Niantic disables Pokémon Go Battle League due to exploits

Cheaters forced the devs to disable the service.

Image via Niantic

Niantic has completely disabled the Pokémon Go Battle League due to multiple users abusing exploits in online play. 

There have always been players who have taken advantage of various exploits in the Battle League, but numerous posts regarding the issue over the last two days have forced the developer’s hand. 

Because Niantic does not tolerate any level of exploitation or cheating in its games, the service has been completely disabled until a fix can be administered. 

“As a team, we believe there is a “contract of trust” in Go Battle League: you should always feel your knowledge and skill determine the outcome of your battles,” Niantic said. “Cheating directly attacks this trust contract, and we have zero tolerance for it.”

The company never discusses the details behind any exploits or issues it is trying to fix, but it appears that this new problem popped up after the most recent server maintenance was completed.  At least one of the issues is opposing Pokémon being able to use their charged moves over and over with fewer fast attacks thrown in to help charge it up. 

In one instance, YouTuber JRskatr notes that a Melmetal he was facing was able to use Rock Slide after as few as one Thundershock, leading to a massive disadvantage for his team. His opponent was later banned after reaching the top spot on the Go Battle League Rankings while abusing that exploit. 

Here is Niantic’s approach to tackling an exploit in one of its games, with the company already saying it has reached stage three with the disabling of a core service in Go

  1. Analyze the issue. Data analysis is the most important work we do during this process. Rash action (i.e. no analysis) can solve the immediate issue; however, it leaves the door open for the exploit to return in the future.
  2. Determine severity. Based on our analyses, we determine (a) the level of technical knowledge needed to abuse the exploit and (b) how badly the exploit harms the integrity of GO Battle League.
  3. Mitigate accordingly.

Niantic hopes that they will be able to re-enable Go Battle League soon, but will not do so until it feels the “trust contract” will be honored and the experience will be fair for all players.