The Pokémon Company is banning players that have traded illegitimately modified Pokémon through Pokémon Home.
Pokémon is cracking down on players that are abusing the trading feature, announcing its plans to ban players on a regular basis. Players that have any kind of illegitimately modified data in Pokémon Home will be banned from Pokémon Home and lose access to the trading features.
On top of that, players will also lose access to online play in any of the main series games, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, Pokémon Sword and Shield, etc.
Losing access to online play restricts many of the newer features in the game. Players won’t get to join their friends in Raid Battles or trade Pokémon. Getting banned from Pokémon Home may not seem important to some players, but not being able to trade Pokémon affects the experience.
Pokémon is banning these bad actors ahead of the release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. It’s been reported that the game will be linked to Pokémon Home in 2023.
Pokémon clarified that players that have received some of these illegitimate Pokémon without their knowledge won’t be banned. The ruling only applies to those that frequently engage in this behavior.
Illegal Pokémon are traded using a combination of Discord bots and Pokémon Showdown. This website allows players to add any Pokémon they want to their games as long as the Pokémon exists in the game. Players could even add a level 100 shiny Mewtwo to their game if they wanted.
These modified Pokémon cause issues in the apps. Sometimes games cannot save properly and players risk losing all their data. At a competitive level, using illegal Pokémon can result in getting banned.
There are ways to check if a Pokémon is illegal. If the Pokémon has moves different from the usual moves, it is probably modified. A shiny legendary almost always is modified. In general, if a Pokémon looks like it is too good to be true, it probably is.