Pokémon Go has only been out for a few days now but it’s already taken Pokémon hunters to many parts of the world to try and catch them all.
As expected, within 24 hours of Pokémon Go’s United States release, players have already found ways to get an unfair advantage in the game. Some players have developed a cheat by faking the coordinates of a phone’s GPS, allowing a user to virtually visit any location without moving a step.
While these players may get ahead in the game by acquiring those sought after “rare Pokémon”, such attempts run the risk of getting permanently banned by Niantic Labs, the developers of the game, according to Vice.
The cheat, detailed and discussed extensively in the Pokémon Go subreddit, requires GPS spoofing — an Android tweak that requires a rootkit to run and take control of a device’s operating system. The process also involves installation of some software that reprograms a user’s GPS location.
One user is quoted as writing:
“Make sure you change locations at a human speed… there is a setting at the bottom that automatically moves location randomly. Set the distance to something small so you move as if you were running (maybe a bit faster) and just leave your phone on to gain [kilometers].”
Spoofing GPS addresses the problem lazy players face of having to get off of the couch and go out of the house as it basically removes the limit where a player won’t or can’t go.
Under Pokémon Go’s terms, players are not allowed to use “any unauthorized third-party software (e.g. bots, mods, hacks, and scripts) to modify or automate operation” or “attempt to circumvent any restriction in any Service,” which includes locations. Breaking the terms would give Niantic enough reason to “suspend or terminate your access to some or all” of the game. For a true fan of the game, that would definitely hurt.
Anyone who doubts Niantic’s commitment to do so, may refer to its previous game, Ingress, which has banned many players all over the world.