Ever since Pokémon GO was released on July 6th, everybody has been figuring out ways to trick the system. From attaching your phone to a ceiling fan to sticking it on a drone, we’ve seen all the weird and wonderful ways to hack the game. But this GPS hack has to be the most impressive yet.
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Normally, these hacks involve cheating the GPS data that Pokémon GO is being fed, but this latest one involves putting the phone inside a radio-frequency-shielded box and using a signal generator to apply fake GPS coordinates - which the phone uses as the “location” of the device and moves your character as such.
Simply put, instead of buying the help of a Pokémon trainer in a random location on Craigslist, you can just fake that location instead. And this custom software uses a combination of Google Earth and a joystick to slowly change the GPS signal to the phone, simulating the walking speed without going too fast and triggering alarms on Niantic’s servers.
Cool! Can I try this?
I probably wouldn’t, because like any hack this one comes with some problems.
Firstly - this is EXPENSIVE. You need a signal generate, RF-shielded box and some more special pieces of hardware that require some serious coin to get. Plus the programming skills to make this work are at an expert level.
Plus, Niantic can still catch you and probably slap a ban on you. While the GPS signal may imitate normal behaviour, they can see your accelerometer data to accompany the lay of the land. And magically teleporting across the planet by shutting the door on the RF-shielded box will cause some problems.
So what does this demonstrate?
Simple, Pokémon GO players are going to MASSIVE LENGTHS to hack this game. This may not just be a great fitness app, it could be an interesting computer programming and hardware engineering education tool. But if you like your account, I’d recommend not doing it.