Some Pokemon Go players eager to speed up the process of catching ’em all have turned to cheating, but are finding that the new mobile app isn’t a friendly place for those who break the rules.
As reported by IGN, players who trick the game into thinking they’re somewhere else (a process called GPS spoofing) are getting slapped with hour-long bans, but not in the way you might expect. Rather than simply lock cheaters out of the game, Pokemon Go will turn their world into a Poke ghost town. Pokestops won’t hand out items, Gyms won’t let you battle, and wild Pokemon will simply flee every time they encounter you.
While it’s true that some players have used GPS spoofing for somewhat nefarious purposes, others have employed the hack just to be able to play the game. Users who live in rural areas frequently experience a dearth of things to do in their areas due to a lack of Pokestops and Gyms. A petition has already been setup asking developer Niantic for the ability to suggest new locations for Pokestops and Gyms to help address this problem.
In the meantime, if you don’t want to be locked out of doing things altogether in Pokemon Go, it’s probably best to avoid exploits such as GPS spoofing altogether.