Will your Device get banned for Downloading the Pokémon GO APK?

There’s word on the social media rumor mill that, if you downloaded the Pokémon Go APK to get early access to your region, then your device will get banned. But like all things in the internet, claims like these are definitely worth looking into more closely before we believe it.

So will you get banned? Probably not. Let me point out my reasons why.

giphy

 

To begin with, it’s a bad business move and I’d be surprised if the did proceed with banning people. When news hit the internet about the APK download, many trusted websites and YouTubers spread the word. This means that a huge number of people probably downloaded the APK and to device-ban that many users would be shooting themselves in the foot in terms of potential users and revenue.

Another point is that, while there are many claims, there has been no evidence (at least, from what I’ve seen) on people getting device banned. There have been people on Reddit claiming that the APK was still working even after news of the Ban went out. If you DO have evidence, I’d gladly admit I’m wrong.

 

But sure. Let’s dig deeper and take a closer look at the Pokémon GO Terms of Service.

After checking the provisions under “Conduct, General Prohibitions, and Niantic’s Enforcement Rights”, we found this:

TOS 1

 

Okay. I’m no lawyer but, from my understanding, the part about BYPASSING and CIRCUMVENTING ANY TECHNOLOGICAL MEASURE IMPLEMENTED is the part that applies to this situation the most. One could loosely argue that downloading the APK really isn’t really bypassing Niantic’s tech measure because it IS an official APK. Yes, it is a loose argument. I’m sure people will also claim they didn’t know it was bypassing. But Niantic could definitely fight with this as well.

 

Let’s look further. Here are the Pokémon GO Trainer guidelines.

TOS 2

 

This was in the bottom part of the Trainer Guidelines. Turn your attention to the part where it mentions the use of modified or unofficial software. Regarding this point, I’ll say again that the APK is official and should not be considered as modified (unless, you really did alter something to cheat. In which case, shame on you and your cow).

The biggest point here is that, at the end of it all, the Trainer Guidelines state that the TERMS OF USE AND THE GUIDELINES will be enforced via warnings, suspensions, or account terminations. Okay so MY PERSONAL TAKEAWAY here is that, even if they did want to punish people for downloading the APK (which I still seriously doubt), Niantic would only do so using the 3 mentioned penalties. Warnings? Great! I’m sure many people would be like “Oh okay then. Sorry.” and we all move on. Suspensions? Hmm… well, it depends how long but I guess it’s okay if it’s just a few days. ACCOUNT TERMINATIONS?! WHOA THERE! Is that the DEVICE BAN?!?!

Nope, it’s still not.

According to the Terms of Service, an “Account” is defined as :

TOS 3

So there you have it. Worst case scenario is they terminate your account but you can always just make a new one. It will not be a Device Ban. That’s what I think, at least.

 

There you have it, folks. I’m pretty sure we’re all excited to play the awesomeness that is Pokémon GO but, if you’re stressing about all these rumors regarding the device ban because you downloaded the APK, you can put your mind at ease a bit since I highly doubt this rumor is true. Once again, if you have evidence that I am wrong, please feel free to let me know and I would humbly admit I’m wrong.

Anyway, till next time, guys! Keep on gaming!

Pokemon Hi-5 Wave

 

Author: Rob Yatco

Managing Editor of Ungeek - YouTuber, Video Gamer, and Board Gamer by Passion. Freelance Marketer and Strategist by Trade. Enjoys story-based games and pizza... you can never have enough pizza. Mmmm, pizza...

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24 Comments

  1. this somehow feels like it’s convincing itself of not getting banned. patience is a virtue…

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    • For those who can wait, it’s fine. But for those who did download the APK, I just highly doubt that device banning will happen 🙂

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    • Can not see the point of playing if your going to cheat. Thats the fun of the game.I have only being playing for a 10 days and im on level 20 I love the game has it gets me out more and im 59yrs old.x

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    • I think my device is banned. I cannot login anymore using my device. but I tried logging in at other device and my account is fine. somebody help please?

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  2. I’d like to know why the App is not working on any Intel-based devices 🙁 Can’t play it on my ASUS Zenfone2 🙁

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    • It also said that for my ZenFone 2 laser, but the APK works for me!

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  3. actually they can ban you, in nintendo ngames, and world competition, and other pokemon games, when the company detected your using a fake pokemon, or game, they can totally banned the device from playing that game, so i think they can do it possible that pokemon company is big

    why cant we wait

    Post a Reply
    • The thing is, the APK was actually official and not fake. It was just leaked.But as I said, these are based from my own theories given the TOS and business practices in general. I still could be wrong. With regard to waiting, I agree. If people have the patience to wait, I’m all for that. This article was more for addressing the worries of those who DID download the APK 🙂

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      • The app and apk are legit but not in countries which is not yet official released! Its a virtual reality world game so they can actually locate one by one the landmarks the most famous buildings in your country to locate events, put areas for pokemon center, why is there a sydney opera house in the philippines?

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        • If they wanted to they could have blocked european connexions on server side. (Blocking european IPs for example) So there is no bypassing.

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        • yes but it is in united states, and if somebody from united states go to canada to tacke all the gyms he would be able to do it completely legit. So it is not that unfair to download it early

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        • yes but if somebody from united states wants to go to canada and take all the gyms, he can completely legit, So it is not that unfair or anything to download it early, the only reason they do it is to reduce server usage, and it works because there will always be scared people and those who don’t know how to download an APK

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    • They CAN but they probably WON’T, at this point in time at least.

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    • The thing here is that the apk is tge same as de nornal pokemon go. So you’re not using a fake pokemon!

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    • niantic and nintendo are two different things

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  4. So i downloaded the APK from Recombu’s video, is that safe??? Also have you seen any updates on people getting banned or not? Thanks

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  5. Pokemon Go app is free to download. I guess it would break rules if it is not free to download then you get and APK

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    • Yes its a free app, and some other pokemon games, but players tries to modify these apps, try to put items and pokemon like infinite pokeballs or masterballs, the company can detect that like pokemon shuffle and pokemon games like x,y,ruby,sapphire, downloading modified apks makes it fakes, and downloading apks which is not yet officialy released in your country makes it fake and invalid

      Post a Reply
    • The app and apk are legit but not in countries which is not yet official released! Its a virtual reality world game so they can actually locate one by one the landmarks the most famous buildings in your country to locate events, put areas for pokemon center, why is there a sydney opera house in the philippines?

      Post a Reply
  6. The app and apk are legit but not in countries which is not yet official released! Its a virtual reality world game so they can actually locate one by one the landmarks the most famous buildings in your country to locate events, put areas for pokemon center, why is there a sydney opera house in the philippines?

    Post a Reply
  7. when is the official release of pokemon go in the philippines??

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  8. Why would they ban people who got the apk if they ban them they’ll lose money as tons of people downloaded it

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  9. I’ve been using the APK with no issues. When I downloaded it the file said it was from Niantic. It’s an official APK so I’m not worried. Maybe they want people to test it to make sure they got all the bugs worked out.

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