Believe it or not, your friendly neighborhood cheater is no longer the public enemy number one. Players who faked their GPS location were hated, disregarded, ignored and now, after a few weeks of reading, increasingly called for.

We ran a poll on Twitter yesterday, asking players to express how they feel about spoofers, after the Raids have become a thing. We gave our readers three very distinct options:

  • “Air support <3” representing the pro-spoofers
  • “I hate them” representing the anti-spoofers
  • “Not sure honestly” representing everyone in the middle

And vote they did, 12000 of them, making this the biggest poll we ever ran on Twitter. The results we got completely surprised us. We did not expect these results, heck, we were sure that nothing has changed and people still hate spoofers.

Turns out, we were wrong. Here are result of more than 12 000 voters:

For comparison, the last time we ran a similar poll, around 78% of voters were strictly against GPS spoofers. That’s quite a change in perception, especially given how passionate the community is against spoofing.

What happened? Game design happened, that’s what.

The miracle of game design

You are probably very angry with Niantic for a number of reasons. It’s okay, so are we.

But there is one thing we are not angry about: they still know how to bring players together. Only weeks after the raiding scene has emerged, Niantic has managed to motivate players to work together, across Teams, cities, play styles and their stance on cheating.

And it all happened right in front of our eyes, completely transparent for everyone to see. Let’s go step by step.

1. The PokeCoin change

Back in the day, spoofers were notorious for perpetually holding gyms and claiming daily bonuses, while the rest of us struggled to collect the scraps. Now, we are all fighting for scraps, essentially, but at least we are all on equal footing. Every single player can easily get his or hers 50 Coins per day, no matter how mobile or strong they are.

By severely reducing the PokeCoin gain and changing the PokeCoin mechanics to have an easily obtainable daily cap (50 Coins), they completely removed the concept of hold gyms for days and weeks.

Sure, the system isn’t perfect and you are depending on someone else to get Coins, but it’s far superior to what was in place before.

2. The Motivation and the Remote Berry

What’s the best way to stop cheaters from cheating? Make cheating a part of your game. The option to feed Pokemon at remote Gyms is a direct answer to the most common advantage spoofers had over regular players.

Essentially, we can all spoof now and upkeep our Gyms without moving from the living room.

Don’t forget, the newly patched motivation system decimates defenders on an hourly basis, making Gym turnover a breeze for everyone.