Cheating in Pokémon Go has been a huge problem throughout the game's life cycle. There are no shortage of apps you can use to cheat in the game, and Niantic has been looking into ways to stop cheaters from prospering in-game.
To that effect, users have reported being "shadowbanned" in Pokémon Go — able to play the game but unable to see any Pokémon that are showing up at spawn points. The bad news is that no one is really sure when — if ever — these shadow bans are going to be lifted.
The good news is that if you're shadowbanned from Pokémon Go, you might still have a way to catch Pokémon — as long as you're not averse to walking.
Pokémon Go Shadowban: Put your walking shoes on
A recent Silph Road thread invited a number of players to talk about what they'd noticed after being shadowbanned. The consensus appeared to be that although the shadow ban affected the players' abilities to see and catch Pokémon in the wild, it didn't affect finding and hatching eggs.
Other players reported being able to find and hatch eggs as well, noting that they were receiving relatively rare Pokémon like Dratini, Mareep and Larvitar from the eggs they'd obtained.
Some pressed for confirmation that these eggs were obtained after the ban was put into place, namely because eggs are timestamped from when you receive and not when you hatch them. However, shadowbanned players did indeed report that these eggs were obtained after they'd been banned.
It's not clear if this is Niantic showing some small amount of clemency to the shadowbanned accounts, or if this is merely outside of the scope of what they're able to do without an outright ban. It's also unclear as to whether or not shadowbanning is real, since another user in the thread reported that they'd been shadowbanned, but Niantic Support denied having banned their account.
Regardless, if you have a suspicion your account has been shadowbanned, our only advice to you is get walking, because it seems like that's the only way you're going to catch Pokémon for the next little while.
More Pokémon Go news and coverage
If you're just booting up your Pokémon Go account, check out our first impressions of the Gen 2 update. You'll also want to learn more about the Unown and new evolutionary items like the Sun Stone and more. If you're looking for a list of evolutions that weren't initially revealed by Niantic, this article is your guide.
If you're more interested in the main games, here's the latest on a possible Pokémon title on the Nintendo Switch: Pokémon Stars. And if you're itching to learn about the other mobile Nintendo games, check out our coverage of Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run.