Those still regularly playing Pokémon GO know that GPS spoofing has become epidemic that is exhausting honest players.
The real issue is that spoofing doesn’t require a background in coding, and it’s as simple as downloading a program online — and there are plenty to choose from. However, spoofing days may be numbered, as Niantic has recently hinted it will be taking steps to end it.
In response to a question on Twitter, Niantic support reached out to a player venting his grief on the issue. His issue stemmed not just from the Pokémon GO spoofers themselves, but the lack of response from Niantic. He states that he has been reporting known spoofers for months to no effect, but Niantic says that is about to change.
@TheBenWoodward Thanks for reporting. We’re working to add functionality to stop spoofing, and your reports are helping us with our investigations. ^TR
— Niantic Support (@NianticHelp) April 10, 2017
The status of these countermeasures is unclear, but it should be a relief to players to know that something is in the works and will be released in a future update at some point. Pokémon GO is a game that relies on a player locations to access content, which is why GPS spoofing throws such a major wrench in that system. Spoofing isn’t just a convenient way to not get up off the couch, it’s downright cheating, and is demoralizing to those that put in the legwork required. At this point, GPS spoofing is real threat to the future of the game.
Back in the early days of the game, there were somewhat softer methods of cheating. The most popular of which was PokéVision, an interactive map that used the game’s data to show players where those illusive Pokémon were hiding. The creation of the site was a direct response to the terrible tracking methods available in-game at launch.
However, Niantic promptly shut PokéVision down as it was in direct contrast to the spirit of the game. GPS spoofing will likely follow suit once the company figures out how to go about it. In the meantime, Niantic is continuing support for the game with regular updates, the biggest of which hit two months ago and introduced the 2nd generation on Pokémon to the game, in addition to some balance changes.
Currently, players are eagerly awaiting a rumored Easter event that could be releasing for the game soon. Considering Pokémon GO has an entire set of mechanics for finding and hatching eggs, this feels appropriate.