Pokémon GO is a location-based game that allows you to play your favorite pocket monster game while walking around. Through it, you get to have hands-on experience in searching for Pokémon and battling trainers and gyms.
With the game’s features particularly relying on your location and the distances covered, players try to sneakily use methods that exploit their locations in the game. This is done through GPS spoofers and external software. If caught, this results in a soft ban.
Let’s dive into what this means and how to avoid it.
What is a Soft Ban?
A soft ban is a penalty imposed by Niantic to Pokémon GO players who violate the rules of the game. The ban usually lasts for a few minutes, at the least, to twelve hours at most.
It is different from the typical ban, which lasts longer and is sometimes permanent. A soft ban basically serves as a warning for players, reminding them of the harsher consequences if they keep it up.
How to know that you are being soft banned
In Pokémon GO, being soft banned doesn’t mean that you are barred from using your account. You will still be able to play the game, however you will notice a few nuisances while playing. They basically ruin the game for you during the entire duration of the ban.
The most notable indication of being soft banned is that Pokémon will become uncatchable. Every single Pokémon you encounter will escape your Pokéball and instantly run away. You will also be unable to loot anything from Pokéstops, get rewards, nor win Gym battles.
In the end, you might want to just stop playing the game and wait for the ban to be lifted.
What can get you soft banned on Pokémon GO?
As mentioned earlier, soft bans are imposed on players who are caught violating in-game rules and policies. Listed here are some of the typical reasons that could result in a penalty:
- GPS Spoofing & Fast location changes - Niantic is pretty particular with location exploits as it ruins the essence of the game. For every update, more and more of these methods are being dealt with, thus resulting in soft bans. They detect sudden changes of location, especially those of farther lengths, as suspicious activity.
- Sharing accounts with multiple devices - This also allows users to exploit their locations by logging into devices in different areas.
- Playing while on the highway - This is pretty much a given as playing while driving isn’t safe and the game warns you of this beforehand. They cannot determine whether you are driving or not so they prevent you from playing when you are going over 50 kmph as a safety precaution.
There isn’t a set time penalty for each violation, however it is a known fact that GPS spoofing will get you the longest one in the game.
How to remove your soft ban on Pokémon GO
If you can’t wait for the penalty to be lifted, there is a way to speed up the unbanning process. This is a method recommended by Unbanster.com and Youtube user ‘asuschrist’.
Here’s how to do it:
- First, retrace your steps and identify the possible cause of the ban.
- Next, undo everything that you do to exploit the game. For example, if you used a GPS Spoofer then you must teleport back to your true location before launching the game.
- After that, launch Pokémon GO.
- Next, walk to a Pokéstop.
- As soon as you reach the Pokéstop, spin it and close it. While you are soft banned, you will not be able to receive any rewards. Keep on repeating this step until you are finally able to get your rewards as this means that you are no longer soft banned.
The final step may take you 30+ tries. It really varies for every person. Some say that the number of tries depends on the severity of the offense.
How to avoid getting soft banned
In order for you to avoid getting banned, you have to use the right GPS spoofing tools. For iPhone users, MockGo is one of the proven software that you can use with lesser risk of getting soft banned.
The way it changes location is natural and avoids getting tagged as suspicious activity. How it works is the software simulates the GPS movement along any entered path at a walking speed. You can adjust the speed as soon as you launch the application.
Follow these steps to fake your location using MockGo:
Step 1. First up, look for the download button and install the software. After installing, run the program and connect your iPhone to your computer.
Step 2. After connecting your iPhone, click Start on the main screen to see your device’s current location on the map.
Step 3. Next, teleport to a different location by activating Teleport mode. The clickable icon should be located on the upper-right corner of the screen.
Step 4. After that, enter the address or coordinates of the place you want to go to on the search bar and click Go.
Step 5. From there, you will be directed to the desired location. Make sure that it is your intended location.
Step 6. Finally, click Move Here to teleport your device’s location.
Once you’ve done all the steps, the new coordinates will remain the same until you restart your device or use the software to reset your location once again. Always remember to respect the cooldown time chart when teleporting your GPS.
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.
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