When it comes to Pokemon GO, there’s no shortage of players who are attempting to do ridiculous feats that would be too much for the game’s more casual fans. The person who managed to hit the level cap through the use of a bot comes to mind, but what happens when you try to rake in the experience points through more legitimate means? It would appear that you get labeled a cheater nonetheless.
That’s what one Pokemon GO player, named Jimmy Derocher, has discovered after an attempt to earn one million experience points over the course of a single day. After hearing fellow Pokemon GO players say earning that much XP in such a small window of time would be impossible without cheating, Derocher spent a few weeks coming up with a plan to prove them wrong. His plan involved continuously visiting a group of 10 PokeStops arranged in a tight, 0.2-mile loop, and keeping them all under the effects of Lures as he did it.
Derocher streamed the quest for one million experience points over Twitch, created a Facebook event for the attempt, and even used it as a way to raise a few bucks for charity. By hour 13 in his attempt, he had pulled in around 600,000 experience points – just a few hundred thousand away from proving the naysayers wrong – but that’s when things went downhill fast.
As it turns out, Derocher triggered Pokemon GO‘s anti-botting measures, and had gotten himself soft-banned from the game. Though he could still visit PokeStops and collect items, his attempts to catch new Pokemon failed each and every time, putting a harsh limit on the amount of XP he could earn. At that point, the attempt was effectively dead, but he still managed to rack up a further 25k over an hour and a half after the ban went into effect.
For what it’s worth, Derocher expected that his one million XP run would attract the attention of Pokemon GO‘s anti-cheating measures, and he tweeted to Niantic CEO John Hanke ahead of time, letting him know what he planned to do and asking if he could be whitelisted from the anti-cheating software. That request apparently fell of deaf ears, and Derocher had to finish his run about 400k XP short of his goal.
If Derocher hadn’t been hit with that ban, it looks like he would have made it to one million XP in less than 24 hours, and he says this also proves his suspicion that Niantic has implement these anti-cheating measures a bit “haphazardly,” as it opens hardcore players who are concerned with playing efficiently to bans they don’t deserve. It’s an interesting argument to be sure, but whether or not Niantic actually does anything to refine its anti-botting tools or un-ban Derocher’s account is another thing entirely.