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February 23, 2021
An Update on Our Recent AntiCheat Efforts

We don’t talk much about our anticheat efforts, partly because we don’t want to provide cheaters with information that can help them understand our detection mechanisms better. But, rest assured our reluctance to share is not due to a lack of effort or intent from our side.

Having said that, we have made a commitment with all of our players towards promoting fair gameplay, preserving the integrity of our games and improving transparency with our players. As part of this commitment we’d like to provide an update on some of our recent efforts to curb cheating in our games:

  • Since the beginning of 2020, we’ve issued punishments to more than 5 million cheaters across Pokémon GO, Ingress and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, where over 20% of the punishments were permanent bans.
  • More than 90% of users who received their first warning, stopped cheating afterwards. This is quite encouraging for us, as we continue to find the right balance between punishing casual cheaters versus the more egregious ones.
  • We have invested in new & emerging technologies, while continuing to grow our team, to improve our detection and enforcement capabilities. We’ll continue to act against those who violate our terms of service and we’ll be reinforcing our efforts in the coming weeks.
  • We are constantly tweaking and improving our existing detection methods by collecting ground truth from player reports and other channels of feedback, to ensure we are accurately detecting cheaters and minimising false positives.
  • We are always listening to our players and are exploring ways to leverage our community to ensure our games remain fair. To empower all Ingress Agents, we’ve rolled-out a new Fast Track process, which would enable them to request for a quicker manual intervention, before the rogue Agent can cause more damage to the gameboard. Since then, we’ve received more than 4K Fast Track requests, of which ~70% were eligible for an expedited review; and after investigating, appropriate actions were taken against those reported Agents. We’ll continue to iterate and improve the process based on the feedback we receive from the community.
  • To address concerns of remote Ingress Portals getting spoofed during Ops, we’re working on introducing additional security measures to reduce the impact of such egregious cheating on the game board. We’ll be sharing more information about our Compartmental Access Level measures in the coming weeks on the Ingress forum and our other social channels.

We are committed to ensuring fair gameplay across our game portfolio. Every day newer forms of cheating or spoofing tools are made available on the internet, and we are continuously working to combat these cheaters and focus on improving our detection and enforcement; as they have no place in our games.

As a reminder, please only use the official versions of our games available on Google Play Store, Apple App Store and Samsung Galaxy Store; and note that we do not support jailbroken or rooted devices.

Thank you all for your continued support and patience.

–The Niantic team

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