Niantic is taking mercy on a select group of Pokémon Go players who got kicked off the wildly popular app after using a few controversial online shortcuts.
The company announced Monday that it is restoring accounts banned for using third-party maps that showed where specific Pokémon could be found in the augmented reality game. But that doesn’t mean the company is going to start taking it easy on cheaters.
“This is a small subset of the accounts banned,” Niantic explained. “As a result of some changes made to our infrastructure, we are now able to un-ban this set of accounts. Add-on maps which scrape data from our servers still violate our Terms of Service and use of them may still result in an account ban going forward.”
Niantic increased the rate at which it banned users for cheating at Pokémon Go in early August. Then, on August 18, it explained that it was doing so to “provide a fair, fun, and legitimate game experience” for everyone.
Players can be banned from Pokémon Go for anywhere from “an hour” to “forever.” Some of the more common bans come from using GPS spoofers to catch Pokémon in hard-to-reach locations.
“Accounts which used apps or websites to remotely capture Pokémon, battle or deploy on Gyms, or harvest resources from PokéStops are also not being unbanned,” the company said in Monday’s blog post, noting that “aggressive banning will continue to occur for players who engage in these kinds of activities.”