Behave, Pokémon Go fans, or be banned

Cheaters, they say, never prosper. And that old adage has come home to roost for scofflaws roaming the virtual world of Pokémon Go, the free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game that has gone viral since its debut last month.

It seems the game’s maker, Niantic, is fed up with players trying to scam its algorithms and is threatening to ban for life anyone who violates its terms of service. On its website this week, Niantic makes it very clear what sort of game-playing behavior will get a user into hot water:

“This includes, but is not limited to: falsifying your location, using emulators, modified or unofficial software and/or accessing Pokémon Go clients or backends in an unauthorized manner including through the use of third party software. Our goal is to provide a fair, fun and legitimate game experience for everyone. We will continue to work with all of you to improve the quality of the gameplay, including ongoing optimization and fine tuning of our anticheat system.”

There’s also a link on the site where a chastised user may file an appeal.

So how exactly are the cheaters cheating the game? Judging by the terms-of-service details, the dishonest players are using GPS spoofing, bots and other online tricks to essentially trick the game’s software parameters, says a post in The Verge:

For instance, GPS spoofing lets you trick a smartphone into thinking you’re located in a different country, allowing you to catch pokémon that may be more easily located in that area or restricted to certain regions. Bots, on the other hand, let you automate portions of the game.

Cheating has been a part of Pokémon Go from Day One. YouTube is full of tricksters’ tutorials on how to outsmart the game and, until now, maybe get away with it. Here’s one uploaded by LinusTechTips. Haven’t a clue what “GPS spoofing” even means? Well, you’re about to find out:

 

 

Cheating has really upset a lot of players who play by the rules, as a writer points out on Tech News Today:

Pokémon Go is Niantic’s latest game and uses similar features as Ingress, but with a Pokémon theme. Players have to walk around to catch Pokémon and fight at Gyms. However, since one can only walk for so long, players soon started to look for easier ways, but apparently it is all coming to an end now.

Players across the world started using GPS hacks and bots to get ahead in the game. These hacks allowed players to travel to any place/destination they wanted to go to, without having to leave their houses. This resulted in many to get to levels where one can only dream of reaching.

But now those cheatin’ days are gone: Use a bot or a software that creates an illusionary location and you’ll be barred for the rest of your game-playin’ days.

And watch out … Niantic has asked the game community to turn in anyone they suspect is cheating, simply by filling out this form.

Credit: Niantic

 

 

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