Pokemon GO updates never killed cheaters

Now that Christmas approaches and the latest Pokemon Event is a atop us, it's not just the Pokemon GO Plus users we're wondering about – it's cheaters. We were to understand that cheaters would be kicked out of Pokemon GO ages ago – that's what the Safety New update was for, wasn't it? Apparently not, as Pokemon GO continues to be plagued with cheaters of all sorts, all around the world – mostly with GPS spoofers.

Back a few weeks ago, Niantic made a big effort – and a good effort – to block all hacking. They did this with an element called Safety Net – a system that blocks Android devices from playing the game if they're deemed cheaters. They did this with the same system that blocks people from using mobile payment apps if they have a rooted or otherwise bootloader-unlocked phone.

SEE TOO: Pokemon GO Christmas Event Changes

But it seems as though their initial efforts, while good, didn't do the trick. We've been seeing reports from all over the planet suggesting that users are playing the game without physically being in the areas they're playing in. We had a chat with a few Pokemon players this week to see how the game is going here in December of 2016.

"I had a few accounts get banned when the first Safety Net update was out," said an anonymous Pokemon GO user we interviewed this week. "But it's not like I can't just update my Root scan blocker and bypass GPS check with a different app. It's still pretty easy if you know what you're doing."

"I'm not a fan of cheaters," said a Pokemon GO user by the name of Jack L. "But I've been walking to the gym by my house a couple times a day to take it back – I'm hoping eventually they'll just go away. I did that with a gym by my school with a few friends a few times and I think we're still solid there now."

Phantom Players

While SlashGear has no official stance on the issue, I personally disapprove of Phantom Players in Pokemon GO in MOST instances. There are a couple of instances in which playing without walking around a city are OK, in my opinion. These generally settle around being unable to leave one's own home.

1. If a player is unable to traverse the winter landscape that's fallen upon Midwest USA because they are in a wheelchair.

2. If a player is sitting in a hospital bed, bored out of their mind.

3. If a player lives in a tiny town or out in the woods in areas Niantic – VIA Ingress – has fully ignored.

And in the end – really – it's just a game. Niantic needed the in-game purchases Pokemon GO has to survive, but they're working with companies now for sponsorship deals. It's not as if spoofing a location in the game is going to make someone else quit the game – unless the Phantom Player is a jerk. If you spot a Phantom Jerk, that's a different situation entirely.

How do I cheat?

You'll find the world's largest collective of cheaters huddling around Reddit's PokemonGoDev. There they've still got bots running, for crying out loud. They've got questions about how best to run a tracker, daily runs of the newest API, and so forth. I don't recommend anyone join in, there, as Niantic isn't lenient when it comes to discovering cheaters – but there they are.

SlashGear takes no responsibility for the actions any reader takes before or after reading this article. Users that choose to participate in cheating should be aware of the risks, and (hopefully) be courteous when it's clear they're playing against people actually, literally walking around a town.

Unless they choose simply to walk around and catch Pokemon, never nearing a gym. If that's the case – go wild! And have a peek at the @TeamPokemonGO Twitter portal for more action on early release notes for updates, leaks, and tips too.