Pokemon GO's Creators Are Wrong About 'Cheating' In The Game

Uh oh. Those services that show players where monsters will spawn in Pokemon GO? You know, the ones that eeeeveryone is using? Well, the creators of Pokemon GO don't sound very fond of them. Actually, it sounds like the developers of Pokemon GO may make an effort to shut those programs/websites/apps down, judging from a recent interview with Forbes where John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, called what millions of Pokemon GO players do every day 'cheating'.

F: How do you feel about Poké Radar and things that tap into the code and show where Pokémon are spawning?
JH: Yeah, I don't really like that. Not a fan.
We have priorities right now but they might find in the future that those things may not work. People are only hurting themselves because it takes some fun out of the game. People are hacking around trying to take data out of our system and that's against our terms of service.
F: But in every game you have that. You have people with cheat codes.
JH: True but it's a multiplayer context...

Surprisingly, Hanke seemed pretty lax on players who find clever ways to hatch eggs without actually walking:

F: How do you feel about the people that are trying to cheat the game? I saw a guy put up a train set around his home for his phone.
JH: Hah! To hatch his eggs? Well that's kind of cheating, but it's kind of creative and funny to[o] so I don't really mind it. He's only cheating himself.
I saw a turntable hack. I saw that one for hatching eggs.

Hanke's remarks on services like Poke Radar are alarming, though. Sure, Niantic would be well within its right to shut down anything that violates their terms of services, and indeed some apps outright warn players that they may get banned for using them. Even so, it feels like using things like PokeVision and Poke Radar have practically become a key part of the Pokemon GO experience for many players.

Hanke's argument that these services take the fun out of the game is purely theoretical. Every day, countless number of players use apps and websites to tell them where to go so they can find certain Pokemon, and this hasn't impacted their enjoyment of the game at all. Actually, given the broken state of Pokemon GO's "Nearby" system, I'd say that things like Poke Radar may be saving the game. Nobody can use Pokemon GO to track the Pokemon in their immediate vicinity any more, because every creature mistakenly appears at a maximum distance away.

Players are left with two options: Wander around aimlessly, or just look up the critter they want. Yes, wandering has its own charm, but it can easily get annoying too. The sense of adventure that is characteristic of Pokemon GO doesn't disappear when someone uses something like Poke Radar, because it often still requires going to unusual places that players may not normally visit. And if you're like me, the process of going anywhere specific while playing Pokemon GO still comes with surprises, as you encounter new PokeStops, players and Pokemon to capture along the way. I say this as someone who doesn't use anything like Poke Radar or Pokevision; I can clearly see the way Pokemon-finding services only enhance people's enjoyment of the game.

Niantic obviously disagrees, and may one day shut down all the apps and websites that tell you where Pokemon spawn. I guess there's nothing we can do, other than to enjoy it all while you can.


    I said it before and I will say it again. If you have a 4 year old autistic child and you can plan your walk with him and 100% get a pokemon on that walk because you used an app that showed you where one would be. I don't honestly care if it is cheating or not. My kid smiling is all that matters

    The Developers should realise that the community's only adding in the tools that they should have provided in the first place. They should worry more about fixing the game and less about punishing the people who want to play it.

    Yeeeeah. Tell you what. Fix the "Nearby" bug and I won't need to resort to Pokévision. As soon as that bug is fixed, I'll stop using it.

      A million times this. If the in-game tracker actually worked properly, there wouldn't be any need for sites like this. As it is, you can check things pokevision and the in-game tracker and the in-game tracker will show pokemon that aren't anywhere near you, and will often make it appear like a pokemon is getting further away when you're walking directly towards it.

      All people need is an *accurate* representation of nearby pokemon through the app - and that's certainly not happening at the moment.

      Last edited 30/07/16 2:38 pm

    While the distance counter is broken, I see no issue with people using any of the location apps/services. Once that functionality is restored, I'd rather hope people avoid them.

    What makes their view on these external tools "wrong"? The title is click bait and nothing more.

    Pokevision is the best thing about this right now. Woke up at 4 this morning and decided to check it and found a geodude by my house. Went for a walk and got the bastard. Naturally the app showed nothing near me the whole time. They need to fix their shit before they complain about how someone else does it right.

      I think you're insane for getting out of bed at 4am for a Geodude, but I salute your effort..

        Insomnia is a bitch. Generally speaking though, it was ridiculous. A shot of Whiskey or a wank would have better served me. Still 20/20 hindsight and all that.

    Pretty much. A lot of the fun is in the hunt, which can't be done until the location data is fixed.

    You know what's awesome? Seeing a group of people peeling off from a giant throng near lures and realising there might be something cool.

    There's an undiscovered Pokemon a kilometre down the river? Let's pop an incense and leave all the stops to go chase that sucker!

    If you remove the ability to track Pokemon then the best course is to just sit by lured stops all day which is seriously boring.

      Yeah, I'd like it if it shows up greyed out in the distance in the actual app, would give me a reason to walk further.

    Pokevision is weirdly fun in itself, giving it a prod now and then to see what is near my place even though I can't go out and get it at all. More fun than the actual game for me atm :P

    Last edited 31/07/16 12:52 am

    I'll check it occasionally, but people who use it all the timeare ruining the game.

    Without these radar apps I would of stopped playing Pokemon Go a while ago.
    Trying to find the one Eevee amongst the 8 Zubats is NOT fun when the nearby function is broken.
    These apps also have me exploring new areas.

    Last edited 30/07/16 2:45 pm

    I have heard before the argument that the in game radar is broken so apps like poke vision are reasonable... That is a crap argument for two reasons:
    1. They give you far more information and detail than the in game radar. If poke vision etc worked like the game radar then you would have a distance, not a location.
    2. Suggesting the game is broken and you have the right to fix it implies the game is owned by the player... Which is false. Consider that if you invited me to your house and I was bothered by what I perceived as a disordered work desk so I organised it all so I felt better... In most countries and cultures this is extremely rude for a simple reason, it is not yours.... And i have not even bothered touching on the legalities of messing around with someone else's possessions.

      Your example is bad and you should feel bad.

      Try something like this: you own a basketball and you decide to let your friends play with it while you're at work. A few even chip in something in return in gratitude.

      You get back from work and see them all having fun playing with the ball but they aren't playing basketball. What right do you have to tell them how to use your ball to have fun?

      Sure you can threaten to take your ball and go home if they don't play the way you think they should, it is your ball.

      But doing so would make you a real dick.

        Holy shit. Your example is super bad, and you should feel super bad.

        A basket ball is not the whole game. It is a tool used to play the game. Pokemon Go is the game. It has the rules, how to play and tools built in. A Pokemon is the Basket Ball. They are tools used in the processes of playing the game.

        As for Poke Vision, I see it like this.

        Giving people a CLEAR advantage in online games via wall hacking in SC:GO is considered cheating.

        Pokemon Go hack apps like Poke Vision are essentially wall hacks. They allow you to see Pokemon before you actually found them, and there for, are straight up cheating. Part of the fun of ALL the Pokemon games has been finding the Pokemon. There for, KNOWING where they are is taking away from the fun.

        Pokemon Go gives FAR more info on where Pokemon are than just the steps. When you go closer to a Pokemon, the bar that shows whats close flashes. If you pick a Pokemon from the list, then it only flashes when you get closer to that one. Then there is the little leaf 'puffs' on the map, that indicate that there is a Pokemon there.

        Learn to play the game, and stop hacking. FFS.

          I was under the impression that the leaf puffs only indicated that there *may* be a pokemon there. And comparing pokevision to the puffs in-game, that would appear to be true. So chasing those you'd be doubly chasing ghosts.

          Also your example was super confusing and zimmy's still makes more sense.

          Dude if you won't register just use a single account name.

          All the trailers for the game show you tracking down pokemon, that is meant to be how the game works. The tools it launched with to do so with were shit, worse than the beta even but you could still track.

          Niantic has given us the tools to go out and play a game, but now they don't like how players are playing it.

          It's not like it's a competitive advantage, but it's a great social thing. I saw many groups of people converging due to pokevision, and seen others not using it converge on that same spot.

          Also you tell me to learn to play the game but apparently you don't know how to, that flash? It just means the list is reorganising it doesn't mean you're getting closer to the one you're tracking. Not that you can select one anymore.

          Also leaf puffs? Potential spawn, not a guaranteed one.

          Basketball is still a full game, with built in rules on how to play. You're still an asshole if you insist everyone stops having fun to play it the way you want to play.

        Yessir. Haratu, your example was terrible. You should learn from zimmy.

    Ok... i admit i have been a bad boy and used pokevision just to see what is around and it's all the same pretty much everywhere i live, what is the incentive to go out exploring knowing that all you get is the same shitty Pokemon.

    >Trackers are bad because it's cheating in a multiplayer game

    >Tricks to hatch eggs are only hurting the player themselves


      Came here for this... how can you say using one is cheating and the other is only hurting yourself so its fine lol.

      Last edited 01/08/16 9:00 am

    Pokevision let me know with where i live i might as well not bother playing
    No pokemon within a reasonable walking distance :S
    When the nearby tracker is actually working, its always empty :(

    I think pokevision is awesome, driving around to all different corners of a city to find pokemon, still have to go find them and you only have 10 mins max before they disappear. Instead of wondering aimlessly or sitting at a group of pokestops waiting for long periods of time... Not very interactive.

    If the game's steps system actually worked, and I could get an idea of which way to walk, it would be less of an incentive to use these other applications. I think that if they don't fix it, and the apps are blocked, their player base will become frustrated and just not bother.
    Heck, even an vague arrow would be better than what they have now.

    The game need to fix the three step issue, it's too much effort to play the game otherwise.

    Yeah its reallllllly special they way they update the game take away the local finder and then shut down pokevison. Well let me say this Niantic get you S#! T straight because I enjoyed the game even using pokevison didnt guarantee a catch. So why shut it off. If they dont turn those apps back on this game is going to die quietly. It would serve they right. I love this game and he hunt with my finder apps. I hate they game now with the wandering imlessness. So fix it or ill just go back to CoC....

    The thrill of chasing down Pokemon found on poke vision or poke radar was far more fulfilling than not knowing where anything is or what direction to head at all. I can't believe the world has to stoop to this jack-ass's closed mind vision of how the app is meant to be used. In a real Pokemon world, people would develop tools just as we have in this context.

    And the trading shit is going to be stupid make ppl find the pokemon they need on there own I dnt want friends trading 100 to 400 pokemon to get something they ain't work for trade them a high cp to help them in gyms n shit make the regular game work first then add shit but think bout wat there fucking adding

    Even so, it feels like using things like PokeVision and Poke Radar have practically become a key part of the Pokemon GO experience for many players.

    That, to me, indicates something is wrong with the core app. I've never actually gone to those lengths, because I haven't gone out of my way to go anywhere off my routine. I've just GO'd while doing my commute or morning/arvo exercise... but if I gave a shit about catching anything other than my ARMY OF DODUOS (all doduo, all day, every day), I'd probably be pretty annoyed about this.

      I'd take one of those Doduos off you if I could.

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