In August of 2016, Niantic introduced a sleeve of safety features in Pokemon GO to knock out bots and tracker apps. Among those features was the infamous Captcha mechanism, originally intended as a tool to prevent third party apps from flooding their servers with hundreds of requests.
Pokemon GO I am not a robot
“I am not a robot” is the default text that is used by the Captcha mechanism. A user is required to click the checkbox and confirm in a variety of ways that they are not indeed a robot.
Usually, this involves clicking on pictures of stores, trees, road signs, etc. Sometimes, it can use “recognise text” challenges.
If you encounter this warning inside the app, it may be for one of the several reasons:
- You’re a robot/tracker
- The game lost GPS and reconnected in an unusual fashion
- The game detected unusual player actions (in gyms, Pokestops, etc…)
- You evolved too many Pokemon in short period of time
- You spinned A LOT of Pokestops in short period of time
- The game randomly picked your account for verification
You should not panic if this warning/question pops up – proceed with patience and resolve the challenges that Captcha servers for you. You will not get banned for failing the challenges once or twice, but make sure you resolve them eventually.
You are seeing this warning because Niantic decided to turn on that safety feature in October of 2016 as an attempt to block third party apps like FastPokeMap.
Captcha in Pokemon GO
A reddit user hinted that the decompiled source code shows references of the new mechanism. The decompiled source code showed the following names:
Decompiled source shows hints of new Captcha mechanism
Captcha mechanism is frequently used to prevent spam and bot attacks on websites and it is yet to be seen how effective is it inside Pokemon GO.
As observed, a growing number of players reported problems with bots on various botting forums. Unsurprisingly, the third party development community is not moved by this change and by the looks of it a solution is already in the works.