POKEMON GO developers Niantic roll out a new tool to stop hacks and bot accounts following the conclusion of a special Promo Code event for trainers.
Pokemon GO developers have confirmed (via Reddit) that they have released a new anti-hack/anti-bot tool within the game to further prevent those players cheating within the game.
“We’re committed to maintaining the state of Pokémon GO and our community of Trainers,” confirmed Niantic’s Reddit Community representative ‘NianticGeorge’.
“People who violate the Pokémon GO Terms of Service (including by using third party software and other cheats) may have their gameplay affected and may not be able to see all the Pokémon around them.
“While we cannot discuss the systems implemented, we can confirm that we are constantly refining new ways to ensure the integrity of the game in order to keep it fun and fair for all Trainers.”
The new anti-hacking measure works by effectively “Blinding” accounts used by third party trackers and prevents them from seeing rare Pokemon spawns in the scanned area.
However, while it’s great to see that Niantic is actively fighting against bots and cheating players who ruin the game for the majority of trainers, Pokemon Go Hub also noted that this is merely a “bandaid fix” for the time being.
This is a band-aid fix and it targets only accounts that were previously detected and flagged as malicious. Several trackers have already defeated the new security measure by creating fresh new accounts.
We can hope though that this is merely the start of several measures along with the Pokemon GO Gym rework which will put an end to bot accounts and in game hacks.
Not that we anticipate most readers are using bot accounts, but if you’re interested, the Pokemon Go Hub and multiple other sources have verified a list of common and rare Pokemon that are affected by this latest anti-hacking change:
Can be seen by banned accounts:
Pidgey, Rattata, Ekans, Sandshrew, Nidoran, Zubat, Oddish, Paras, Meowth, Psyduck, Poliwag, Bellsprout, Tentacool, Geodude, Magnemite, Krabby, Goldeen, Staryu, Magikarp, Sentret, Ledyba, Spinarak, Natu, Marill, Hoppip, Sunkern, Wooper, Murkrow, Snubbull, Slugma
Cannot be seen by banned accounts:
Evolved Pokemon, Starters, Caterpie, Weedle, Spearow, Clefairy, Vulpix, Jigglypuff, Venonat, Mankey, Growlithe, Abra, Slowpoke, Gastly, Onix, Drowzee, Voltorb, Koffing, Chansey, Tangela, Horsea, Scyther, Lapras, Eevee, Porygon, Omanyte, Kabuto, Aerodactyl, Snorlax, Dratini, Hoothoot, Chinchou, Mareep, Sudowoodo, Aipom, Unown, Girafarig, Shuckle, Sneasel, Teddiursa, Remoraid, Stantler, Larvitar
Unsure (probably cannot be seen):
Regionals, Diglett, Doduo, Seel, Grimer, Shellder, Exeggcute, Cubone, Hitmonlee, Hitmonchan, Lickitung, Jynx, Electabuzz, Magmar, Pinsir, Yanma, Wobbuffet, Pineco, Dunsparce, Swinub, Mantine, Skarmory, Houndour, Phanpy, Hitmontop, Miltank
Unsure (conflicting reports):
The news of these latest changes to the game also follows a rare and short-lived event involving the games recently released Pokemon Go promo codes.
This, however, was only for Android phones and not in the UK.
Sprint, a mobile phone group in the United States announced a new campaign in which customers could visit one of their participating stores in the United States to claim a promo code which granted players free Great Balls, Lucky Eggs and Incense.
Sprint, already a Pokemon GO partner, warned fans that Promo Codes will only be available as long as stock lasts in-store.
And already Redditors on the Silph Road have noted that it’s already finished.
“The “Great Balls, Lucky Eggs and Incense Giveaway!” event is over according to a local sprint I visited this morning.” explained Redditor eenvy90.
“The event started May 24th 2017 and ended May 26th 2017, because of this all Sprint locations are now unable to issue “Promo Codes” for Pokémon Go.”
It seems as though this was a small test ahead of a larger rollout for in-game Promo Codes in Pokemon GO, but we hope Niantic is working on making these available to everyone, as currently.
Currently, this is only available on Android devices because of restrictions put in place by the Apple store which prevents their use on iOS devices like iPhones.
A similar situation occurs on fellow Niantic AR game Ingress, where players on iPhone are unable to enter passcodes due to Apple store restrictions.
This is because Apple insists on collecting a 30% fee on every transaction on an iOS device — even when that transaction occurred offline.
For the very same reason, you can’t purchase your non-Apple eBooks in-app and that’s why you have to get your Kobo/Kindle/etc purchases via a web browser.
Currently, Ingress iOS players use a special website to redeem Ingress promo codes.
There are no codes available just yet, but some circles believe these will be used to hand out Legendary Pokemon following large-scale events, such as the one already mentioned by Niantic coming this Summer 2017.
It’s also possible that a future use of these Promo codes could be to reward players from Sponsored Pokestops.
For instance, if Starbucks was to team up with the game for game’s Pokestops which gave out a free Lure with every sale of a particular drink.