Pokémon Sword and Shield players who intentionally disconnect from online matches are getting banned

Disconnecting before a loss is considered cheating and will be punished.

Pokémon Sword and Shield
Image via The Pokémon Company

The Pokémon Company recently started banning Sword and Shield players who deliberately disconnect from online battles to manipulate their records.

This comes over one month after the disconnect exploit was discovered by players, who abused it to get a better record in online matches. Several weeks later, the developer threatened to ban players who took advantage of the bug. And now, that threat has become a reality, according to Nintendo Life.

“This bug is easy to exploit,” a player said at the end of March. “All that must be done is pushing the power button to disconnect the Switch at a specific time after losing the match. When done correctly, not only does the loser NOT lose points for their match, but the winner does not GAIN points for the match won.”

Several players have reportedly received permanent bans, but the developer said it’s willing to issue temporary bans, too. Many Japanese players have posted screengrabs of their ban on Twitter.

Related: Pokémon Sword and Shield sales at 17.37 million

On April 5, the developer posted an update on the situation, saying that players who entered online matches with an unstable internet connection and frequently disconnected—indirectly referring to those who abused the bug—could be penalized or restricted from future online events.

But this could also potentially affect players who can’t enter online matches with a stable connection from wherever they live. Even with a reliable WiFi connection, Nintendo Online can sometimes be unstable for players.