Pokemon Go is still more popular than people want to believe, and Niantic is working hard to clamp down on cheaters. Its latest measure is a wave of indirect bans that prevent offenders from seeing all but the most common Pokemon. Literally flooding them with Pidgeys and Rattatas.
The new anti-cheat wave was apparently implemented at some point over the weekend, with Pokemon Go botting groups reporting strange errors. Users were saying that they couldn’t see Pokemon at confirmed spawnpoints. Interestingly, they weren’t actually banned for using bots.
Instead, it looks like a server side adjustment that prevents certain accounts from being able to fully play the game. Niantic has said that it is using machine learning to better understand bot behaviour and deal with it more effectively; and the comments in the Silphroad subreddit indicate that this is currently the case with the shadowbans.
Some Pokemon Go scanners have also been hit by the banwave, as they operate on a similar system to the bots. The theory is that the new machine learning algorithm is watching how these cheats behave, and banning anything that follows a similar pattern. However, not all cheats have been stopped; although it is only a matter of time before Niantic improves its algorithm.
Despite all this, it looks like GPS spoofing has not yet been affected. Niantic may have something else in store for these people, or it could be trying to work on one problem at a time.