it can then work on keeping its games fair.

New and improved ways of cheating are forever popping up on the internet, be it cheating or spoofing tools. However, Niantic has affirmed its commitment to ridding its games of such toxicity.

"We are committed to ensuring fair gameplay across our game portfolio," said Niantic.

"Every day, newer forms of cheating or spoofing tools are made available on the internet, and we are continuously working to combat these cheaters and focus on improving our detection and enforcement; as they have no place in our games.

Unfortunately, cheats are found in many games, and when a title is as popular as the likes of Pokemon Go – which has broken $4 billion in lifetime revenue – many will be sniffing around.


Staff Writer

Kayleigh is the Staff Writer for PocketGamer.biz. Besides PGbiz and PCGI she has written as a list writer for Game Rant, rambling about any and all things games related. You can also find her on Twitter talking utter nonsense.

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