Blacklisted app warning screen

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A new warning screen has been observed on October 19 2017, targeting players using location mocking and third party cheating apps to gain unfair advantage in Pokémon GO.

Dubbed as the “Black screen of Death”, the warning screen prevents app login until the offending app is removed from the device. The detection mechanism is a blacklist based algorithm, targeting popular location mocking apps. Currently operational only on Android.

Effects and consequences

Although this security measure hasn’t completely stopped spoofing in Pokémon GO, it managed to knock out several high profile location mocking apps on Android. In addition, it enabled Niantic to blacklist any number of cheating apps in the future.

Disabling the aforementioned popular location mocking apps, forced offending players to use other less reliable and easily detectable apps, resulting in an noticeable decline in spoofing activity.

It has been reported that the warning screen is also triggered by using a third party IV checker.

History and further development

The full history of the blacklist warning screen is as follows:

Blacklist Warning screen text

“We have detected software that can interfere with the operation of Pokémon GO on your device. This includes applications that falsify your location. Using unauthorized software that directly impacts Pokémon GO is a violation of Niantic’s Terms of Service and can result in the loss of your account. You will need to uninstall any such applications in order to continue gameplay.

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119 COMMENTS

  1. malware on your phone they goes your bank dstails photos emails and password oh got look into this not sound good hackers get this no phone safe time to delete game

      • No, they really don’t. The spoofers are a tiny minority of the community, and many of them brazenly have used coin exploits to get the equivalent of thousands of dollars worth of coins. Niantic wouldn’t be doing this if removing spoofers actually represented a risk of profit loss.

          • I’m equating being unconcerned about how you affect the game when you spoof with being unconcerned about how you affect the game when you use exploits to generate illegitimate coins.

          • Also, spoofing and coin generating are two completely different things. You don’t have to be a spoofer to generate illegitimate coins. The only thing the two have in common is they’re both against the TOS.

        • Spoofers make up over 50% of the player base.

          1. Niantic would lose a lot of money by banning spoofers.
          2. They couldn’t ban all spoofers even if they wanted to. They aren’t magic. Not all gps fakers are detectable, especially on iOS devices.

          Their best route is to make the game work in such a way that spoofers no longer negatively impact legitimate players.

          • LOL, keep telling yourselves that. If they cared one iota about the $$ you guys supposedly spend they wouldn’t be doing what they’re doing.

          • Less than 1% are spoofers. And let me be clear – I am not calling you a spoofer because you support them, but because their being a tiny minority becomes very obvious if you actually go out and play the game.

          • If you think less than 1% of the players are spoofers then you’re naive. Many spoofers are undetectable. You would never know they were faking their GPS location. They just use a joystick to walk around and play the rest of the game as normal. The ones who get caught are the ones who bounce all over the globe sniping the good pokemon like idiots. When you walk five blocks in 5 minutes with a joystick it’s virtually impossible to detect. When you go from San Francisco to Tokyo in two hours, it’s a dead giveaway. Also, I never said I support spoofers. I was just commenting on the subject.

        • Actualy alot of the known hardcore spoofers I see promote their play actualy make money off of it leading to them spending that money on Niantic, why would Niantic want to ban fsl when he is making them 100-200$ a month easy.

          • Really? That’s not even enough to pay for a day’s work for one employee. I’m 100% sure they put more pride into their work than that.

          • Because one spoofer can drive off dozens of non-spoofers. Also, the YouTubers are an even smaller group. I don’t watch FSU, so I am trusting your statement that he doesn’t use coin exploits, but many of them do.

            More to the point, though, is why not ban FSU when they obviously know about him and could. $200 a month is a drop in the bucket, and there are thousands who claim to have reported him. Consider what he does to the spoofers and what this update does to spoofers. Both cause spoofers to concentrate on a few apps – whatever FSU recommends, and the very obvious and already popular app that spoofers bragged about still working. FSU seemingly never gets caught, but his fans do. Now spoofers are almost all using 1 app that is so well known that you are shocked they didn’t ban.

            You will never get rid of all vulnerabilities. There will always be some way to spoof. But you can make it take more effort to cheat than to play fair, and that is what Niantic seems to be doing.

      • They killing in game features and makes Regional Pokemon cost less than 0$ 😀 If Niantic still keep them, there are no reasons to play….

  2. I probably won’t make many friends with this, but I think Niantic should work on getting their act together in terms of trading, abilities, etc.
    Please, do not waste too much time on spoofers. Yes, sometimes it is frustrating, when you get kicked out of a gym after 20 min. by an account that is obviously spoofing, other times you are happy because a spoofer gets your pokemon out of a gym, where it was stuck for days.
    In the end I think spoofers are not doing that much damage to other players that they deserve so much attention and effort, which could be used on more importent parts of the game.

    • Only you who feel that spoofer arent doing much damage to other player. You better go to doctor to see that there is something really wrong with you.

    • Spoofing is the reason they couldn’t do trading before. Their intention was that someone has to physically travel between regions to trade region exclusives. Being able to spoof and then trade with all your friends (or worse, sell region exclusives to people) was something they needed to avoid if they were going to keep the region exclusive mechanic at all viable in the game.

      But soon after this starts dwindling the spoofer community to just the most dedicated, they can start pushing out features like trading. Everyone will have a Dragonite soon afterward, but it will take time for legitimate region exclusives to be traded around and still be a big deal for those who meet folks at airports to get them.

      • They will never stop spoofing, especially on iOS. The steps they have taken are probably the best solution. Make it so the spoofers don’t have much of an advantage over normal players. The only way spoofing really adversely affects normal players now is by kicking their pokemon out of gyms and a lot of people want their pokemon kicked out so they can get their coins. If spoofing didn’t negatively affect other legit players nobody would care.

          • I never laid out any ideology, and just because your goals in the game may focus one way doesn’t mean everyone else plays for the exact same reasons as you. Some people only play to fill their pokedex, and some people only play to battle gyms, for example.

            My main point is GPS faking is not going to be stopped. It can’t be stopped. So I think (my opinion. you don’t have to agree) it’s best to limit the negative impact spoofing has on legit players, which seems like the direction Niantic is heading. The only way trading won’t be affected by spoofing is if they implement some kind of QR code system for trading and even then there’s nothing to stop a spoofer from illegally obtaining the pokemon then trading it legitimately.

        • Actually, trading legitimacy is the main issue now. Thanks to several waves of bans, spoofer numbers are down. Thanks to the organization that raids forced us to do, we can eradicate spoofers that like to lock down gyms. Thanks to private raids being fixed, we can lock out spoofers so all 20 people physically present can participate. The main reason many of us need spoofing gone now is so that trading can take it’s necessary place in the game.

          That said, some aren’t organized and are still unable to play because of a spoofer locking down their gyms, so the issues I mentioned being taken care of for many of us are still problems for others.

          • Where are you getting your data? Spoofers are down? Where is the proof?

            Trading is pointless if you can’t trade for region exclusives.

            Which Pokémon that’s not region exclusive do you need traded?

    • You are overall correct but like Gonzol says they could not do it before for said reasons.

      But a blacklisting feauture is something that they should have created a long time ago. Right now niantic is spending way to much time on contermeasures against spoofers when they could create awsome stuff in order to actully improve the game for us players.

    • spoofing is the reason why is so hard to implement trading, even in pvp spoofers have too much advantage, so first Niantic needs to stop spoofers

    • Not doing that much? I think that you don’t have spoofers in your area. We at our town have to deal with 5 people who play 24/7 via spoof and also they have over 6 accounts each and the worse of all is that they have berry bots to feed infinitely these Pokemon. They habe taken the town since the rework and almost no one can play gyms because no one last more than 10 minutes. We have reported these guys and their 50 accounts with proof for about 20-30 people complaining and they haven’t done anything. I am at lvl 40 and is sick to watch these losers ruining the game to a lot of people including kids that dont want to play anymore this game. I’m also comsidering to quit, if it wasnt for gen 3 I might not be here now. Niantic loss more people because of spoofing and bots than anything else that much people complain about.

          • I would like to see the evidence for this. It makes absolutely no sense. There is absolutely nothing to gain by putting the time and effort into creating such a bot.

          • There is no evidence to back any numbers up. It’s all pointless speculation and the fact that niantic doesn’t reveal the actual number of spoofers means the number is astronomical or they have no idea.

          • GPS spoofing isn’t detectable (at least not on iOS devices) so they have no way of knowing how many spoofers play the game but I meant I would like to see the evidence for berry bots. Bots that feed berries to pokemon in gyms makes no logical sense.

          • You get 20 dust every berry and if you had an account going around the clock collecting them and feeding them you could earn a lot of dust. I’ve never heard of them being used but it could make sense.

        • Paranoid? It seems that you don’t know anything about bots or just trolling to make people ignore this situation that is also destroying the game.

      • Easy solution…stop taking gyms. They will leave your area if they aren’t collecting coins for a while.

        I do the same thing when mystic thinks they need every gym indefinitely. But those are real people who play around the clock.

        • The problem is that they take over 20 gyms for them and also they collect coins because they have also accounts of other teams 😒. Our community only have over 200 people playing the game from almost a thousand because most of them left game due to this. The other issue is that some people still defend these jackasses.

          • You can understand the problem is not spoofers and not defend cheating at the same time. Doesn’t make anyone a jackass.

            Do you have any solutions other than whining? If you are this close to the issue, I’m dying to hear how to prevent it.

      • Sure you can. They can’t eliminate spoofing. They can only eliminate people who make careless mistakes while spoofing.

        • I’ll give you trading, so long as you can ONLY trade Pokemon that are already captured in your Pokedex, but even then, spoofers are going to trade 100% IV Pokemon they found and sell them for real world money. The issue with PvP is that spoofers will be in the game fighting people with their maxed out 100% IV top tier Pokemon. They’ll have an unfair advantage in that respect.

          • 100% IV Pokemon are captured by sniping, not solely by spoofing, and Niantic has actually taken steps to make sniping more difficult. Someone who fakes their GPS location doesn’t have any greater of a chance to find/catch 100% IV Pokemon than someone who plays legit.

          • Not really. You have to buy a gun to murder someone with a gun but that doesn’t mean most people who buy guns are murderers.

            Niantic has made sniping all but impossible compared to how easy it was a year ago. Bouncing your location all over the globe is detectable. Using a joystick to walk around your town isn’t. Having said that, I’m sure it still happens to an extent and it really dfoesn’t do much about the people who were sniping before Niantic updated the game mechanics to make it harder, so I guess I do agree with you to an extent.

          • The way joystick works is that it spoofs the GPS, making it think that you’re somewhere you’re not. That’s the definition of spoofing. How is that hard to comprehend? You literally have to spoof your GPS to go and get it. The only way you’re not spoofing is walking or driving to go get it.

          • Yes, so does teleporting. Teleporting is how people snipe 100% IV pokemon. They enter coordinates into the spoofing app. They don’t walk to them with a joystick. Niantic has made it near impossible to snipe 100% IV pokemon. They are both GPS faking but they use different means of traveling and a joystick is useless for catching 100% IV pokemon. Teleporting further than it’s humanly possible to travel in a given amount of time is detectable and they will ban you for doing it. Walking around at walking/driving speeds with a joystick is not detectable by Niantic. GPS fakers make your phone think it’s in a different location before the app, Pokemon GO in this case, ever gets involved. That’s why it’s impossible to stop spoofers.

          • Teleporting, sniping, spoofing. Different words, same meanings. And if you truly believe that Niantic has made it nearly impossible to do that, I have some swamp land in Florida to sell you.

          • Most of Florida is a swamp bro. That saying applies when you have something in an area that is not possible. Ocean front property in Arizona, for example.

          • Seriously? You’ve never heard that saying before? I guess you need a lesson.

            That saying is for gullible people thinking they can buy swampland cheap to buy on it. It’s older that you or I. It’s not meant to be ironic, it’s meant to show how stupid people are.

          • Leave me alone Dan, you aren’t as smart as you think and I’m getting tired of you trying to downplay everything I say. I don’t want your bs lessons.

            I realize I commented on your comment but I was not being snarky or anything like you. Get over yourself bro.

          • Dude, you only commented to be snarky with telling me my decades old analogy is wrong and tried to belittle me, but you were in fact, wrong. Don’t tell me to get over myself when you jumped in and were shut down immediately.

          • If that’s how you interpreted it then fine. I can’t help you think everyone is trying to tell you that you are wrong. You jump in on every other comment to try and show how right you rarely are.

            Shut down? No you just think that because you believe you are so smart.

          • Your only comment on this thread was to tell me that my analogy doesn’t work, so I showed you that it did. Your only response was “leave me alone because you think you’re smarter than everyone else and you’re not”. So, yes, shut down.

          • They absolutely are not the same meaning in the context I was using them. Niantic has made it nearly impossible to bounce around the globe on a whim to catch 100% IV pokemon, vs walking around town with a joystick which is not detectable by Niantic and is also useless for catching 100% IV pokemon. They are two completely different things in context and are handled completely different by the game.

          • Whether you’re using joystick to walk around your town, or bounce around the globe, you’re STILL spoofing your GPS. Niantic views these the same. Read the TOS if you don’t agree.

          • I was speaking in terms (context) of spoofers/snipers catching 100% IV pokemon. Of course they’re both GPS faking and against the TOS. My point was using a joystick does not make you able to catch 100% IV pokemon any more than playing normally. You have to teleport to the location of the 100% then catch them and Niantic has made that nearly impossible to do on any kind of scale.

    • I’m sure you just made a ton of friends from the people that enjoy cheating 😛

      I’ve never really wanted a pokemon kicked out of a gym. If I needed coins that day I go find another gym. If you live somewhere so remote that real-life people aren’t coming to the gyms, then spoofers aren’t going there either. You’d have to languish for 3 weeks before getting gold on time alone.

      It’s not something that I would consider a priority because it doesn’t happen very often as you say. I get hit by gym errors far more frequently. I just think that proportionally I get a little more upset when it’s the consequence of someone’s deliberate cheating versus them putting out buggy software.

      I don’t spend any money on this game partly because of the cheaters AND the lack of stable updates. They need to work on both!

  3. Niantic is the origin of problem. Spoofers are here because Niantic needs them. Please stop using this app. What a joke!

  4. The day niantic impetements a program to prevent mapping is the day ill hand over my bank funds to niantic. Only way this is happening is if they create account to account base spawns. Gps mock is soo last summer. I dont think its the players they want to stop, its the people who create map programs and open donation centers with monthly earnings of over 5grand in donations, niantic can’t monopoly it so this is their attempt at stopping it.

    • It’s against the TOS that’s what, they make the game, they can tell you what you can and can’t use, got a problem with it? Don’t play the game, end of story

        • He told you – Cry about get banned as a in game criminal? Stop playing or play as legit player and stop harm game

        • Ummm……lemme see…….it says in the TOS that it is against TOS, so how can you say it’s allowed or it’s stupid to stop them? But anyways, you don’t have power to allow them so it doesn’t really matter

          • Wot? They aren’t bacon either. What does that have to do with the TOS? Niantic has shut down many trackers, and tracking sites, who aren’t trainers. PGBot wasn’t a trainer, either.

      • No they don’t have any right to tell me I cant use Mock location on my phone, Im currently writing a Location based app my self on android which I use mock location apps to test it Im not using it on their app so they have no right to flag me as I have never once used it on their app

    • In the TOS, it clearly states that any app that uses access to the app is a violation. This is generally meant so that you can’t change the code in the game, but they have to do a blanket approach because it would cost way too much resources to pick and choose. Use Poke Genie if it’s that important. It never logs into your account (you use screen shots).

        • It’s based on the algorithm that’s written. What I meant is that it’s based on those apps’ behaviors, not the individual apps themselves.

        • Not to mention a violation of privacy. I don’t know why Android would allow apps to see what other apps are on your device to begin with. That’s just asking for trouble IMO.

    • On one hand it seems like they didn’t differentiate but if you’re blacklisting apps then don’t blacklist IV checkers.

      It’s not like IVs are secret, just obtuse and sometimes repetitive.

      • the blacklist iv checkers are not the overlay ones. the blacklisted ones log into your account and rename all the mons for you. nobody knows that else they do with the account. it is not the IV ones like CalcyIV.

        • pushing 1 button is a hassle? it does all the job for you. Pokemon had always hidden data and will keep it that way.

    • Only spoofing apps are on the blacklist. Using IV Checkers that requires login to your Pokemon Go account such as IV Go will trigger a different warning. That’s because it shares the same private api as botters.

    • Any app that logs into your account is a potential strain on Niantics servers. I’m pretty sure that’s why they went after bots and other apps that log into people’s accounts before GPS location fakers. I read that somewhere. I’m not sure if Niantic said it themselves or someone else said it but it makes sense.

  5. Or make it legal to spoof for everyone, maybe in certain radius of your location. I play this game as it got me walking, going to hit 10,000 kms by month end. During my journey, I have seen barely 5-6 legit players. It looks unfair for Android users while iOS players go undeterred. Remove support to iOS devices altogether.

    • Uhhhhh, Why remove support to iOS? Because Android users are salty because they were caught doing something they weren’t allowed to do because it’s against the TOS? yep that’s why, and I doubt it’ll be removed from iOS and btw spoofers are a stain on the name of PoGo players and should be ashamed of themselves

    • The Android thing has already been fixed so they can spoof just like iOS players again. So are you saying they should remove support for all devices? As long as the app uses GPS there are going to be people who exploit it.

      • You are seeing just one part of my answer, the other part says make it legal … even playing field, just within certain radius. iOS users have certainly enjoyed upper hand as far as spoofing is concerned.

        • I get your point but you can’t suggest Apple owners shouldn’t get to play just because their OS is more secure. The only reason Android spoofers are getting caught is because Android is a sh*t OS and lets apps see what other apps are installed on the device.

  6. If they band SPOOFING How will the comply with the ADA ACT? How will the shut-ins play. Bottom line, it is the bottom line. No SPOOFING = less money

        • I’m pretty sure if they deal with Spoofers more people will want to play then if Spoofers just ruled the game which will earn them $

        • No spoofing=higher percentage of of the player base that plays legitimately=more players willing to spend money=no loss in income.

          Also, sticking up for people that brazenly break the rules is disgusting.

      • I’ve read most of your comments and while you have every right to believe what you want to, statistical fact still remains, spoofers make at least half of the PoGo community. Maybe some of those use some methods to gain coins, I don’t know, but there’s many spoofers I know who have spent more than $300 by now. Now while I personally think, spoofing should not be allowed, its not something that will be avoided completely. I am at level 25 and have been for almost the last 4 months since I don’t spoof but I have played the game since launch day. People I know, were way below my level have gotten up to 35, 36 levels. Now, do I like it? Not really? Am I gonna do somethin about it? Certainly not. These are still my friends.

        • Quit throwing around words like “statistical facts” when you’re obviously not quoting anything of the sort.

          If you’re only 25 get out and actually play. You don’t hit any sort of XP wall until after level 30 to begin with.

      • Thank you for feedback. I was 1/2 joking about it. I work for may years with people with disability. And a person with limited mobility would have a hard to no ability to join in. Some of the thing that you could do when it was started has been taken away like, the faster speeds. You could sit on a bus and play. Lot of the poke stops are not Handicap reachable. (Stairs Rough terrain) I would like to see a version that any one with a disability could join. I was joking with the first posting but, I do believe in what I just wrote.
        Just as a side note. My wife found out 9/12/16 she had cancer in. In March 2017 she was in hospital t not doing well but had been into pokemon go but had to stop. she got mad at me when I talked about it. So I saw on you tube how to use TUTU app. I set it up for her and she was so happy. I lost here on May 16 2017. I am so happy I cheated for her. Joe

        • I’m truly sorry for your wife. However, using people with mobility issues as an excuse to allow spoofing is complete and total BS. We have 2 people in our group that can’t walk without the help of canes (one has MS, the other has a degenerative nerve issue). But have never had a problem getting to stops or gyms to participate. They are probably more dedicated than the “healthy” individuals. So don’t hide behind that.

  7. Most people that play causally that I know have no idea what spoofing is. These people don’t spend any money to Niantic because they casually play and catch a few Pokemons and have done only 1 raid because it’s too much work. Now spoofers are the ones that frequently spend coins because they need eggs and bag space. Not to mention a lof of spoofers buy raid passes. It’s not humanly possible for an avg player to play 4-5 raids a day since some of the raids are far apart. But spoofers can jump raids to raids in minutes. So the ones that spend the most time and money are spoofers.

    • raids are far apart? I can see 3 at a time on any given day from my desk…. it really depends on location.

      The only people I know who spend money spend LOTS of it. Like probably $10-20 a week and have done so for months.

      Why would someone who can generate the max number of free coins and play as many accounts as they like EVER pay money?

  8. I’ve seen people saying everywere: “Spoofers are 90% of base game”, “are 50%”, “99,9999%” C’mon, how that F%#k they would know that info? Where are all this research? You telling that based in what? Your friendship circle? Dude, the world is bigger than your neighborhood.

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