Bot-herders fire fake GPS co-ords at Niantic to collect Pokémon

Pikachu, I spoof you!


Well, that didn't take long: Pokémon Go players with sore feet and a case of sitzlust* are sending virtual robots out into virtual reality to catch virtual creatures and bring them home.

Published “for educational use only” (read: “don't sue us, go after users”), the Necrobot at GitHub does all the messing about with Pokeballs for you. Present it with a valid game login, give it a starting point, and go back to whatever you weren't doing.

From there, Necrobot – which has the advantage of being free software, thus leaving you more money to consider another pizza – will spoof the GPS coordinates from the starting point.

So as to avoid attracting game publisher Niantic's attention, the authors say they've tried to keep the bot from moving too fast so as to avoid a “banwave”. Naturally enough, if the bot moves too fast, the game will notice and kick a player out.

Necrobot isn't the only autoplayer out there. Fork out US$8 and you get set MyGoBot to do all the fun stuff on your behalf, and there are also reports of bot-herders automating their way to the awesome status of a Level 40 Pokémon master, the game's highest level.

Still, one thing can be said in favour of bots. If the game drops Pokémon in a nuclear no-go zone, your bot won't be in danger. ®

*Bootnote: Sitzlust = the opposite of wanderlust, coined by American 20th whodunit writer Rex Stout. ®


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