According to an online poll hosted on Straw Poll, anywhere from 20% to 25% of Pokémon GO players actively use GPS spoofing techniques to gain advantage and play the game with ease.

1 in 5 Pokémon GO players is a cheater!

This alarming metric shows how flawed the current feature set of Pokémon GO is, with the majority of spoofers admitting that they use GPS spoofing for gym battles and egg walking.

This is a clear indication that the current Gym system is not ideal – both in terms of player rewards and in terms of detecting invalid players! We were quite taken back by this poll, as we did not expect the number to be as high as it is. On the other hand, we’re quite confident that a number of players voted dishonestly, as they did not realise the poll was anonymous.

There is still no reaction from Niantic, but following the recent wave of bot bans and legal threats to popular tracking apps, we’re hoping that GPS spoofers are the next thing Niantic will tackle.

Ingress, another game by Niantic, used to have GPS spoofing problems, but those were quickly rectified by active community moderation and aggressively working through player reports. Hopefully, Pokémon GO will receive the same treatment soon.

Here’s the poll in question:

This is a story shared by one ex-spoofer on reddit:

There’s one thing not mentioned in the polls, and it’s Pokéstops. That’s about the only time I’ve ever spoofed, and I’ll be honest about it.

I only did it for a week, though, I’ve pretty much uninstalled the app. I did it since our University campus only has one gym, so the competition was often fierce and it wouldn’t hold up more than 4 Pokémon before another team brought it down. It was pretty nice because everyone could get their 10 daily coins.

Then one day, overnight, I came to find a level 9 mystic gym filled with a majority of well known spoofers on the island (I know this because I’ve seen them almost everywhere with multiple dragonites, not to mention they always go for isolated gyms). I was pretty pissed about it so I decided to try bring it down myself since no one was bothering. Eventually ran out of revives so I had to get them from somewhere.

So that’s pretty much when I spoofed myself to the city to get some more. I never touched a gym over there and, as deserved karma, the only rare I found ran away from me (Charizard). Now the gym is under Yellow control and people are fighting over it again, as it should be.

  • Xigulat0r

    Spoofer not ban in ingress, not enough , after a lot of report from each faction, spoofer still alive… And i stop playing. For PoGo if it’s the same i stop too. Sorry for my bab english.

  • Heydavid17

    I’ve pretty much lost all my hopes with attacking gyms. There are 7 gyms in the city where I live, which can all be reached within an hour if you walk around. What recently angered me, was the fact, that I finally decided to take down a lvl 10 Instinct gym, which had been like that for about a month now.
    Since I had enough stuff on me to take it down on my own, then I was happy that it was finally over, but since I already had claimed my bonus for the day somewhere else, then I decided not to place anything, plus it was around midnight, there wouldn’t be any other Mystic members around me.
    5 minutes after I left the place, it was back to be a Instinct gym at lvl 7, and since the gym is close to where I live, then when I woke up from my sleep, it was back at lvl 10.

    What strongly bothers me, is how it’s even possible for 2 people as well, to be lvl 40. In a town, where there is about 15 pokestops and 7 gyms, how can 2 people be at lvl 40. Of course, they could’ve visited some other place in the country, but the most popular Pokemon Go spot in my country, which is Denmark, has been abandon for a long time now, and that place only had 5 pokestops next to each other.

    I don’t wish to say it’s impossible to be lvl 40, at this point. However, comparing what spots there is in Copenhagen with other spots in the world, that is what makes no sense to me.
    There is a huge lack of pokestops and gyms, compared to other places. I was even in Prague, and saw that there were literally pokestops everywhere. How can not only 1, but multiple people be at lvl 40, in a country where there is a lack of stops and gyms, while there is no reported lvl 40 people, in a country where it’s full of stops?

  • Eegs002

    Please be careful with reading the poll. The results can seem misleading and do not necessarily indicate that 20% are cheating.

    First, I do agree that this poll is based on honesty so of those that answered there may be some that lied. The problem is that this poll may not be representative of the entire population of players. I would guess that this poll was answered primarily by those active in the online community. There may be a large number of casual players not involved in the community unaware of this poll that this data does not correlate with. This poll may simply indicate that 20% of people active in the online community are willing to cheat. I would guess that those active in the community online are more likely to cheat than those that are not.

  • Nathan Tielking

    Spoofing should be eliminated all together. I have never spoofed and this impacts the communities in a negative way. I live way outside city limits and this town has 5 gyms that are in walking distance of each other while the other gyms you would have to drive to. If Pokemon took away the one time collect formallgymsni believe the game would become alive meaning. If I try to collect 5 gyms and only got 4 I couldn’t get the 5th. What if we were Abel to collect as we got on each gym and collected one time a day per gym wouldn’t that benifit both sides?

  • dan howse

    9 level 40 bots, and 1 level 37 main account. I hold about 23-28 gyms at level 10 in Troy Mo. But I live in Miami. I’ve found these small towns player base averages around level 23. So it’s pretty easy to shut down an entire town myself.

    I only do it, in hopes to gain enough attention they do something about it. My accounts are even named the same name with the addition of a number.

    I might lose one or two off the bottom now and then, but I haven’t had an entire gym fall since about sept. Maybe i’ve ruined the game for the whole town I don’t know.

    • dan howse

      From St. Charles to Troy is about 20 miles, and it contains about 30 gyms. If I spread out much further the entire east side of the state will be shut down lol

  • Pascal F

    All you hypocrites who are quick to judge and jump to conclusions don’t have the slightest idea how difficult playing Pokemon GO can be. Boo hoo, there are only 7 gyms in your city, or 5, or 3… well guess what: there isn’t A SINGLE gym in a 50-mile radius from my city. And it’s not some village, it’s a city with a population of 50 000. There is ONLY ONE pokestop. ONE. And no gyms.
    Despite that I played as much as I could, walked 10-15 miles each day even though I couldn’t catch anything but rattata/weedle/pidgey and all that crap and I could only hatch one egg at a time because I had no coins for extra incubators. I was level 21 when I first saw a gym on one of my trips. Of course I couldn’t go anywhere near it with my weak Pokemon. By the time I got to level 23 continuing to play like that just became pointless. One of the apps on this website predicted that I would reach level 30 in 2027 and level 40 God knows when, if ever.
    Winter is pretty harsh here and it means no walking, not even to that one lonely pokestop, no bonus for spinning, no balls to catch rattata and pidgey so I was either going to quit the game or try and find a solution.
    Now I’m using an app that fakes my GPS position. It “moves” me couple of hundred miles away to the nearest city in which it’s actually possible to play Pokemon Go like a normal person. I am not ashamed to admit this and I don’t see it as cheating.
    If Niantic can’t give all the players equal opportunities to play and enjoy the game, why should we feel obliged to follow their rules.
    Of course none of you big city players will understand this and you will label me as a cheater and hope I get banned but I don’t care. Banning a small percentage of people who fake GPS is much easier than actually doing something to give everyone equal opportunities to enjoy the game and advance in it.

  • Boboconqueso

    Niantic will never stop spoofing, bottling, multi accounting or any form of cheating. This also includes tracker apps, if calculators, and use of programs like discord. They update the API, it gets cracked within days if that and we’re right back to the beginning. And for those who think android is the only way, get an apple device and use go++. It puts fly gps to shame. Complain all you want, it’s something you can’t stop. Im level 40, have fifteen accounts I can drop from, all stacked with spoofed dragonites, snorlax, and blissey all maxed, and collect on 40 gyms a day, not to mention I monopolize the entire south eastern half of Milwaukee county. Deal with it.