[Research] Soft Bans and Traveling


Hi everyone,

Summer is rapidly approaching (for the northern hemisphere at least) and a lot of us will be hopping on planes and travelling to different destinations worldwide, whether it just be traveling within your country or to other countries.

I’ve seen reports that people that play PoGo in one country, hop on a plane, and open it in a new country are likely to be soft banned for an hour or two, as PoGo thinks you might be faking your location (spoofing).

I’d like to know if you may possibly get banned based on how far you travel. . I’ll give you an example of me:

From: Muscat, Oman
To: Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Flight Time: 50 minutes.
Soft Banned? No.
Month/Year of Travel: March 2017

From: Muscat, Oman
To: Phnom Penh, Cambodia via Bangkok, Thailand
Flight Time: 5.5 hours + 1 hour = 6.5 hours total.
Soft Banned? Yes.
Month/Year of Travel: February 2017

As you can see from my data, I was not banned when traveling a short distance, but was banned when flying a longer one, as PoGo must’ve thought I was spoofing when flying from Oman to Cambodia.

If you could please copy and fill out the template below, I’d like to see if there are more examples of this.


Flight Time:
Soft Banned?
Month/Year of Travel:

General discussion


Awesome topic! Anyone that can help would be appreciated.


Flight time: roughly 9.5 hours
Soft Banned: multiple times
Month/ year of travel: December 2016.

The game just can’t keep up.


(within the country)
Flight time: 2hrs, 15mins
Soft Banned: Not due to travel. However on the third day of my stay I did get soft banned for a small amount of time, as when I went to higher altitudes, my location just kept defaulting to my home and back. This was visible on Google maps too, so it seemed to be a general location accuracy issue. Also I’d like to add that maybe opening your game at each airport can help make your travel look less like spoofing - this is a personal theory of mine, no concrete fact
Month/ year of travel: April 2017


From: Sibiu, Romania
To: Viena, Austria
Flight Time: ~1hr
Soft Banned: Nope. I haven’t logged in the game ~5-6 hrs before departure.
Month/Year of Travel: February 2017

From: Sibiu, Romania
To: Murter, Croatia
Flight Time: 8-10hrs drive
Soft Banned: Nope. I logged in the game at least 5-6 times on my way there. Every pitstop I made, I logged in to check out spawns and whatnot. This allowed Niantic’s algorithms to see that I was traveling.
Month/Year of Travel: March 2017

From: Sibiu, Romania
To: Budapest, Hungary
Flight Time: 8-10hrs drive
Soft Banned: Nope. As before, I logged in at every pitstop I made to check out spawns, stops, etc.
Month/Year of Travel: May 2017

My conclusion is that as long as you allow time for the algorithm to calculate driving time from place A to place B, you will not be soft-banned. My recommendation for flights is that you should not log in the game ~12hrs before departure, just to be safe. This gives Niantic (and their distance-algorithms) time to process your trip.


From: Eindhoven , the Netherlands
To: Girona, Barcelona
Flight Time: 1h30-2h
Soft Banned? nope
Month/Year of Travel: March 2017

Used both times the wifi of the airports as I had no mobile data in both countries.

From: Brussels, Belgium
To: Prague, Czech Republic
Flight Time: 1h30-2h
Soft Banned? nope
Month/Year of Travel: February 2017

From: Brussels, Belgium
To: Rome, Italy
Flight Time: 2h
Soft Banned? nope
Month/Year of Travel: September 2016

As always, I use the free wifi of the airport when leaving and arriving. And when I play PoGo, it’s mainly on wifi of a hotel/bar/restaurant as I don’t intend to pay for mobile data on my citytrip.


I will be traveling from Boston to Iceland at the end of August. It would be roughly a 5 hour flight and am hoping to not get soft banned. I will definitely be playing at the airport before taking off and want to open up Pokemon right when I land. Any advice on how I can not get soft banned for this, or if I even will?


I’m honestly not sure how this could work out for you, but luckily even if you do get soft banned, its short term.

My advice is once you land in Iceland, before turning on the game, set your clock to local time. This might help PoGo understand that there is a time difference from your last location, and therefore it knows that you have legitimately traveled.

The only downside to this is you might mess of your catch/spin streaks, so really it’s up to you.

Have a safe trip to Iceland!


Definitely some good ideas! Was considering emailing Niantic telling them I will be traveling so they know ahead of time haha. Definitely want to open up Pokemon as soon as I get there so I can hunt down a Mr. Mime!


Travelling from Sydney Australia to San Francisco in November and really hoping I don’t get locked out :grimacing:


this is the most interesting thread I’ve come across on here thus far!

From: London
To: Chicago
Flight Time: 8 hours
Soft Banned? NO
Month/Year of Travel: Feb 2017

From: Chicago
To: Washington DC
Flight Time: 2 hours ish
Soft Banned? No
Month/Year of Travel: Feb 2017

no problems for me and I played a lot in airport -got my region exclusive Taurus as an EU based player straaight after landing in US shores


This is great because of me going to Iceland in late August so hopefully I have as good as luck as you! Did you open up the app right before take off and landing?


I’m going to Jamaica in October. Thanks for the tip for not playing 12 hours prior.


No Softban going 55 mi on holiday in car. Not surprised…


If u get soft banned for anything longer than 2 hours ur doing it wrong I spoof and teleported to SF from Stockholm after safari event ended waiting 2 hours no soft ban


We’re not talking about Spoofing, we’re talking about going on long car journeys or planes.


It’s same principle as long as you’re idle ie don’t play at all they don’t soft ban anything greater than 2 hour


Agreeing with @JoshHack. This thread isn’t about spoofing; it is about legitimate players who legitimately travel and occasionally face problems.

People were facing these ‘travel issues’ back when I first posted this thread, on May 30. Don’t revive a dead thread, especially if you’re going to bring up spoofing.

@Thorend or whoever manages these threads: please lock this one..