Niantic still hasn't solved Pokemon GO's biggest problem

The latest Pokemon GO update was claimed to stop spoofers and hackers alike, but in reality it's only cut out a chunk of cheaters. While Niantic continues to play a tough game of cat and mouse with the hacker community, 3rd-party bot-makers remain one step ahead of the game. Users profiting from Pokemon GO's underground of automated Pokemon GO gameplay – they're the ones with the most potential cash to lose. They're the ones that are making Niantic work tirelessly to defend their turf.

The most hardcore of cheaters in Pokemon GO remain entirely active, regardless of the latest update to the game. Pokemon GO's newest APK keeps Android 7.1 from spoofing. Users with security updates from the past month can no longer use the old methods. The April update to Pokemon GO for iPhone stopped the TutuApp-distributed PokeGo++ app from working.

The Ninjas Persist

But the most troublesome of cheaters remain ready to do battle from behind their keyboards. Take for example the group branded PokeBot.Ninja – they're still running hot. Users need only complete a few steps to be traveling without moving. This bot works on Windows and OS X devices alike, and its developer community works around the clock to keep it active.

How to play Pokemon GO on desktop:

1. Download PokeBot.Ninja files.

2. Open PokeBot.Ninja (JS so it works on almost any computer)

3. Buy an API Hashing key

4. Log in to PokeBot.Ninja

5. Let the computer play automatically

Suddenly Pokemon GO is Progress Quest, allowing the user to sit back and watch their levels rise and their Pokedex fill out, easy deal. For a glance at what these users are doing without committing to cheating, see their Discord Channel. Warning: legit players might end up crying just a little bit.

The API is Always Cracking Open

A group of programmers and hackers have teamed up to offer a relatively consistently updated correctly-decoded (so to speak) API key for Pokemon GO. For any app (mapping, botting, etc) to work with Pokemon GO, they need to have access to Niantic's API for the app – that's the Application Programming Interface. This is not an easy thing to gain access to for people who do not work for Niantic.

In the first few weeks (then months) of Pokemon GO being up and open to the public, the API wasn't changed a whole lot. Niantic didn't notice or didn't care that hackers were using their relatively easy-to-access API to make their own apps. Since then, Niantic has gotten wise, and changes their API randomly. Or seemingly randomly – so that 3rd-party developers can't easily access or interact with Pokemon GO and Niantic's servers with apps that aren't made by Niantic.

The API Hashing service over at PokeGoDev has a set of dedicated code-meisters that put in work to disobey Niantic's wishes and access their servers. They access Niantic's API as fast as they can each time Niantic makes a change. As this requires a significant amount of work, this team of miscreants wants to raise some funds. They've gotta pay rent and eat and stuff, apparently.

This group of creative individuals is just one of a set of groups that've found a way to let the wide world of software makers, hackers, and desktop runners play the game without leaving their home. Profit is to be made here by the 3rd parties, and this is just one set of the gate-keepers making it happen. Is Niantic doing enough to stop this from happening? Do they want to make it stop, or can they make it stop?


Regardless of what Niantic is doing to turn the tide, this is the access point. This is how bots get in, this is how hacking continues in Pokemon GO. It's a real crack in Niantic's armor, and until they find a way to fix it, cheaters will persist. Users of all sorts will play outside of Niantic's realm of wishes, with no regard for their Terms of Agreement for players.

These players will to play this augmented reality GPS-based game from their desktop computers, or sitting on a chair with their phone, roaming the earth in search of Magikarp. And the 'karp shall come to them in abundance, and their collection of the 'karp shall be done with wild disregard for the children, and the children shall have no idea what is happening all around them.