Pokemon Go Bots Enabled By Unofficial Pokemon Go APIs Swamp The Net

Posted: Jul 21 2016, 4:50am CDT | by , Updated: Jul 26 2016, 2:25pm CDT, in News | Technology News


Pokemon Go Bots Enabled by Unofficial Pokemon Go APIs Swamp the Net
A Pokemon Go Bot

While Niantic is busy fixing their servers, coders developed Pokemon Go APIs, enabling the development of trackers and Pokemon Go bots.

Some Pokemon Go players are already using a Pokemon Go bot to do the work for them. I stumbled over the existence of Pokemon Go APIs at the Pokevision tracker. This is not a community driven Pokemon finder like Poke Radar. It uses an API directly into the Pokemon Go servers to show you in real-time where the Pokemon are, including the time you have left to catch them.

Trainers report that Pokevision is sometimes working better than Niantic's in game tracker. While Pokevision's value and intent is acceptable, a Pokemon Go API can also be used for automating the game. Pokemon Go bots can farm Pokeballs and even find and catch Pokemon automatically.

A developer under the Github username Mila432 has released videos showing his Pokemon Go Catcher and Pokemon Go Farming apps in action. Pokemon Go bots are real and Niantic needs to move and shut these unofficial Pokemon Go APIs down.

Playing Pokemon Go is a lot of work. When players start to use bots, the value of that work is diminished. The value of Pokemon Go player profiles will plummet and for many Pokemon Go fans these bots will make the game uninteresting.

Using unofficial software to access the Pokemon Go servers is forbidden in Niantic's terms of services. Niantic has apparently put no technological barrier in place to prevent the use of bots. 

The Pokemon Go APIs available rely on Protocol Buffers that decode the Pokemon Go remote procedure calls. The unofficial Pokemon Go APIs use these buffers to offer call and response functions into the Pokemon Go game. The Pokemon Go API developed by Github user tejado support functions like GET_PLAYER, GET_INVENTORY, GET_MAP_OBJECTS, DOWNLOAD_SETTINGS, DOWNLOAD_ITEM_TEMPLATES, CHECK_AWARDED_BADGES, FORT_SEARCH (spinning of PokeStops), RELEASE_POKEMON (release Pokemon and get Candy/XP), and EVOLVE_POKEMON.

Niantic needs to put a strong security model in place now, which only allows authorized apps and services to access  their servers. Pokemon Go bots are real and they will "evolve" and "spawn" faster than a Pokemon.

Besides these Github projects for Pokemon Go, there is a Pokemon Go bot for iOS and Android available for download on the web that just got released. The "Pkmongo bot" is , according to the anonymous developer, offering auto walk and auto capture Pokemon. The app is also able to fake GPS location.

Update 3
So slowly the media picks up on the Pokemon Go bots. We have been reporting about PokeBots since almost a week. Now Forbes and others start to report about the cheat software. In a new report we describe how quickly Pokemon Bots got sophisticated and how Niantic has to deal with this. Pokemon Go bots are quickly becoming a threat to the game as getting to level 20 requires a mere couple of hours for a bot to achieve.

Update 2:
The Pokemon Go Bots getting more sophisticated quickly. New versions get Pokemon Go profiles to level 20 in 5 to 6 hours entirely automatic. Not only get profiles to high levels, but bot users can set desirable CP and IV levels to create a powerful Pokemon inventory. The Pokemon Go bots seem to still be under the radar of Niantic. There are no reports of Pokemon Go bot users getting blocked. The latest idea of the Pokemon Go API hacking community is to build their own Pokemon Go server to test their bot implementations and Pokemon Go API 2.0. The community of Pokemon Go coders works apparently much faster than Niantic. I start to believe some of the leading coders behind the Pokemon Go APIs on GitHub know more about Niantic's platform than Niantic's developers. Most of the conversation takes place on the sub-reddit PokemonGoDev. Just to make sure, I say it again. It is against the Pokemon Go terms of services to use bots and software connecting to the Pokemon Go services. It is not clear how long Niantic continues to watch and not take action.

In the past 24 hours alone we spotted several new Pokemon Go bots. You can now just download an OS X app and begin to have it automatically catch Pokemon and farm Pokeballs. Trainers are already devising advanced strategies to have the automated Pokemon Go clients keep perfect IV stats on all caught Pokemon. IV (individual values) are supposed to be hidden numbers attached to every Pokemon. With the hacked Pokemon Go API these hidden values are out in the open and can be changed.

The reverse engineered Pokemon Go API has been ported to Phyton, Java, C#, Node.js and Ruby. The porting to different development environment will further accelerate

Next time you go to a Gym, you might have lost against trainers that optimized their account with bots and algorithms. Most Pokemon Go APIs and Pokemon Go bots are residing in Github as open source. At some point Niantic has to act to protect the game. Using bots is against the TOS, but as said here before, there is no technical barrier to access the Pokemon Go platform.

Read also about the frustration of Pokemon Go players over the lack of communication from Niantic.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Luigi Lugmayr () is the founding chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 15 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology magazine.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml@i4u.com.




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