Pokémon GO is still a massive success in mobile gaming. Still played by millions every single day, Niantic Labs’ augmented reality game is still going strong. While the majority of players try to “catch ‘em all” using legitimate ways without cheating, there are still those that have found ways to cheat the system. Using third party trackers and application, users have been able to locate Pokémon easier, trick the game into thinking they are walking, and all sorts of other hacks and cheats. However, as of today, things are about to change for the cheaters.

Pokemon Go
Photo by LizeSmith (Pixabay)

Pokémon GO cheaters need to watch their back

Niantic Labs has implemented a new method of rooting out and stopping Pokémon GO players who are using cheats and bots to unfairly get ahead in the game. As the most recent update has just been released for the application, hackers have been able to look through the game’s code and have found traces and multiple references to “captchas,” a popular security method used to determine if players are using automated tools, or “bots.”

As of the time of writing, Pokémon GO players have not yet reported seeing the captchas in use yet. However, since it seems like these security measures are already in place and just waiting to be put into use, it is only a matter of time before Niantic Labs decides to implement the system. Once implemented, it will all but cut out the use of all automated tools and third-party trackers and tools.

Niantic Labs’ captcha tools is based on Google’s reCaptcha. The tool will monitor the online movement of Pokémon GO players even after they check the ubiquitous “I’m not a robot” box. If Niantic’s Pokémon GO servers detect that a player is cheating by using automated tools, the captcha will then reappear. However, instead of just checking an “I’m not a robot” box, players will need to sign into their Google account again by typing the letter(s) appearing on the screen.

Niantic has been having cheating issues for a while now

Niantic has been trying very hard as of late to get rid of third party bots and tracker providers, and, as of now, it seems as if the developed has gained the upper hand. Meanwhile, many bot and third party tracker users have been talking about their experiences dealing with Niantic’s attempts to get rid of them.

Pokémon GO hacker Steven Bartell, the creator of the popular third-party application Insta-PokéGO, which allows its users to catch the game’s creatures more easily, has said that applications like his would most likely be rendered useless if Niantic does indeed implement the captcha feature.

In order to protect his app’s user base, Bartell has stated that he plans on shutting down the Insta-PokéGO website in order to prevent players who use the application from being banned from playing the game.

Third party tracking applications could be affected, too

Not only third-party applications will be affected by Niantic Labs’ latest security update, however, as popular tracking application FastPokéMap has announced that it will most likely be shut down if the security measure are put into place. According to Bartell, the future of FastPokéMap might not be so bad as Insta-PokéGO, however, as it will depend on how Niantic decides on using captchas in the game.

“No one is sure whether mapping trackers will be affected because it really depends on how Niantic deploys the captcha,” says Bartell. “If they only use it when players spin a Pokéstop or try to catch a Pokémon, maps could be fine. If they are smarter about it and deploy the captcha when they see any sort of suspicious behavior, the maps could be in trouble, too.”

Niantic has yet to release an official statement regarding Pokémon GO’s latest security update.