We at Pokebattler are Pokemon purists. We don’t cheat. No spoofing, no maps, nothing. When we heard that Niantic was putting a lot of resources into stopping all forms of cheating, we didn’t mind. We felt like maybe their resources would have been better spent elsewhere, but we weren’t upset by any means. The first month the game was out, our 13-year-old nephew somehow had caught like 5 Snorlaxes ‘at the end of his cul de sac.’ We called BS and teased him as a cheater although he didn’t come clean until much much later. Now he talks about how long he’s gone without cheating as if he’s been clean from drugs or booze for however many months. It’s pretty funny.
Cheaters Do Prosper?
There are many kinds of cheating, and some are worse than others. And some seemed to have been keeping the game more popular, because when they disappeared, so did a huge chunk of active players. Making us question whether Niantic should have been so hard on the cheaters after all. The most obvious and seemingly popular is the cheating maps like Fast Poke Map. This once wildly popular site is now defunct thanks to changed by Niantic. We saw lots of this in use when we were mon hunting, where hordes of people running far distances to catch Dragonites and Charizards clearly not visible on their Pokemon Go app. After these maps were disabled, it seems like popularity seriously waned. Perhaps it was just a natural decline in popularity, but we suspect not. The fact is, it’s a lot harder to get excited about going out to catch a nearby Geodude than a Snorlax a half a mile away that you can only know about through those cheating maps. Plus it took Niantic wayyyy to long to get their tracking features working properly, so these maps essentially filled in a much-needed gap in app functionality.
Plenty of times we’ve been the only players around and somehow we’re fighting people in a gym. It’s hard not to get annoyed by the fact that we’re fighting invisible people. It’s also annoying to think that you’ve found a nice empty gym to drop your mon in and make some gold for a few days only to have them kicked out by spoofers an hour later. Not to mention the players like our nephew catching 3 Snorlaxes a day. (Btw, he admitted that our Socal nephew who has never been out of the country caught them in China and the Philippines.) But if Niantic did somehow figure out how to stop spoofing, which apparently is no easy task, would our couch warriors all quit and cut the actives players to such a low number the game stops being worth playings? It’s quite the conundrum to snobby purists like us at Pokebattler.com
Crowd Sourced Cheating
There’s obvious cheating like spoofing, and then there’s less obvious stuff, like using Reddit to find out where all the nests are. If you think about it, it’s just like sharing some info with friends, who happen to be online, and there are millions of them, and you’ve never met them. This type of crowd-sourced information sharing is probably not exactly what Niantic wanted, but I’m pretty sure there is nothing they can do it about it, and I think most people would say it’s really not cheating at all.
Now when I say we are Pokemon purists at Pokebattler, I didn’t say we didn’t occasionally benefit from the cheaters. There have been a few times when we’ve decided to run after the hordes running half a mile to catch that Dragonite. We just can’t help ourselves. And we do sometimes miss those days of wild crowds chasing after rare mons thanks to those now defunct apps.