Spoofing

I’m in two different chat groups for my area. One is the town I live in, the other is a town about 30 minutes away where I used to go to college.

The former has a super strict anti-spoofing rule. You get caught spoofing, you get booted before ya know what hit ya. The latter, in comparison, is extremely loose and accepting of spoofers.

I’m personally indifferent as to whether or not people want to spoof. The only way they could disturb my ability to play the game that I can think of is taking gyms I took myself in person. I’ve never really had an issue with that. In fact, my chat group which allows spoofing does so with the stipulation that you cannot take a gym, only add Pokemon to a gym that your team has control of.

So, why is the anti spoofer sentiment so generally strong? Having multiple accounts is also against Niantic’s TOS, and doesn’t catch anywhere near as much negative attention.

I don’t spoof, but the way I see it, if you’re not doing anything to hinder my game experience, I have no reason to be bothered by it in the slightest. In other words, I’m indifferent and would like to gather different perspectives on the matter.

Spoofers are generally more unacceptable by the public, since they can abuse that to grab every single hundo or whatever rare things in the whole world, plus being able to take/defend(without GRBs) gyms without actually being there. Multi-accounters, on the other hand, do not have any real advantage over single-accounters, aside from the fact that a multi-accounter, with enough phones, can kill a T5 boss without the need from others’ support.

nah, multi accounters do get more flak now. Spoofing is just lame cause people trying to be as good as me, but can’t, so they gotta cheat. I understand, greatness can be intimidating.

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Yes and No!
Spoofers are also known to infest raids, piggybacking on others to do the fighting just reaping the rewards. The rarity catching could easily havoc the local trading.

Multi accounters have loads of advantages before single accounters.

  • Single handed lvl 4 and 5 raiding, of course.
  • It is impossible to either take down or defend a gym against someone who plays with 3 or more accounts (i know, I tried).
  • Massive daily trading between accounts gives a steady inflow of lucky trades.
  • Shiny hunters hugely increases their chances.
  • Daily PvP fights give extra stardust and other rewards (especially if the local community do not PvP)
  • Loads of medals are way easier if having multi accounts.
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This is exactly my experience in Singapore. GRBs are so broken mainly due to players abusing multiple accounts.

It all depends on the community and how people get along there. Spoofers and multi-accounting is in many places not that frowned upon because they play by the rules of the local community. That’s also the case where I live. Do I approve of spoofing? nah. Had I in over a year any trouble with local spoofers? Nope. Only on a few occasions, we got those from elsewhere, since a 100% larvitar once spawned here and within minutes the whole town was occupied and everyone got kicked out of their gyms and sid gyms were aggressively defended till the next day. Happened to a lesser extent also on two other occasions. I can see how this is a huge problem in places that are costantly targeted by spoofers though.

Spoofers who decide to take over gyms in order to get golden medals are beyond annoying. You can kick them out, but in a couple of minutes they will be back, since unlike you, they can just fake their location next to the gym and be back within minutes, unlike you who has to travel to be in range.

Multi accounting depends on where it’s used and how people use it. In rural places where there is a lack of gyms and players extra accounts more or less keep the community alive, due to the lack of people who can take down a raid boss. Also in such places people who have two accounts have them on different teams, since it can take weeks before somebody comes by and knocks your pokemon out of the gym.
In cities where you have constantly enough people for raids, it’s a different story, since you don’t have a lack of players and it’s unlikely that your pokemon will stay in the gym for days or weeks.
Also while I can see how another backup account comes handy, I fail to see how having 3+ phones can be a fun experience. That looks more like a chore and kind of defeats the purpose of the game…
All in all, from my personal experience multi-accounting, was less of an issue, then again I live in a small town and without multi accounts we could forget doing half of the raids, since there are not that many people and not everyone has high level counters.

That being said, it also doesn’t help that Niantic’s detection of cheating is absolute garbage. I know people who are spoofing for years now and never got a warning, even though their constant location changes should show that something is not right. Ok… how many people can travel daily from Japan to Europe and then to the USA? Not to mention their game locks in locations of catches, but not of raid passes, so those who spoof can raid and then if what they get is not good enough for them, they can flee and go to the next raid regardless of the distance. A simple change to the system could eliminate this and we would no longer see things like people live streaming raids from their room. I won’t drop any names, but a quick youtube search shows which people I mean.

On the other hand, some people, including me, have gotten false positive warnings or even had their accounts deleted(not just in PoGO, but also Ingress and harry potter) and Niantic’s help and customer service is by far the worst thing ever that a person has to deal with. You only get automated messages, get no explanation and I highly doubt anyone even looks into your case. I’m sure that only a fraction of warnings is like this, but each false flag is one too much. In case something like this happens to anyone, the best thing is to either do a factory reset on your phone or start playing on another device, since who knows what the game considers as third party software at this point. You can ask their support for feedback but you will be formally told off and won’t be given any explanation since even they can not provide any details.

After going through this I frankly stopped caring about who cheats. If people who do not cheat can also get hit and Niantic doesn’t acknowledge that, then this is even worse than them allowing blatant cheating. Their support also deserves to get nuked off the earth, because I have never come across at something so half-assed. I already dealt with strikes on youtube, including things like misidentified media, wrong copyright strikes and even impersonation, all of which I could clear eventually. Here, however, you get nothing. Just the standard copy-paste message of "Violation of ToS results in … ", with no details provided and I’m certain that no one even bothers looking into what caused this to begin with. One can only hope that whatever got falsely identified by the system as third party doesn’t happen again, since then you are screwed, due to the ban appeal being a joke and a waste of time, because it’s like you are arguing with a bot, that can say only 5 different things which are all just the same message just differently worded. It’s quite similar to how they reacted to the weather change malfunction with slakoth CD. Everything is your fault, not theirs.

I went a little off-topic here, but this due to my personal experiences. I will probably make a thread about this in the future since this doesn’t get mentioned too often and is normally ignored due to happening only to a fraction of people. However, after experiencing this first hand, it is something that Niantic should get called out on. Their employees are obviously reading what people post online and certain things like missing shinies and some game exploits via new features have always been fixed within hours after people started talking about them.

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Ahhh thee old “I would NEVER spoof!!! But Spoofers aren’t really all that bad” post!!! The surest sign of a spoofer ever…

Tone down the snark
Some people have a problem with spoofers, others don’t. The local communities in my country are mostly ok with them, as long as they don’t take over all gyms. And in a lot of other places it’s the same.
I myself thought it was weird how some people choose to play like this, since it defeats the purpose of the game, but after all this time I stopped caring. As long as they don’t take over gyms, I frankly couldn’t care less. I do however think it’s stupid how some brag about their catches, despite getting everything served on a silver platter.

Personally I am more bothered by Niantic not fixing some glitches which have been present for a long time, them tweaking RNG at some events or changing those mid way(like it was the case for the regionals, feebas in Europe, the shinies when horsea went live, alolan spawns when they went became shiny etc ), them not making up their mind about game balancing regarding moves and well as I mentioned above their system falsly flagging legit players and their costumer service being a joke, making any kind of appeal a complete waste of time. All of those are to me and most other players way bigger problems than some people cheating.

I have two accounts. I made a second account when PvP was introduced and it was tough to get Sinnoh Stones. The only advantage to trading for luckies is that I don’t need to leave my home. Everyone has the ability to trade multiple Pokemon a day to try for luckies given you have enough Stardust. I can two man some raids but so can everyone else provided they have good enough Pokemon and one other person. The only advantage is I can coordinate it easier. There is no advantage to shiny checking as every Pokemon has it’s own independent chance of being shiny. I’m checking the same Pokemon twice while you’re checking two different Pokemon.

Spoofers can play the game without playing the game. They can get a regional Pokemon in Asia before it despawns where I couldn’t because of travel time. They can do more raids during the dinner hour than I can because of travel time between gyms. These are just a couple examples but you get the point.

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In my local community, most people don’t like spoofers; a dislike that mostly stems from gyms. For instance, we once had a problem where a team of spoofers (or one person with multiple accounts) kept all the gyms in multiple towns in our area on lockdown due to constant GR feeding from those multiple accounts.

That said, we’ve never instituted an anti-spoofer policy for our Discord for several reasons. Here’s my perspective on that:

  1. It’s much harder to prove that someone is spoofing than most people realize. Knowing that someone is spoofing and being able to prove it are two different things.

  2. We’ve had a few instances where person A accuses person B of spoofing, and they were 100% confident in their accusation only to find out that they were wrong and person B wasn’t spoofing at all.

  3. Spoofers aren’t always easy to track down, as their Discord handles often times don’t match their trainer names in-game. Sometimes those spoofers aren’t even members of the Discord.

  4. Anti-spoofer rules in a community can result in a witch hunt and it can get ugly, fast.

  5. Some people share their account information with others who will raid, catch, and drop in gyms for them. While no GPS manipulating software is used, the results are still more or less the same: that person is catching Mons, raiding, and getting in gyms without being there (heck, they don’t even have to be awake). And yet, most people don’t view this as cheating on the same level as spoofing.

  6. Anti-spoofing policies are typically expected to be zero tolerance. While I can understand this, personally, I think exceptions are important. At one point, we had a delightfully wonderful older couple that raided with us on weekends. They were always happy, all smiles, and they were freaking hilarious. Unfortunately, the wife sustained severe injuries after a fall. Moving around was essentially not an option for her. They eventually ended up moving to be closer to their children, but for a few months beforehand, they started spoofing so that they could still “attend” raids with us. They never took gyms, and they would always ask before jumping in to a raid to make sure we had room for them. They were about the nicest people ever, and banning them for spoofing given the circumstances wouldn’t have felt right.

Again, I don’t like or condone spoofing, but in my opinion, trying to snuff out spoofing from a community is often more trouble than it’s worth. I’m also not a big fan of the selective enforcement that often occurs. I’ve seen multiple communities who have strict anti-spoofing rules, but have no issues with the person with six accounts that fills up gyms by himself and flips entire neighborhoods regularly, or the other person who shared his account information and has other people catching Mons for him while he sleeps and doing raids for him/dropping him in gyms while he’s at work. Or the communities who are strictly against spoofing but have access to scanners (which utilize spoofing software in order to function).

TL;DR - Like many players, I don’t like spoofing. However, sometimes, I think the measures communities take to combat spoofing can be even more problematic.

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Most people in my community take a dim view of spoofing, and the local Discord server will ban individuals, though only if there’s overwhelming evidence of it. In the two+ years it’s been running, a ban has been exercised probably twenty times at most (a tiny portion of the user base), and one or two of those have been allowed back after negotiation. The majority of people that have been banned are the kind that typically don’t engage with the community normally anyway, discussing game matters, planning raids etc. There’s probably a number that do spoof but keep quiet about it, evading detection.

Multi-accounting is widely tolerated, with the majority of people are guilty of it to some degree. Most seem to have a single alt, but there are few that have a small army. I’ll put my hand up and say I’m guilty of it as well. Similarly, account sharing happens alot as well, but mostly seems to be used whenever the original account holder cannot perform time-restricted activities such as EX raids and community days.

My personal attitude to it is fairly soft. I don’t exactly like spoofers, especially when there’s no real excuse for it (get out and enjoy the game the way it’s meant to be played - it is called Pokemon Go for a reason), but if you don’t make a nuisance of yourself I can tolerate it. Same opinion towards the multi-accounters/account sharers.

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A lot of the spoofers here target gyms in remote areas (e.g. hiking trails) for some reason. One time I and my friend hit and beat a gym, and we slotted in Gyarados and Metagross, and then a Blissey and Chansey just popped out of nowhere despite absolutely no-one being in the range of the gym except us (we had a clear view of the surrounding vicinity).

I don’t care, more NPCs to fight against. Kakuna Rattata

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One big advantage. Took myself 4 months to get enough Stones in a non-PvP community.

Have you tried to trade 100 pokemons with someone mainly out for raiding, outside in 5 degrees above freezing? ;-) Mass trading is way more convenient at home while watching a movie.

That is the point, it very common in smaller communities not to have access to “one other person”

I was not talking about “manual shiny checking”. I was talking about raiding with multi-accounts and driving around with 4 gotcha bracelets.

My point is that multi-accounting could be a huge advantage if really abused, and some people do. Some have multiple accounts which they using only to a very limited extent, like taking raids in a single person community.

In the same way, spoofing can be massively abused, and some people do. Some may just spoof to the nearest city to play “normally” there, since they have no gyms/stops/mons where they live or maybe is severely disable.

They can both be massively abused and given the opportunity some people do. Seem obvious to me.

That’s like saying “there are laws against murder and laws against jaywalking; why are they punished differently?”

That’s a bit of an extreme example, don’t you think? :rofl:

Both spoofing and multi-accounting can be detrimental to other players…or have zero effect on them. The severity of which is entirely dependent on how much the player spoofing/multi-accounting decides to abuse those methods.

Nah, not really. We have a genuine spoofer in our Discord group, totally accepted and mostly appreciated when we’re shortmanning something or we’re looking for specific research tasks, he tells us about rare spawns, etc. He has high ethical standards as for gym rotation and simply behaves in a way that doesn’t bother anybody in our group.

We were quite annoyed by loads of spoofers on Ex Raid eligible gyms back in 2017 and early 18, but now it doesn’t really matter to us anymore.

How one feels about cheating behavior(s) depends on how one is effected.

It’s like in school, most people have cheated one way or another, but people react to cheating differently. For example, Johnny studied all nght but only got an A-, while Steve cheated and got an A+. Johnny might feel unfair but does nothing. In another scenario, say that the test is curved, Johnny might report Steve for cheating so he can get better grades. Or, if Steve offers to give Johnny some benefits, whether to cheat together on the next test, homework, or something else, Johnny might help covering Steve’s cheating behavior.

In Pokemon Go, a community can definitely choose whether they accept or be against certain cheating behaviors.

:laughing:

That’s my beef with spoofing. The point of the game is that you are out of the house, exploring the community, finding new parks and monuments, etc. (this is also why there will probably never be an in-game chat or online PvP). Its an encouragement and a companion to exercise. Spoofing takes away that whole aspect of the game.

Multi-accounting is not in the same way against the spirit of the game and is also harder to enforce (is it multi-accounting if somebody uses their spouse’s acct?). That said, I’m not against somebody swapping accts with their over-seas friend in order to trade or hit an EX-raid.

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They’re both in Niantic’s TOS. Both can be detrimental to the game, or completely non-impacting.

They’re both issues of the same severity, really.