22 Aug 2016 1:04 AM +00:00 UTC

Pokemon Go Player Gets An Entire Country Banned From Game

Niantic Labs, the developer of Pokemon Go, recently banned players who use bot programs" that give them a competitive edge in the game. While the developer hasn't shared details on how they ban players, it's known that they target both the actual player accounts and IP addresses when using the ban. IP bans are different from player bans in that they let players login Pokemon Go, but no Pokemon, PokeStops, and gyms appear in the augmented reality app.

A Redditor on /r/pokemongodev, a community that created many of the bot programs that Niantic wants to erase, decided to test a theory on IP bans with mind-blowing results. The poster allegedly used several burner SIM cards to start everal thousand simultaneous scans of the Pokemon Go servers. The scans were all linked to a specific national IP address, used by the cell phone company Proximus, which is Belgium's largest cell phone service provider.

It didn't take long for Niantic to flag the IP and ban it. Since the banning of Proxmius's national IP address disabled Proximus users from using mobile data to access the game, this inadvertently led to the developer banning every Proximus user. The person who flagged the IP address was probably thinking that it wasn't a personal/private one.


The Redditor who was allegedly behind the ban later claimed that he didn't actually complete the test and that Niantic pre-emptively banned the entire country of Belgium after reading his posts.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time the entire country was banned from accessing Pokemon Go. A similar test/IP ban also caused the country of Brazil to suffer from widespread Pokemon Go outage, but that was immediately resolved after a few hours.

Read: Pokemon Go Fan Base Dips, Continues to Top Fan-Favorite Games