Pokémon Go cheaters are currently frustrated by Niantic’s new security measures that essentially break the game for those using scanners. As cataloged by The Silphh Road, changes make it impossible to catch the rarest monsters or to even view the item store. If this has happened to you, you’ve been shadowbanned.

Niantic has been fighting the good fight against cheaters and scammers since the game launched last year, but one might say this is the first sign of significant progress. For those totally out of the loop, one of the most common threats to the game’s community is botting. Prior to the recent ban wave, bots could take advantage of Niantic’s code and tell users where to find the rarest monsters via a scanning application. Since it became so easy to find strong monsters, the game’s Gym battle system became, and still remains, fairly unbalanced.

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Under the new law, however, many scanners have been taken offline or rendered useless. Instead of seeing that coveted Snorlax on your tracker, you might see a common Pidgey in its place.

As if breaking Pokémon Go’s collecting grind wasn’t enough, it appears the ban process has tightened further in recent hours. Those who head to the shop can no longer buy critical items like Pokéballs or Lures. All of the useful goods in the game are replaced by caches of Pokécoins that can be purchased with a microtransaction. Of course, since it’s impossible to buy anything that would use those coins, there’s no point in investing.

This process of gating crucial features from illicit players is fairly uncommon in the mobile space, but some argue that it might wind up being an effective method. After all, a so-called shadowban doesn’t restrict access to the cheater’s account or collection. That means if the algorithm has somehow triggered a false positive, Niantic can more easily restore everything that’s been lost. As one would expect, there have been quite a few reports of “false positives” over the last few hours and days.

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While there are some things to like about the policy, there are noteable negatives too. The biggest of which being that shadowbanning only detects bots and scanners as opposed to spoofers. Spoofers allow players to essentially warp anywhere in the world to find the rarest monsters, and, while some individual spoofing apps have been flagged over time, many still remain. It’s likely that many players who use bots might also take advantage of spoofs, but this new program won’t hurt those who use spoofs exclusively.

As is the case with all anti-cheat methods, it should be noted that this strong response likely won’t permanently demolish the botting community either. Once third-party developers figure out what triggers a shadowban, the code can be compiled to reverse it.

While Niantic continues to crack down on those who use Pokémon Go unfairly, one has to wonder if this cleansing is just a primer for new feature additions that lie ahead. We know there are at least two major content updates due this year, and they’re assumed to feature a co-op based gym overhaul and legendary monsters. Both new mechanics seem like they could be heavily tarnished via an effective scanner.

Pokémon Go is available now on Android and iOS.

What do you think of Pokémon Go’s new shadowban anti-cheat system? Is it justified or too aggressive? Tell us in the comments section!