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Niantic Continues to Crack Down on Cheating

Pokémon GO players around the world are anxiously awaiting the new Buddy System update. Most everything about the update has been leaked, including how buddies will display and the distances trainers will need to walk to earn candy for their buddy Pokémon.

However, there was one feature to the update that many did not expect.

With the update, Niantic will be extinguishing all support for Pokémon GO on rooted or jailbroken devices. The official statement from Niantic reads:

“We continue to focus on eliminating bots and scrapers from Pokémon GO. Rooted or jailbroken devices are not supported by Pokémon GO. Remember to download Pokémon GO from the official Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store only.”

With this move, cheating in Pokémon GO will become even more difficult.

Jailbroken or rooted phones can install GPS spoofing apps relatively easily, allowing them to transport players all over the world, level up quickly, park high level Pokémon in unbeatable gyms, and so on.

Photo Credit: Hackaday

Photo Credit: Hackaday

Additionally, Niantic is releasing the Pokémon GO Plus on September 16th, and it is possible that jailbroken or rooted devices would be able to develop apps to hack the device in ways that would further allow cheating. This potential vulnerability could explain why Niantic is cracking down now.

Despite Niantic’s pure intentions, there are players out there who are upset that this update may in fact bar them from the game, even if they haven’t actually cheated. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to use jailbroken or rooted phones, but it looks as though those users will be lumped in with the actual cheaters and lose access to Pokémon GO. They were looking forward to the buddy system just like the rest of us, but, instead of gaining new content, they will be finding themselves unable to play.

For Niantic, there are pros and cons to this decision. The pros: eliminating more cheaters, thus making a majority of the user base happy. The cons: killing off the small portion of the user base that plays from a jailbroken device. It seems like the pros simply won out.

It is possible that a workaround might be developed in the future, perhaps a program that hides the fact that you are playing from a rooted device, but right now how – and whether – that would work is up in the air.

Are you happy that jailbroken or rooted devices will be barred? Do you know anyone who doesn’t cheat but plays from a jailbroken or rooted device?

UPDATE:
Looks like some players have already found a at least two workarounds the jailbreak problem. Use them at your own risk.

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