Pokemon Go has implemented another wave of anti-cheating measures, this time focusing on Pokemon that were obtained by circumnavigating the rules.
Yesterday, Niantic tweeted out that it was taking action against players that used "third-party services" to catch Pokemon by "slashing" them in the game, thus robbing them of most of their abilities.
As part of our commitment to fun and fair gameplay in Pokémon GO, we’re continuing to take action against users who use third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay and violate our TOS. Pokémon caught using these services will appear slashed and not behave as expected.— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) May 31, 2018
Slashed Pokemon can't be placed in gyms, deal no damage in battle, and can't be evolved. Pokemon Go first used the "slashing" method to combat cheating last year by targeting Pokemon obtained using bot programs. This time, it appears that Pokemon Go is going after spoofers, who use a program to fake their location and obtain more/rare Pokemon.
It should be noted that an occasional glitch will cause "legitimate" Pokemon to have a slash through them in the Pokemon screen. This can be easily fixed by restarting the game.
Cheating has been a problem in Pokemon Go since the game launched in 2016. Spoofing and bots were the most common forms of cheating and remain a problem in some areas - especially gym locations that have EX raids. Pokemon Go has also cracked down on third-party map systems and IV trackers that crack Pokemon Go's and reveal how strong a Pokemon is compared to others of the same species.
While Pokemon Go's measures have deterred cheating, the game hasn't fully stamped out cheating altogether. The spoofing and hacking community seem to take Pokemon Go's anti-cheating efforts as a challenge, which has resulted in a multiyear game of cat and mouse as both the cheaters and Pokemon Go resort to more extreme methods to break each others' resolve.
We'll see if the current wave of Pokemon Go anti-cheat measures have any effect on players. Let us know if you see spoofers back off, or if it's still a problem in your area.