Niantic provides update on anticheat efforts for Pokémon Go, other games

The update comes as part of the company's commitment to improving transparency with players.

Image via Niantic

Niantic has had a lot of problems with various glitches, hacks, and other exploitations being abused in its games over the last year, and the developers typically don’t share much information about the actions they are taking to fix and prevent exploits. 

A new blog post just went up, however, detailing some of Niantic’s anticheat efforts because the developers want to uphold their commitment to improving transparency with their players.

According to Niantic, punishments have been dealt out to more than five million players across Pokémon Go, Ingress, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite since the beginning of 2020. More than 20 percen of those punishments were permanent bans and more than 90 percent of users who received their first warning, stopped cheating afterwards.

With the success of its warning system, Niantic is hopeful that it can find a strong balance with its response to cheating as it continues to move forward with new initiatives to prevent the acts. 

“This is quite encouraging for us, as we continue to find the right balance between punishing casual cheaters versus the more egregious ones,” Niantic said. “We have invested in new and emerging technologies, while continuing to grow our team, to improve our detection and enforcement capabilities. We’ll continue to act against those who violate our terms of service and we’ll be reinforcing our efforts in the coming weeks.”

As of now, Niantic is working to improve existing detection methods by collecting ground truth from player reports and other channels of feedback and will continue to listen to its players in order to minimize false positive reports. 

Ingress is going to be the testing bed for a lot of these new detection features, like a new Fast Track report process, which enables players to request for a quicker manual intervention. 

“We are committed to ensuring fair gameplay across our game portfolio,” Niantic said. “Every day newer forms of cheating or spoofing tools are made available on the internet, and we are continuously working to combat these cheaters and focus on improving our detection and enforcement; as they have no place in our games.”

Pokémon Go and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will still be monitored as usual, with future updates for Niantic’s anticheat efforts likely to be spaced out to keep the cheaters working with limited information regarding the detection mechanisms.