'Pokémon Go' Warning Messages Shadowban Players During Discovery Task

Pokémon Go 's Research update is officially live, and some trainers have found a dirty little secret hiding in the most recent patch. As reported on several subreddits across the Pokémon community, spofers are being warned or shadowbanned across the board.

The "red warning," as it is now being called, reads as follows:

"We have detected activity on your account that suggests you or someone is accessing your account using modified client software or unauthorized third-party software that accesses Pokémon Go in violation of our Terms of Service. Please be aware that the use of such software can result in the loss of your account. If you have been using such software, we strongly encourage you to stop. If you have accessed certain unauthorized third-party apps or websites, it is also possible that your account may have been compromised. We recommend that you change your password immediately."

The only option to continue playing is to tap a message that says "got it."

As with most Pokémon Go cheating dilemmas, this one is fairly complex in terms of its ramifications. While some offenders say they've been able to resume playing Pokémon Go normally after the warning has displayed, others claim that shadowbans are also being doled out. For those not familiar with the term, a shadowban temporarily blinds players from seeing valuable Pokémon in their area. If your town is suddenly filled with Pidgeys and Rattatas that weren't there before, a shadowban may be in effect.

‘Pokémon Go’ Warning Message 2018
This is what ‘Pokémon Go’s “red warning” message looks like. Niantic/The Pokémon Company

The punishments may be varied, but the software culprits remain the same. Those who've used modified versions of the Pokémon Go application, like Tutu or PokeGo++, seem to me most impacted by the warning message. Both apps are commonly used on jailbroken or rooted devices, and they allow players to control their Pokémon Go trainers using a joystick instead of physically moving. While the developers of these tools have described them as "100 percent safe" from Niantic's prying eyes in the past, that doesn't appear to be the case anymore.

Ban waves and shadowbans are fairly routine for Pokémon Go and other online mobile games, but this one comes at a critical time for enthusiasts of the popular AR experience. Those who've been shadowbanned might not be able to catch a Mew or Shiny Mew through the "Mythical Discovery" Special Research task, although many reports suggest its still catchable. Niantic likely took these measures on purpose to ensure the prized reward is as rare as it should be.


Whether you've been shadowbanned or warned, the best remedy for the problem is to play Pokémon Go normally. Remove all traces of spoofing apps and enjoy the game fairly with the masses. A shadowban is typically lifted over the course of a week, so just sit tight and wait for the punishment to end. Spoof creators will likely find ways around Niantic's new security measures, but we'll always be an advocate for enjoying the true experience without cheats or hacks.

Pokémon Go is available now on Android and iOS. For more details on the latest update, read our full recap here.

What are your thoughts on Pokémon Go's recent warning and shadowbans? Are you committed to catching Mew? Tell us in the comments section!