Pokémon GO has become one of the favorite mobile games for almost anyone upon its release. Going around your neighborhood to catch Pokémon or even participate in raid battles has become a favorite pastime for everyone who installed the game by Niantic. However, some players have noticed that they are unable to catch Pokémon for a certain amount of time.
Players who are experiencing every Pokémon being able to flee are probably “Soft Banned” by the system. When a player is Soft Banned, every Pokémon they attempt to catch will be able to flee successfully, and the player will also not be able to get items from a PokéStop. This usually happens when the application detects you are moving around too quickly for you to be walking.
However, being Soft Banned does not stop a player from playing the game. There are just a few limitations, such as catching Pokémon for a few minutes to a number of hours. Even while being Soft Banned, trainers are able to participate in battles and catch Raid Bosses. However, it’s always best to avoid getting Soft Banned or any bans.
How Do You Get Soft Banned in Pokémon GO?
Soft Bans are usually given out to players who have been covering a long distance in a short time. Sometimes, Soft Bans happen to innocent players who happened to have a faulty GPS or happened to try catching Pokémon while on a vehicle.
It’s mainly given to prevent possible game cheaters, as many players have done GPS spoofing. Other forms of cheating include using vehicles to cover longer distances and account sharing.
A known effect of being Soft Banned is that all the Pokémon you encounter and attempt to capture will instantly flee. Some players even do not encounter any Pokémon at all. Lastly, you cannot loot any item from PokéStops. You can spin the PokéStop, but no items will drop out for a player to get.
What Are the Other Bans in Pokémon GO?
Currently, there are four types of bans a player can get in the game Pokémon GO. These are the Soft Bans, Shadow Bans, Temporary Ban, and the Permanent Ban. If trainers want to keep enjoying the game, it is always best to avoid any of these types of bans.
Other than Soft Ban, the next ban is called the Shadow Ban. The effect of this type of ban is that you will be unable to see any rare Pokémon. Unlike the Soft Ban, players who are Shadow Banned will get notified upon opening the game.
A player who is Shadow Banned is usually guilty of using third-party apps that help you in the game. Some examples of third-party apps are IV checkers like IVFly or IV Go. Shadow Bans also come with a note stating the duration of your ban.
If a player is again caught using a third-party application to enhance their experience in the game, they might get a Temporary Ban. This time, the consequences are more severe. The trainer will be locked out of the game for one to two months. A player will know if they are temporarily banned when the game refuses to log them in.
Lastly, Pokémon GO has the Permanent Ban, which is the last ban, and the player will no longer be able to access the game. This usually happens when the player has been banned three times due to cheating. In addition, Pokémon GO has a three-strike policy, where players are permanently banned from the game once they hit three bans.
How Can a Player Avoid Getting Soft Banned?
A lot of players have been Soft Banned at least once through Pokémon GO. Usually, players get caught when they are in a vehicle while playing the game. Players who get Soft Banned this way will only experience a few minutes of the ban and should be able to play normally once they have gotten off the ride or after a few minutes. Typically, this type of Soft Ban isn’t too bad. It is placed there to prevent people from driving and playing simultaneously.
The best way is just to close the application while onboard moving vehicles. However, if the player is cheating via spoofing their GPS, it is highly recommended that they stop trying to cheat their locations before getting caught again or permanently banned. The system has a way of figuring out if the player has triggered the ban naturally or has been trying to cheat the game.
Will a Player Get Permanently Banned if They Have Several Soft Bans?
If the player got Soft Banned due to being in a vehicle, there’s a chance the three-strike policy will not apply to the said player. However, if the player has been using third-party applications or cheating their location, then three Soft Bans are enough for the player to get Permanently Banned from the game.
How Long Is the Soft Ban?
A Soft Ban can last the entirety of your trip to a few minutes if you are Soft banned due to playing the game while on a moving vehicle. But if you are caught cheating, the soft ban can last up to 12 hours. In those 12 hours alone, you might lose the chance to catch several rare Pokémon or restock on items in a PokéStop.
Why Did Pokémon GO Start Banning Players?
Pokémon GO started banning players for equality. All the players should be able to enjoy and advance in the game fairly and safely. The Soft Ban was initially implemented as a means to prevent players from driving and playing the game at the same time to avoid accidents.
However, players have started figuring out ways to cheat the system, such as spoofing their GPS or using other third-party applications to improve their performance on the mobile application. Eventually, this got out of hand and Pokémon GO had to start banning players from the game.
Banning players is nothing new in games, and companies similar to Niantic would want to treat all their players fairly. Thus, a set of rules and a banning system had to be made.
Is There a Way for a Player to Unban Themselves?
If a player is not permanently banned, the best way is to wait for the ban to wear off. Soft Banned players can attempt to catch a Pokémon or spin a PokéStop. Once the ban wears off, the player should be able to play normally. Shadow Banned players will also be able to see rare Pokémon once their ban is over.
If a player is Temporarily or Permanently Banned, they may send Niantic a Ban Appeal to remove the ban from their account. However, if the player is truly guilty of cheating or violating any rules, the ban will most likely remain in place.