Twitch Cracks Down On Cheating Pokemon GO Streamers

Twitch announced today that they will be cracking down on Pokemon GO streamers who rely on third-party cheats. Streamers who play the game aided by software that tracks Pokemon or spoofs their GPS location will "receive a strike on their account". Three strikes results in a ban. Niantic defines cheating as "using modified or unofficial software; playing with multiple accounts (one account per player, please); sharing accounts; using tools or techniques to alter or falsify your location; or selling/trading accounts". Although some players exploit the game to gain an unfair advantage, others argue that flaws inherent to the game necessitate third-party fixes. Recently, for example, the so-called "three-step glitch" prevented players from tracking Pokemon, since all of the ones nearby were shown to be the same distance away.

Twitch has had a problem with Pokemon GO cheating since the game's release last July. Streamers would play the game on a PC, using software that spoofs their GPS so they can catch Pokemon from the comfort of their homes. This way, streamers could be active on their chat and easily film themselves playing. Bolder streamers gave live cheating tutorials on Twitch.

The Daily Dot reported that, even by late July, Twitch was slow to ban streamers using third-party software to exploit the game. Twitch's statement today comes out strongly cheating players, confirming that it's a widespread occurrence on the streaming platform:

The above behaviour is prohibited on Twitch by both our Rules of Conduct and Terms of Service. As of August 8th, anyone sharing content that features or promotes cheating in Pokemon GO will receive a strike on their account. We ask that broadcasters take appropriate steps to ensure that their content is not at risk.

Third-party software for Pokemon GO, some fans say, is the only thing that makes the game playable at all. Kotaku Deputy Editor Patricia Hernandez reported that, out of 80 million users, 50 million were using the tracking service Pokevision until it was shut down a few weeks ago, according to the app's developer. The software is now banned.

We'll see how many Pokemon GO streamers not-so-mysteriously disappear after today. If your favourite ones go black, check out streams like DeadpoolyPlays that are both legit and entertaining.


    Twitch was also swinging the banhammer with No Mans Sky streams over the weekend. They would get away with it for an hour or so then get shutdown, only for new streamers to appear shortly after. Just how many early copies got out?

    I've never understood the appeal of Twitch. Why would I sit in front of my computer watching people play a game, when I can sit in front of my computer and play the game myself?

    Another question. Say I went to a park for the day that happens to be a Pokemon hot spot, but I decide to be social and leave my phone at home so I can talk to people and play with my dogs. If later that night I use a GPS spoofer to return to that park and catch Pokemon, am I cheating? Or is it too bad so sad, you should have spent the day staring at your phone?

      Why not watch and also play a game? I have 2 monitors and often have a video on one while I play a game on the other.

      To your question it's against Pokemon Go's Terms of Service to falsify your GPS signal, so yes that would be cheating. You're either out and playing the game or you're not, pretty simple.

      Last edited 09/08/16 8:50 am

      I've never understood the appeal of sport. Why would I sit in front of my tv watching people play a sport, when I can play the sport myself?

        I'm guessing you're being sarcastic, but thats how I feel about sport. I love playing soccer, but hate watching it.

      Why am I always double posting

      Last edited 09/08/16 9:14 am

      If I go home and cheat am I really cheating?

        New question. If someone is disabled and use a gps spoofer to play, are they cheating or finding a way to enjoy something they might otherwise miss out on?

        Is the world always so black and white?

          Niantic: Spoofing is cheating.

          TEA-REX: Is cheating cheating if I don't want to go to the park today?
          Is cheating cheating is I am disabled?
          Is cheating cheating because it's raining outside?
          Is cheating cheating because I sprained my ankle?

          Not sure why there is an OR in your statement either.

            I asked questions to find out peoples opinions, I never said I'm for or against spoofing.

            I personally could care less what people do in a free to play mobile game about collecting virtual pixels.
            If sitting at a lure on their phone convincing themselves that they're getting "exercise" and being "social" is how they enjoy the game, good for them. If they want to use gps spoofing to play they game from home, good for them.

            Last edited 09/08/16 11:03 am

              I never said you were for or against either, just showed your ridic your premise was.

              If they want to GPS spoof from home they can F off though. I don't really care if you cheat in single player games but when it impacts on others in a multiplayer game, you are being a tool. I'd colour you under that umbrella too thanks to your 'good for them' comment.

      Why would anyone read your comment when they can post their own?

    Is playing classic doom with iddqd considered cheating? what about tasbot?

    Me wonders how hard is Nintendo leaning on Niantic and Twitch to crack down on this 'cheating' that is ruining the game for everyone else

      Well the core part of Pokemon GO is to go out in the world and look for Pokemon. If you are using GPS spoof programs, you are hardly playing the game as it was intended.

      Also you comparison is a bit off. It would more like using a third party software in something like WoW to automate gameplay so you don't have to work as hard. Which will get you banned

      I doubt Nintendo is leaning on them at all. Why would they? Why would Niantic do nothing about cheating ruining one of the biggest cash cows ever until a minor partner stepped in to pressure them?

        you have heard of Nintendo right, ultra controlling company that dcmas almost everything

          Nintendo did not lean on Niantic to take down cheaters in Ingress. Niantic did that on their own. Why would this be any different? In fact, Niantic have even more incentive to take them out - this is making far more money that Ingress ever did.

          Nintendo has minimal involvement with the app. They get something like 10% of the profits.

            Minimal involvement is an overstatement. They're not involved at all. People have this misconception that Nintendo is allowing Niantic to do things, or that they get to have a say in things. They're wrong. Nintendo doesn't own Pokemon, at least not fully. They own 30% of the Pokemon Company. The Pokemon Company controls the Pokemon IP, and it's the Pokemon Company that has interactions with Niantic. At most Nintendo *might* get to have a say *through* their 30% ownership of The Pokemon Company

              They were listed as one of the 3 companies that provided funding for the game also. From memory it was Google, Nintendo and the Pokemon Company. It was $30 million but I never saw a break down of who gave what and I don't expect it will be made public.

    twitch seems the go-to for cheats... spoofing... bad behaviour and gambling

    i hate the toxic place but i like game streams

    Seems weird. I don't get why it should be up to Twitch to police how people play games.

    I've always thought people who simply *must* cheat at games to get an advantage, are somewhat sad... I just feel sorry for them.
    It's incredibly insecure behaviour. Small minded too.

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