Pokemon YouTubers and Twitch streamers banned permanently for hacked ‘mon

Screenshot of Pokemon Sword & Shield rival Hop next to censorship ban logo.Game Freak / The Pokemon Company

Following Game Freak’s wave of Pokemon Sword & Shield player bans in January, now YouTubers and Twitch streamers are being targeted. In some cases, the punishment is permanent. 

In early 2021, Game Freak revealed that they were finally going after hacked Pokemon that promoted the websites that sold them. This resulted in accounts being banned from the Home service app, although in many cases it was temporary.

However, on January 25th a new wave of bans was issued out, this time targeting YouTubers and Twitch streamers. Content creators showing off hacked Legendaries are now having their consoles hard-blocked from Sword & Shield.

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Screenshot of Nintendo Switch ban Pokemon Sword & Shield.YouTube: BLAINEs
Pokemon content creators have been getting banned for having hacked Legendaries.

New Pokemon Sword & Shield ban targets content creators

While the first bans in January stopped players from accessing the Home app, the latest wave actually hard-blocks Nintendo Switch consoles from accessing Sword & Shield’s online functionalities altogether. What has triggered it? Reports so far have stated that the Japanese company is going after Shiny Legendaries.

More specifically, Mythical or Legendary Pokemon that are Shiny locked and impossible to get without being hacked. Hackers creating Shiny ‘mon such as Zacian or Marshadow – when they don’t actually exist in the game – are being targeted for these harsher bans. This also can apply to players who have shown off the illegal ‘mon during YouTube videos or streams.

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According to popular Poke YouTuber BLAINES, the ban seems to be specific to content creators. “This ban applies to YouTubers or content creators only. The other ban [earlier in the month] was for many players who who just happened to have hacked Pokemon. And not all of those bans were permanent,” the fan explained after talking to several Nintendo reps on the phone.

At the time of writing, it’s not entirely clear if these new console bans are all permanent, so far only a few have been told its indefinite. BLAINES went on to clarify that while he is banned from both Sword & Shield and the Home app, he isn’t sure if the ban will be for a few hours or a week.

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Shiny-locked Pokemon that will get you banned

  • Articuno (Galarian)
  • Zapdos (Galarian)
  • Moltres (Galarian)
  • Victini
  • Keldeo
  • Meloetta
  • Vivillon (Fancy Pattern)
  • Vivillon (Pokeball Pattern)
  • Hoopa
  • Volcanion
  • Cosmog
  • Cosmoem
  • Magearna
  • Magearna (Original color)
  • Marshadow
  • Zacian
  • Zamazenta
  • Eternatus
  • Kubufu
  • Urshifu
  • Zarude
  • Zarude (Dada)
  • Glastrier
  • Spectrier
  • Calyrex

Serebii’s Joe Merrick tweeted out about the bans as well, and explained to followers: “If you got Pokemon from Wonder Box / Surprise Trades with URLS in their names, they will be blocked from usage. If you have entirely illegal Pokemon such as shinies you may be banned.”

The veteran Pokemon fan went on to address hackers making illegal Shiny ‘mon. “If you are known as a distributor, especially if you make fake claims that they’re fine, then you will 100% rightfully be banned.”

While only a few Korean streamers have been known to be permanently suspended, it appears that many YouTubers and Twitch personalities who showed off the hacked Shiny Legendaries are having their consoles banned. As for how long, it’s anyone’s guess.

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It’s also not entirely clear if this is targeted specifically at content creators as some have claimed. However, if you have a Shiny Legendary that can’t exist, you should immediately release it into the wild as Game Freak seem to be aggressively targeting these illegal ‘mon.