For a few days now, there’s been a lot of speculation behind the infamous and much dreaded “Failed to get game data from the server” error. Theories ranged from anything related to just server issues, to IP / device blacklists to the very worse one, namely a permanent ban.
Reasons for which you can get permanently banned in Pokemon Go
This might be somewhat obvious at this point, however, just on the offchance anyone might not be aware of all the reasons that can get your Pokemon Go account permanent banned, here’s a list of offenses that can do just that:
- Using ANY third party software, such as bots, snipers, unofficial Pokemon Go apps which can alter the game, emulators (Nox, BlueStacks, etc.), GPS spoofing apps;
- Sharing your account with other players or using it on multiple devices;
- Using the same IP as multiple other players, such as public WiFi (reported, not confirmed though);
- Using exploits to either get an unfair advantage or to annoy other players (such as the egg in the gym);
- Purchasing an account from someone else;
- Purchasing boosting / farming / level up services.
So far, the above mentioned actions are sure to get you a permanent ban, however, there have been reports of players getting banned for basically no reason, while playing Pokemon Go legitimately.
How can you tell if your Pokemon Go account has been permanently banned
Well, first of all, if you were using any cheats, there is a huge change you’ll get banned, so just so you know, be prepapred.
Basically, at this point, there’s just one hint to know if you’ve been permanently banned, and that is the “Failed to get game data from the server” error upon trying to log into your Trainer’s account.
If you see this image, then it’s pretty much a done deal, since there are no workarounds for it. Users have been trying to either delete the app’s cache, its data, restore the phone to factory settings, reinstall the app and such, but to no avail. The ban is issued from Niantic’s server, thus anything you do on your end will not have any impact on it.
How to avoid getting permanently banned
If you’re among the few lucky ones who managed to dodge the current Pokemon Go permanent ban wave, then you should really lay low for a while. We never encourage using third party software, however, if you have, this is the time to stop altogether.
Ever since soft bans came, there have been reports that Niantic has been logging everything in preparation for a huge ban wave and for further game updates against cheats. With that in mind, chances of your account having been already flagged for being invloved in actions against the rules are quite big.
Another useful tip is that while this is a ban wave, there’s no way of telling when or if it will stop. In other games, developers have been acquiring information for months before issuing a ban wave, and then sort of calmed down once all flagged accounts got hit. In Pokemon Go, it seems that people keep getting banned every day since it was first issued, so even if you are clean for weeks now, you can still get hit, as many other players have had that happen.
A few tips on avoiding a permanent ban, if you haven’t gotten one yet, would be to:
- Not participate in any Gym fights regardless of their location or the team that has them;
- Rename your Pokemons to their normal name or a different one, if a previously used bot has renamed them based on their IV;
- Not log your account on any other devices for a while;
- Not use different IPs, especially proxies/VPNs, unless you’re in a different place physically and just don’t have other options than using a public WiFi or such.
The idea is to avoid showing off either to players, which can get you reported and banned, or creating extra logs on your account to prove that cheats have been in fact used.
What to do if you were banned
Well, first of all, don’t panic, right? Cheating usually has a rule of thumb among the lines of “don’t cheat on an account you’re not prepared to lose”. In most games, it’s just a matter of time until that happens, and Pokemon Go is no different anymore.
Since this is our area of expertise, we recommend you contacting us using this form for a free review of your case. However, if you’re not willing to purchase our services, you can submit a Ban Appeal yourself to Niantic, using this form and wait for their reply – note that this might drop your unbanning chances, in case you eventually want to hire us after appealing the ban yourself.
In the meantime, we recommend you don’t create additional accounts, especially not on the same device / IP, but if you already are playing a different one, do not do anything that can get it banned as well. Niantic will be able to tell that it’s you (especially if you’re using the same setup of device ID, IP, etc.), and chances are they won’t even consider your appeal.
We also strongly recommend that you do not purchase a different account from someone else, regardless of their claims of not being botted on, at least until we hear some official word about these bans.
Bottom line, we can’t really say we didn’t expect this to happen. While it is tragic that many players have been permanently banned for little mistakes, and some of them even while innocent, we must admit that especially botting and GPS spoofing did get out of hand quite a bit.
The more Niantic has stood idle to the many reports against botters, the more legitimate players became frustrated, and they had to take action. Also, the fact that hundreds of players have been using bots to level hundreds of accounts at the same time with the sole purpose of selling them and make some money did not help one bit.
Hopefully this post has helped you, and if you have any questions, problems or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment and we’ll reply to it. We’ll also be editing this post should we find out anymore information, so make sure to keep an eye on it every now and then!