Pokemon GO cheats face this tough new policy

Ascending to the ranks of Pokemon Master is not an easy task. If you're going to complete the PokeDex and dominate the gym scene, you need to be committed to the cause, because there are hundreds of monsters to track down, catch, and evolve. It's definitely not something for the faint of heart, but there are some Pokemon GO players out there who think they can claim all the glory without any of the hard work.

To put a finer point on it, they're cheaters. Perhaps nothing more than a product of the game's immense popularity, cheaters have been trying to get an unfair advantage in Pokemon GO since day one, and today, Niantic detailed a new policy that's not very lenient on the more unsavory players among us.

Niantic's new cheating policy is a three-strike one, but don't take that to mean that it's going to go easy on cheaters on their first and second offenses. The first strike is essentially a warning, which will surface an alert within the app that informs you that Niantic has detected cheating on your account. Beyond that alert, Niantic says that it may "degrade" the your gameplay experience by removing rare Pokemon encounters and preventing you from receiving new EX Raid Passes.

The first strike will remain active for seven days, after which the gameplay experience will return to normal. If you continue to cheat after that, you'll receive a second strike in which your account will be suspended entirely for "approximately" 30 days. Cheat a third time, and your account will be permanently banned.

Niantic detailed this new policy over on the Pokemon GO site today, where it said that it considers things like GPS spoofing and "accessing Pokemon GO clients or backends in an unauthorized manner," to be cheating. It also said that offenders won't always get three strikes, and can be banned immediately if their cheating is severe enough. With that in mind, it's probably best that you commit to staying on the straight and narrow instead of trying to beat the system.