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Pokémon Go has a new way to shame cheaters

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Niantic’s not messing around with hacked Pokémon

Pokemon Go icon on an iPhone home screen Michael McWhertor/Polygon

Niantic’s ushering in a new anti-cheating measure alongside Pokémon Go’s big summer update. Pokémon obtained through unofficial means will now be marked as such in-game, and they’re going to start acting weirdly, too.

“With the announcement of Raid Battles and the new battle features, we are staying true on our commitment to ensuring that Pokémon Go continues to be a fun and fair experience for all Trainers,” wrote a Niantic rep on Reddit. “Starting today, Pokémon caught using third-party services that circumvent normal gameplay will appear marked with a slash in the inventory and may not behave as expected.”

Niantic’s come down on players for using various unofficial programs before. These range from using bots to catch more Pokémon, mapping services to track down rare monsters and others; players aren’t sure which combination of any of these nets them that glaring slash. In the past, Niantic’s blocked these programs, permanently kicked out and shadowbanned players and doled out other punishments to cheaters.

As for Pokémon misbehaving, it calls to mind how high-leveled monsters will sometimes ignore their trainers’ commands until they prove themselves. It’s also unclear if that’s what this part of the anti-cheating update does, so we’ve reached out to Niantic for more details.