Niantic has clarified its disciplinary policy for cheating in Pokémon Go with the introduction of a new three-strike policy which focuses on giving cheaters a chance to reform their ways before being permanently removed from the game.
Allowing cheaters a chance to reform before being removed seems to make sense, since it's important for Niantic to retain an active player-base for Pokémon Go. If players are temporarily banned first, they may be more likely to change their ways if they don’t want to lose progress.
As outlined in Niantic's recent blog post, the three-strike policy defines cheating as any action that violates the Terms of Service and Trainer Guidelines.
This includes falsifying GPS locations and accessing Pokémon GO clients or backends in an unauthorized manner through the use of third party software.
Niantic offers first time offenders an opportunity to reform after being issued a strike, which serves as a warning. The developer encourages players to take it seriously.
"Everyone can make mistakes," the blog writes. "That’s why we have created this policy to enable offenders to learn from their mistakes and change their ways."If the first strike is ignored, a seven day probation period is introduced and grows longer from there with every transgression until the account becomes permanently banned. The full three-step process is listed here.