As Pokémon Go continues its huge surge of international popularity, there have already been a wide variety of creative methods from various players who have tried in various ways to beat the system, from drones to phone cases to just outright trying to sell accounts.
But new video from earlier this week has raised the stakes again for Pokémon Go hacking, with a unique hardware-based solution to solve the problem of actually having to go outside and walk around to catch pokémon.
Instead of using software to spoof the GPS data being fed to the Pokémon Go app, this latest method involves placing the phone in a radio-frequency-shielded box, and using a signal generator to generate a fake GPS signal which the phone, (and therefore, the Pokémon Go app), receives and uses as the "location" of the device.
Then, custom software uses Google Earth and a joystick to slowly change the signal to the phone, simulating walking by changing the faked location of the device.
There are a few caveats
Unfortunately, for those looking to put together their own setup and travel the world from the comfort of their desks, there are a few caveats. First is the fairly major issue of needing to have a signal generator, RF-shielded box, and a few other eclectic pieces of hardware that the average person probably doesn’t have lying around, along with the programming skills to get everything up and running.
Secondly, and far more importantly, cheating the game like this is still against Niantic’s rules, and will probably get you banned if you get caught. (And getting caught is pretty likely, since while the hack simulates movement via changing GPS signal, you’d probably still get caught for not having the matching accelerometer data to accompany it, or for instantly teleporting from huge distances by spoofing the signal to sudden change location.)
That said, the hack is incredibly impressive and goes to show the incredible lengths the Pokémon Go community is willing to go to play the game without having to actually go and play the game. Just don’t try this one at home.