My scanner was behaving rather oddly last night and I put it down to a possible server glitch - but after it doing the same thing this morning and searching around, it seems I'm stuck with an observer ban (and I'm not the only one!)


  1. Can't deploy resonators, they get used up but the slots never get filled
  2. As above, but for mods
  3. Can't recharge (which is a real issue since it's stopping me from maintaining my guardian)
  4. Forced into doing glyph hacks (not so much a problem because I glyph hack almost all the time anyway)
  5. XMP bursters are very, very nerfed (level 8's did about 3% damage to an unshielded level 1 resonator
  6. Can't pick items up
  7. Dropped items disappear (also hugely frustrating since I lost the portal key for my guardian by trying to give it to someone else to recharge.)
  8. Hacks never (or very rarely) give any items.

This is hugely frustrating, especially since I have never cheated, location spoofed, used overlays, used anything other than the official intel map, etc. Aside from emailing Niantic (already done) and hoping they get back to me quickly (unlikely looking at others' experiences), what is the best thing to do in this situation?

  • FWIW, my ban was lifted after 3 days (ish) of walking around glyph hacking and little else. I have no idea if this was coincidence, helped or hindered my chances of having access restored - but it worked for me.
    – berry120
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 22:50

3 Answers 3


Based on a lot of googling, there is apparently no real fix.

Niantic may or may not fix it, in days or weeks or months. It may be fixed permanently or temporarily.

There seem to be all kinds of rumours to the effect that certain actions might help, but the suggestions basically range from using Ingress a lot to not using Ingress at all for a long time, so there is no real reason to believe that any of those actions really helped. In particular, it seems clear that e.g. doing a lot of glyph hacking is not going to guarantee anything.

The only thing that is consistent in all reports is that Niantic says absolutely nothing, except for the standard canned response:

"We only support official Niantic Labs software. If we detect use of unofficial software that is deemed harmful to gameplay, your account may be suspended or terminated."

(The message is misleading, they send the same message regardless of whether people use unofficial software.)

Time to find another game, it seems.

For reference, here is a recent report from a player who has experienced this: https://plus.google.com/+DomenicHorner/posts/hmid3Mq48qS


As J. Suomela writes, there are no hard facts about what, if anything, helps. I'll however relay the best conjecture I've come across:

Niantic's algorithms are trying to detect "GPS spoofing", the act of manipulating your phone's apparent location instead of actually being out and about yourself. Because of bad GPS reception or wifi hotspots with bad location data in Google's database, your personal location data aquired what the algorithm deems a signature of GPS sppofing.

The solution: Spend some time Ingress-farming away from high-rise buildings or other locations that play tricks with GPS location. Also, try to turn off the use of wifi to pinpoint location, using only GPS (a setting on your phone) After having Ingressed enough with a reliable GPS signal, you drop off the watchlist of Niantic.

Again, this is just a conjecture I came across. The user got his ban lifted, but we don't know if it was just a coincidence.


I got the same answer to my query. I was really worried as I have been playing fairly for more than 2 years. I got mislead by the Sejourner badge's name as it (to me) suggested hacking the same portal every day : "Hack a portal in 24 hours period" or something. I installed ingress in an Android emulator to keep the badge going as I had to travel, and a few hours later, the hack acquired no items. I have walked more than 20 km in 2,5 days, glyph-hacking, sent a request on day 5, but apparently they send the same reply.

"We only support official Niantic Labs software. If we detect use of unofficial software that is deemed harmful to gameplay, your account may be suspended or terminated."

Hoping that it's not terminated as I just upgraded a resonator. Since the ban started have been unable to see the COMM, do not gain 99.5% of the AP, very difficult to recharge (almost impossible), but have been able to create 2 fields and capture 1 unique portal. The xmp damage is limited as someone above mentioned. The community can only suggest to keep glyph-hacking and wait.

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