Trainers,

we’ve recently ran a poll on our official Twitter account, asking how players felt about third party tracking apps and websites. Honestly, the results surprised us completely!

According to the poll results, 81% of participants are completely fine with trackers! Here are the complete results:

  • 34% love trackers
  • 47% are ok with trackers
  • 10% dislike trackers
  • 09% hate trackers

Here’s the poll, our opinion on the results is below:

We expected the results to look a bit different, but it is what it is. What is more surprising is the fact that Niantic is heavily targeting tracking sites, tackling them almost more than spoofers.

Some of the Tweet comments shed more light on how players actually feel about the issue. As you might imagine, the player base is deeply divided on the issue:

  • “I think that trackers are an unfair way to play. You’re supposed to hunt for Pokémon, not see their exact location and catch them” – link
  • “The in game “tracker” system is almost useless so third party trackers make finding the Pokemon you need, less frustrating IMO.” – link
  • “I wouldn’t be able to do anything with the game without 3rd party trackers” – link
  • “I got to level 30 without even knowing about trackers. Started using the silphroad atlas only after lvl30.” – link, note: TSR Atlas is not a tracker

What do you think? Are trackers fine or not? Should Niantic insist on shutting them down or simply host their own? Let us know in the comment section below.

  • Alexander Hessler

    Honestly, living in a rural area with only one Pokéstop, I feel like they should allow trackers, or even make their own. Despite there only being 4 major spawn points in my village, rare stuff does spawn here rather frequently. Before, seeing what Pokémon were at each of those spawn points was no problem thanks to the Sightings system, but now, because of the Pokéstop, I can only see the ones there, meaning I have no idea what the other 75% of spawns are. If Niantic does not at least introduce a system where you have the current Nearby system in one tab, and the previous Sightings system in another tab, I am seriously considering quitting the game.

    Sorry for the rant, I am just really fed up with this aspect of the game.

    • Rillan

      I understand your point, but can u imagine how much energy it will use if they put all this helpful apps in game ? After 1st huge update my phone hold game like 3½h and it was like 5h before. If they put all u want in game mine will barely hold 2h and average phone will be dead after 1½h.

      As for me they just should allow it. And change the gym or reward system so moralfags wont cry that much.

      • Alexander Hessler

        Yeah, I definitely get that. I guess the best system is to just allow third party trackers overall.

      • GonzoI

        What he’s describing isn’t going to negatively impact your battery life. It’s actually slightly worse to run the split-screen they have now because it’s making two separate queries, one after the other. If instead you chose which single query to run, it would only run the one query.

        • Rillan

          For now yes, but if they will invent it in game, there wont be two queries. There will be one in front and one always working in background so u had easy and fast access to it results. Otherwise 3rd party apps will be used as they are now.

          • GonzoI

            Why would they do a background secondary query for fast access when they already make you wait? The Nearby blanking glitch isn’t the result of a bias towards fast access.

      • DisgustinhDiscus

        Your phone must be garbage lol. Definitely not above average. Most phones can run it for a good evening, at least.

    • GonzoI

      I agree fully. Where I live is just barely in range of a pokestop…that is across a highway with about half a mile of partially paved road on that side to get to it and a third of a mile of paved road on my side to get to the overpass. But of course, it blocks the Sightings. Where I hunt pokemon usually (in a different town), there are 3 along the trail, then 3 at random places far outside the park. I can sweep the trail so that I can get it down to just whichever of those outside pokestops is in range and see 3 Sightings, but the key middle area where sightings is most needed is in range of 2 of the outside stops at all times, so I can never get sightings there. The first silhouette of a Larvitar I saw was there on Sightings after I swept the pokestops of any pokemon, but because I could only get the 3 and it wasn’t on the trail, I couldn’t triangulate the Sightings like I used to.

  • Josh Hack

    I don’t care about you if you use a tracker, but then don’t brag about your 500 snorlax candy. At the end of the day, you AND spoofers are pretty much the same by using 3rd party apps to track and catch the desirable Pokemon. At the end of the day ( much like spoofing) people might get banned for this.
    Also, can anyone tell me if trackers violate niantic’ T and C

    • Josh Hack

      Niantic or other generally available third-party web browsers (including, without limitation, automation software, bots, spiders, crawlers, data-mining tools, or hacks, tools, agents, engines, or devices of any kind);
      This is In the terms of service, so it is as bad as spoofing

      • Alexander Hessler

        I want to point out that despite the fact that trackers are against Niantic’s Terms of Service, using a tracker is not *nearly* as bad as spoofing. You can only see where Pokémon are with trackers, but you still have to go get them yourself (if you can). With spoofing you can just teleport straight across the globe to catch the next Tyranitar, Dragonite, or Unown. It’s like Ponta Vedra said earlier in the discussion: You can’t compare using trackers and spoofing, just like you can’t compare jaywalking and robbing a bank. Both are technically against the rules, but not anywhere within each others’ realms of rule-breaking.

    • Ponta Vedra

      Who gets 500 Snorlax candy by using a tracker? I have been using trackers for months, I barely got two Snorlax. I got one Larvitar through a tracker, but got 82 Larvitar candies by hatching them from 10KM eggs, another 15 or so by buddy-walking.

      I am getting a clear impression that those who hate trackers *wildly* overestimate their utility. They are not what you think they are. Using a bicycle is almost as much of an advantage as using a tracker. Joining a private local network of players who share discoveries is probably more than a tracker will give you. Neither is against the rules, AFAIK.

      And if you live in a neighborhood showered with great Pokemon? You get WAY more than a tracker could give you.

      In light of all that, Niantic itself has made the game far more “unfair”—trackers work to level the playing field, not upset it.

      • Josh Hack

        Watch people like JonnoPlays and then tell me that they are not as overpowered and that they don’t violate the terms and conditions

        • Alexander Hessler

          The reason he is doing that is because he dedicates his entire life to Pokémon Go, while most people, myself included, have lives outside of the game. Besides, it all depends on what kind of tracker you use. For months, I used a tracker that only scanned the area within 1km of my current location, which made up for me not being able to see the Pokémon at the nearby spawn points because of the new tracking system in the game.

  • the2000guy

    What I really hate is the original tracker. Obvioulsy since Niantic implemented it, I only encountered 2 Snorlax, 2 Dragonite. My latest 3 Dragonite came from eggs. Before this junk tracker I was able to catch weekly a Snorlax at my town hall. Also while driving at was able to find Dragonites. Now in my radar only appears the Pokemon near pokestops. I really missed the old tracker. With the old tracker I was able to find my first and second Chansey. I am not interested in third party trackers.

  • GrrrOfOmicronPersei8

    According to the Terms of Service, things like IV calculating websites and apps, trackers/scanners/maps, and spoofing/bot programs are all in violation. They have every right to shut down those sites and apps. People tend to demonize the spoofing players because they break the rules, but gloss over or justify the use of other rule-breaking tools simply because it’s not the same thing…but all of them break the rules. People forget that quite often, as evidenced by many of the posts in Facebook groups around the globe.

    • GonzoI

      People demonize the spoofers because they actively take gym spots from legitimate players. It’s much easier to say a tracker doesn’t hurt anyone because it’s not getting you to a far-away gym, it’s “just” helping you find the pokemon you want. It’s still not fair that certain players will suddenly stop what they’re doing and drive across town to catch Blissey while everyone playing legitimately is stuck with the extremely rare egg hatches and “buddy” walking, but that stages the problem off so most don’t realize it affects others.

      • GrrrOfOmicronPersei8

        Here’s the problem: if you use a tracker or IV calculator, you’re cheating. You’re not legitimate at all because you’re breaking the rules just like a spoofer. Sure, a spoofer doesn’t have to get in the car to go to a gym and take it over. That doesn’t mean that using a scanner or third party tracking website/app isn’t cheating. It is. The problem isn’t spoofing. The problem is people finding a way to justify cheating. It doesn’t matter which method you use: if you cheat, you’re not legitimate. Period.

        • GonzoI

          You might try reading the whole post before ranting at people who agreed with you.

        • theluckstar

          When you are going to walk across the road, it’s red light, but the street is completely empty and defintately has no car passing by, do you cross it? I’m sure you’ve crossed it many many times even it’s technically wrong to cross when it’s red light. People don’t always obey “rules”, we act based on the situation. There’s a baseline for everything and I believe spoofing crossed the line but tracking doesn’t (80% ppl think so).

          • GrrrOfOmicronPersei8

            So it’s okay to break the rules in one manner but not in another simply based on popular opinion? 80% of people who took the poll either don’t realize or don’t care that it’s breaking the rules to use scanners; and for those who don’t care, that’s the justification I mentioned.

          • theluckstar

            I hope you first agree that rules can be broken in some cases. I and many others believe tracking is the case. We come to this conclusion based on our own thoughts, independent from others opinion. The fact that so many ppl think the same way indicates in some degress that this rule may not be appropriate or the current system has major default. Don’t be too negative, mate. This shows the developers what they need to do. (Btw, I don’t actaully use the tracker now. I used it when the tracking had completely broken down)

          • GonzoI

            Violating rules when you don’t like them is not an excuse. There is a philosophy that says that unjust rules must be broken, but you’re arguing for breaking the rules to create the injustice rather than fight against it. As Ponta Vedra and I both brought up, jaywalking is very similar in that many people don’t think it’s a big deal to break that particular rule. 16 people die on average daily due to jaywalking, but because most people don’t think it’s a problem, you would say it’s no big deal?

          • theluckstar

            The reason is not because whether I like it or not, but because it’s not reasonable imo. And please, shall we not get into the arguement of justice? Tracking brings justice in some degrees, but I understand different ppl have different definitions. 16 ppl daily is actually a tiny percent, since many ppl do it multiple times per day and I guess most of the 16 are drunk af XD. Hence, it can hardly prove anything. Come on! Do you ever jaywalk? If you’ve never done it, then I’d be very impressed!

          • GonzoI

            I’ve never illegally jaywalked. I emphasize “illegally” because the town I grew up in has a “mainstreet” (street isn’t called “main”, but the local shops wanted it to sound cool) area with low speed limits, brick streets and legalized jaywalking. And even that area has had fatalities and a demand to revoke the jaywalking exemption.

            You’ve demonstrated my point by once again shifting the blame. Rather than address the fact that it has fatal consequences, you try to pass it off as a result of drunkenness (which is not correct, even if it were relevant). The legal requirement to walk to the nearest crosswalk is not a significant imposition, and 16 per day is not a small number.

            I think you’ve established pretty clearly that you don’t care about a problem until it hurts you personally. That puts you in the 81%, but it doesn’t make it right.

          • theluckstar

            Clap, clap. That’s really impressive to see someone who’s never jaaywalked! Keep being a good citizen then. It’s ok I understand some ppl prefer to strictly stick to rules. I’m a more flexible person and I’m fine with taking a reasonable risk. I’m afraid our values are pretty different. But I hope you can keep an open mind and understand others with different values 🙂

          • GonzoI

            You ridicule me for walking a few feet to a crosswalk because it’s safer, then ask me to “have an open mind”. I think this has reached the point where nothing of value can be said.

          • theluckstar

            No, no, no. Please don’t take it wrongly. I’m sincerely impressed. Not making fun or anything. You know, very few ppl actually do that. About “open mind”, I’m just saying that from your value, tracking is wrong, but others with different values might think it’s fine. It’s pretty hard to say who’s wrong, so I suggest you to keep an open mind.

          • Ponta Vedra

            Not based on opinion—few people consult polls before they decide to use a tracker. Based on what people judge is fair. “Breaking rules in one manner and not in another” is like one person jaywalking and another one robbing a bank. Both break the law. You cannot, however, equate them by any means except the most laughably frivolous.

          • GonzoI

            Ah, you used the same example here. Still, you seem to be under the impression that it’s the driver’s fault when jaywalkers cause a fatal accident.

        • Ponta Vedra

          What theluckstar said—and as I point out in the separate post—is that you are comparing a mild advantage to an overpowering weapon. Not “just like” each other.

      • Ponta Vedra

        There’s a *vast* difference between spoofers and trackers, I guarantee you. Comparing the two as similar is like saying that when running a marathon, someone using special sneakers is nearly as bad as someone riding the marathon on a motorcycle. In short: you have got to be kidding me.

        First, trackers are democratic: anyone can use them easily. A lot fewer people have the tech skills to set up spoofers and bots.

        Second, trackers are mostly good for showing you *where* to find stuff in general, great for showing what parks and monuments have new nests after a migration. After that, you are still limited by your area and your ability to go get something. I use a tracker, and it doesn’t help much with rare Pokemon. I got one Unown, one Larvitar, maybe two Snorlax over many months… that’s pretty much it. No Blisseys or Chanceys, no constant shower of Pokemon giving me a fantastic advantage. I have gotten FAR more than trackers give me just by going to the downtown area and sweeping the many streets. The person who hears about great neighborhoods for playing and goes there gets MUCH more than a tracker gives you. I got my Gyarados and Dragonites after learning that Magikarp and Dratini often spawn along certain rivers. Since then, frequent walks in those areas get me what I need—a lot more than trackers do for me.

        Third, if someone forms a chat/messaging group in a city or town and members regularly post alerts about stuff they find, that would be little different from a tracker—but completely OK by the “rules,” and would give the same advantages as a tracking site.

        And fourth, the game is *inherently* unfair—people in rural areas get screwed, and some people who live in sweet spots get showered with the best Pokemon. Niantic didn’t even *try* to make it “fair”—they loaded the dice and then punished people trying to even the score.

        Spoofers, especially those using bots, aren’t even playing the same game—they are playing a completely different game. Teleporting, auto-collection of Pokemon to rack up stardust, stacking up your roster with dozens of the most powerful Pokemon, and then hogging the gyms, kicking out non-spoofers, to suck up 700 Pokecoins a week per account to further stack things in their favor…

        You would equate this to a resource everyone could use equally?

        No, not even close. Not even close to being close.

        • Alexander Hessler

          I completely agree with *everything* you said. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

        • GonzoI

          I’d say it’s more equivalent to robbing vs jaywalking. Robbery and spoofing are obviously evil to all but the most unethical and desperate (and, similarly, both have a small number of advocates who think poor conditions excuse harming others). Jaywalking and tracking sites are both harmful, but the harm is only obvious in circumstances where it’s easy to blame the victim (blaming the driver for hitting a jaywalker he shouldn’t have had to worry about, blaming the players who choose to cheat). Since it’s easy to pretend it isn’t hurting anybody, people track and jaywalk far too often.

          You just listed off 4 rare pokemon you got from cheating. The example of players driving across town to catch rare pokemon isn’t hypothetical. 3 are Valor players (at least 2 of whom have more 2500CP+ Snorlax than I’ve caught Snorlax at all), 1 is Mystic, and there are several who I didn’t ask what team they were on. If it were just history, I could see half the argument you’re trying to make (still cheating to get it), but it is very much real time.

          As for a messaging group, that requires actually being out playing and cooperating with others – you know, the thing the game designers keep telling us that they intend for the game. I do message other players and get messages about where something has recently spawned. Though, to be honest, the only “successes” of this were in getting a friend to a 1363CP Dragonite that just ran on him after 3 Ultraballs, and letting others know what nests had changed to.

          Yes, those of us who are rural get screwed relative to cities, but it’s not unfair enough to justify cheating. I’ve been to Tulsa, Kansas City and Indianapolis and saw what urban players get, and yet nothing I got in any of those cities was unique. I’m holding onto a few from each because they were my first or best, but all of them I’ve either caught, evolved or hatched since. The thing that the “rural gets screwed” excuse falls flat on is that rural isn’t competing with city. What few gyms we get are either populated by spoofers, locals, or drive-by players. It’s easy to knock off drive-by players with Vaporeons, so the only problem is spoofers.

          • Alexander Hessler

            When rare stuff often spawns in your village of 600 people, but you can’t see anything because all you see are the Pidgeys, Rattatas, and Weedles by the one Pokéstop in the entire village, I think it’s fair to say you’re getting screwed over. Assuming Niantic will keep ignoring and excluding rural players, I think it is a justified case to cheat (and by cheat, I mean use trackers). This is especially because you would have been able to see them if Niantic didn’t just focus on giving benefits to urban players and dismiss rural ones, as with the “Nearby” tracking system.

          • GonzoI

            Again, we aren’t competing with urban. You’re cheating to get ahead of your fellow rural players who have the same situation you do, but without the benefit of tracking.

          • Alexander Hessler

            Well that’s exactly why I think everyone should have access to one. Besides, I am not actually using a tracker at the moment, since the last one I used crashed and hasn’t worked since. Also, it only scanned within 1km of my current location, meaning I only saw what were at the 3 spawn points away from the Pokéstop.

  • Concerned Pogo Player

    Basically The Silph Road Atlas is a 3rd party tracker too.

    • Alexander Hessler

      Not really, it’s just players sharing info about what places are what kinds of nests. There is no background programming identifying them, it’s only based on player reports.

  • David Beltier

    I feel after all this time the reason why some people use the map scans is because some people want to feel rewarded for their workout efforts, some people take this as exercise alternative and walking/jogging/biking to a pokestop for a Pidgey doesn’t give that satisfaction that people crave when people reach a goal.

    A good fix to this is to put rarer Pokémon on pokestops, make substantially more pokestops or give us access again to submit pokestop requests for those poor rural areas…and allow direct pokemon tracking which was kinda advertised before release! (Remember the Asian guy walking through town for that pikachu?)
    Put phone alerts up that says phrases like, “a wild pikachu is nearby” and make it so we can filter the notification so we don’t have to stare at the empty screen.
    Gyms can be changed instead of giving free pokemon coins for just having a sitting pokemon, bring in those gym leaders that we all know of, (Brock? Misty?) and collect their badges for coins, make the local gyms change daily so you can choose to run to others and come back to same one the next day!

    Make the Team leaders be a leader of your pvp experience when player vs player does come out, they already tell you what your Pokémons IVs are we can in addition have them teach you how to play against other players giving them the ability to battle you for practice! You know… in case it’s snowing or raining outside and don’t feel like running around in crummy weather we need a downtime play option besides transferring Pokémon to the professor…
    Needless to say people will continue to abuse and drive around but I feel that if Niantic can give players that sense of fulfillment and excitement that we crave it can dramatically change those numbers.

    • Ponta Vedra

      The filters for the “Notifications” is a must. About 98% of the nearby listings are Pokemon I have zero interest in. Allowing the player to only show Pokemon they want or need would improve the feature significantly. As it is, it’s as lame as it has always been.

  • Walther Ppk

    Before the Pokestop tracker was implemented, I would catch several rares (Snorlax, Lapras, etc) a week in my town just driving up and down side streets and seeing them pop up on nearby list. Since the Pokestop tracker was implemented, I have found exactly 1 Snorlax by a Pokestop. Other notable rares I have found because of it is a Vileplume, a Victreebel, and a Larvitar. The thing is that as players, we will always be going to Pokestops to get items, when we are there we will see whats by them, why do we need to know whats by the Pokestop we are already at or are going to be at soon? When we are walking (or riding in a car) getting the stops, there are Pokemon spawning all around us that we have no idea whats there unless we go there. Trackers/scanners tell us where a Pokemon is and how long it will be there for. Whats the difference in that and the current system in the game? It tells you that a Pokemon is by this Pokestop and gives you a notice when its about to de-spawn. The game used to tell me what was around, now it doesn’t. So I find another way to know whats around me instead of a Pokestop that I’m near and will visit anyway and see whats there while I collect items.

    • juan garcia

      Why not, instead of having the Pokemon-near-a-Pokestop on your tracker simply put it on a Pokestop when you tap it to see the picture or get the items, and leave the “grass tracker” alone, something like “There is this poke stop near me” you tap it and tells you which Pokemon are there

  • David Twitchell

    The day after gen 2 released I saw a 3000+ cp Tyranitar atop a gym in a nearby city. That’s tracking/spoofing BS. When the only way to compete is to cheat, the game isn’t fun. Why not just sell all the pokemon in the shop? Why make people do anything to get them other than shell out coins?

    • Rillan

      How about changing way to grow up pokemon ? Gathering dust is pretty insane. U need millions to grow atleast 20 different pokemons and kill thounsands of others to gather needed amount of candies

    • Ponta Vedra

      I’m on my way to that, and without tracking or spoofing. I hatched three Larvitars in a row, and am walking a Pupitar buddy to get the rest I need. Kind of like my first Dragonite. Took me forever, but I did it.

      • David Twitchell

        That’s one more Larvitar than I have, because I don’t use trackers. So I have no buddy to walk to grind out the candy I need to make a Tyranitar. Anyhow, that you’ve managed to do it weeks and weeks after they released is a testament (mostly) to your effort. That’s fine. That’s the whole point, in fact. I’m talking about a Tyranitar within 48 hours of the release of the gen 2 Pokemon. That’s not effort. That’s some loser sitting at his computer “walking” with a spoofer to whatever gps coordinates his computer tells him he can find Larvitar. I assume the only pleasure a person like that gets is in knowing that they are ruining the game for people who follow the rules.

        • Ponta Vedra

          David: the Larvitar appeared only after I had hatched a few from eggs. But yes, if someone appears with a Tyranitar that soon…again, 90-95% chance it was from spoofing—but there are actually full-grown Tyranitars out there in the wild. It’s possible a few people got them that fast legitimately.

          Gym display is not the best metric, as gyms are where people show off their stuff. You see a highly disproportionate display of special Pokemon there.

          For example, Shiny Pokemon don’t show up on trackers, and spoofers likely only get some from bots or whatever else helps volume captures… but we see them in gyms in higher proportion than I see existing in people’s actual collections.

          As for the pleasure spoofers get, I think it’s from—like I said—playing a completely different game than the rest of us. Kind of like a club consisting of people who ride motorcycles in marathon foot races. Except in Pokemon Go, they get to receive and keep the medals and rewards and show them off as if they earned them.

  • iCycle

    I hat Spoofers, but I love trackers. It`s fair to go out in real life and catch the Pokemon you want.

  • Ponta Vedra

    I am totally OK with trackers for a very specific reason: evening the odds.

    Some people live in areas where they are showered with great Pokemon, and they don’t have to try hard. Trackers even the score, allowing everyone equal access. It just makes it easier—but easier for everyone. Without the trackers, the game is heavily tilted in favor of people who just happen to live in areas where lots of highly favorable Pokemon hatch.

    There is a place about 1km from where I live, for example—I have seen tons of Magikarp, a whole lot of Dratini & Dragonaire, and even two Unowns—the only two I have seen in the game—appear around these apartment buildings. Anyone living there is going to find it incredibly easy to build a solid lineup of Dragonites and Gyarados just by stepping out the door for a few minutes several times a day.

    There’s another place east of Tokyo Disneyland (I live in West Tokyo) that regularly gets Larvitars, Ryhorns, Onyx, & Dratini, gets a wide variety of other rare and semi-rare Pokemon (Mareeps, Shuckles, Pikachu, Electabuzz, etc.), and are drowning in Voltorbs and Magnetites.

    In what world is that “fair,” and using a tracker isn’t?

  • Jessica

    So sad. 🙁 They’re only going to lose enjoyment from the game when trackers get taken down…

    • Antonio Mercurio

      the point of the game is to walk around and let the game guide you.. Not a car and tracker.. but i dont really care i do use one but i does not affect me.. As long as hackers dont use one im fine!

  • Fellipe Capellani

    The official trackin system is very very poor, sometimes you miss some rare pokemon a few meters from you just because he’s not close to a pokestop. When niantic create a system that this doesn’t happen, i’ll be against 3rd part trackers.

    • True, they take out the 3 steps thing and everybody freak out… then they have the sightings… and the this nearby pokestop thing… I like it, but what you say it’s true!… you should be able to see what is really near you… What I mean… they should use the both! or something

  • I feel good not using trackers… I’m like that last tweet guy… I’m only checking on The Silph Road Nest Atlas… right now I’m level 28 but I have like 214 entries in my pokedex… this month I’m gonna get at least 5 more entries 😀

  • sanju.singh

    Honestly, living in a rural area with only one Pokéstop, I feel like they should allow trackers, or even make their own. Despite there only being 4 major spawn points in my village, rare stuff does spawn here rather frequently. Before, seeing what Pokémon were at each of those spawn points was no problem thanks to the Sightings system, but now, because of the Pokéstop, I can only see the ones there, meaning I have no idea what the other 75% of spawns are. If Niantic does not at least introduce a system where you have the current Nearby system in one tab, and the previous Sightings system in another tab, I am seriously considering quitting the game.

    • Alexander Hessler

      Why did you copy my comment?

      • sanju.singh

        Respected sir

        I have same problem as you have so I copied the comments and sorry for that Sorry forgive me plz i just wanna show ninatic I have same problem in my area
        So forgive me plz

        • Alexander Hessler

          It’s okay, I was just confused. Don’t worry. It’s nice to know other people are struggling too.