The Pokemon Company has issued a notice warning Pokemon Sword and Shield players of an incoming "ban wave" aimed at hackers who have been modifying their save data.
Per a report from noted Pokemon news source Serebii.net (opens in new tab), The Pokemon Company is looking at Sword and Shield players as well as Pokemon Home users who might be using altered data and thereby breaking the terms of service. Guilty trainers will reportedly be banned from online play, trading, and Pokemon Home entirely. Depending on the situation, The Pokemon Company could issue temporary or permanent pans.
The Pokemon Company's renewed focus on hacking seems to be related to an increase in Pokemon Sword and Shield hackers using exploits to get rare Pokemon that weren't caught legitimately, in some cases affecting the experience of other players. As we reported last year, some Pokemon Sword and Shield players coincidentally received modded Pokemon via the Surprise Trade feature, resulting in corrupted saves and other issues. In some cases, hackers would even send maliciously bugged Pokemon to players and crash their games, sometimes impeding the player's access to online features.
As one concerned player noted on Twitter (opens in new tab), there are likely people who are unaware that they've been given a hacked Pokemon through Surprise Trade. It's unlikely those players need to worry about being banned, but we've reached out to Nintendo for clarification and will update this article if we hear back.
Be the best there ever was (without getting banned in the process) with these essential Pokemon Sword and Shield tips.