This article will show you the what is the soft ban issue in Pokémon GO; how you can tell if you've been banned and how to avoid and remove the soft ban. Let's get started.
A soft ban is a sanction placed by Niantic on the player in the Pokemon Go game if they determine that the user has been cheating. This cheating involves the use of a spoofing tool to change locations within the game to unlock rewards quickly compared to the normal way.
Besides the location-changing tool, if the users play the game while driving or just traveling faster than normal to hatch an egg and attain other features, it also results in a soft ban. How do I know if my account is soft banned? The best indicators are:
Normally, a soft ban in Pokémon GO will last for about 12 hours, after which the ban is lifted and you can continue to play the game.
Note, however, that Niantic may choose to impose a stiffer penalty if you get soft banned repeatedly. On average it takes about 3 soft bans for your account to be banned permanently.
If it is your first offence, then you may get soft banned once for 12 hours. Repeat offenders can get banned for 24 hours, then a week and then a month.
While Niantic doesn't offer clear guidelines of how many times you can be soft banned before receiving a permanent ban, there are cases of individuals who got soft banned just 4 times before getting a permanent ban.
While Niantic has not shared a list of offences that can get your account soft banned, many people have found themselves in this situation after doing the following;
It is also not clear which one of these offences is more serious than the other, but it seems like jumping to a new continent and GPS spoofing attract a far stiffer penalty of more than 12 hours sometimes.
Though a soft ban in Pokemon Go isn't a strike put in place to your gaming account, it may still disrupt your gameplay. The most significant impact of a soft ban in Pokemon Go is that you wouldn't be able to catch wild Pokemon. Moreover, looting Pokestops would be banned.
Furthermore, the soft ban generally varies, depending on your offense type. However, it lasts for 12 hours. Normally, a soft ban will cause the following to happen;
Performing an action marks the location in the game and you're put under the cooldown. The distance between the location and the action performed determines when you need to wait for the cooldown.
So the cooldown time will not start until you haven't performed an action in the game. You will need to wait for the cooldown time to finish before performing another action or teleport to a new location.
You can follow the cooldown chart below and be safe from getting a soft ban. If you cannot figure out the exact time, then choose the nearest time mentioned in the chart. This will help you to take extra precautions.
|1 Km||1 min|
|2 Km||1 min|
|4 Km||2 mins|
|10 Km||8 mins|
|12 Km||9 mins|
|15 Km||11 mins|
|20 Km||13 mins|
|25 Km||15 mins|
|30 Km||18 mins|
|40 Km||22 mins|
|45 Km||23 mins|
|60 Km||25 mins|
|80 Km||27 mins|
|100 Km||30 mins|
|125 Km||33 mins|
|140 Km||34 mins|
|150 Km||36 mins|
|180 Km||39 mins|
|200 Km||42 mins|
|250 Km||46 mins|
|300 Km||50 mins|
|350 Km||53 mins|
|400 Km||56 mins|
|500 Km||64 mins|
|600 Km||72 mins|
|750 Km||82 mins|
|800 Km||86 mins|
|900 Km||93 mins|
|950 Km||97 mins|
|1000 Km||100 mins|
|1150 Km||111 mins|
|1200 Km||115 mins|
|1250 Km||118 mins|
|1266+ Km||120 mins|
Follow these steps to teleport and avoid soft ban:
You can use the MockGo iOS location spoofer's teleport feature with a cooldown timer to help you avoid a soft ban.
If you follow the instructions without deviating, then the likelihood of getting a soft ban is very low. Otherwise, you will get soft banned and have to wait for 2 hours before logging back in. Constantly getting a soft ban can result in a permanent ban.
To start spoofing in Pokemon Go, you will need first to set up a spoofing method. Setting up a method for spoofing allows you many advantages. There are multiple methods which have their pros and cons.
The two methods that we are going to talk about are widely used for spoofing on Android devices. One of the methods is easy to execute, while the other method is hard.
Easy Method - You do not need to root your device. We are going to use a PGSharp modified app.
To use the app, first, you would need to uninstall the Pokemon Go app and then install the PGSharp app.
Difficult Method - You would've to root your Android device. Use Smali Patcher to spoof location in Pokemon GO. You can use this method on the Pokemon Go app and would not need a modified version of the game.
To remove a soft ban, you first of all need to figure out what you have done wrong to cause the ban.
If you jumped to a new country or region too fast using a location spoofing tool, you should set the location back to the original before opening Pokémon GO again.
Of course, it is often best to avoid getting banned in the first place. If you choose to play the game using a location spoofing tool, you should consider choosing a location spoofer that is fully functional and one that will not expose your activities to Niantic.
We have listed other effective ways to remove it from your gaming account here:
If you have been soft-banned and cannot catch a Pokemon or participate in Gym battles, then start by creating a new account and uninstalling Pokemon Go on your phone.
Next, reinstall the game, run it, and enter our original account credentials to remove the soft ban.
Another way to get out of a soft ban is to go to a PokéStop and spin it and close it about 40 times. This solution may seem a bit hectic and you will not get any rewards from it, but most people find that this is a good way to get out of a soft ban.
This is probably the simplest approach. Just wait out the soft ban period and let it be lifted from your account automatically, which only lasts a few hours. Once your ban is removed, use precautions to avoid any such incident from happening again. You can still use a spoofer but do not change your location too often, which may bring your account under Niantic's radar.
Getting soft banned shouldn't be taken lightly. It renders the game unplayable for an uncertain amount of time and that can really get annoying. The biggest violation happens if you're caught using GPS spoofers and external software carelessly, which the game will detect as suspicious activity.
This can be avoided by using the right tools such as MockGo, an app that simulates walking instead of teleporting to other cities in a blink of an eye, the latter of which Niantic will tag as suspicious activity.
If you have any comments and suggestions about the article, please feel free to talk to us through the comments section below!
Mako is a technical freelance writer with a passion for all things tech. Whether you're wondering about how to fix your iPhone or trying to get something to work in your settings, Mako is your go-to for professional help. He loves writing, testing solutions, and most of all, making sure his research is factually accurate.