ByAdam Meredith, writer at
Hello I'm an amateur writer who specialises in rambling about video games. Although I am not a bear I hope to be reincarnated as one.
Adam Meredith

Like many I have become engrossed in the creature capturing phenomenon that is Pokemon GO, and while my journey has not exactly been plain sailing, I have quietly become more interested and perhaps more addicted with the app as time has gone by.

Recently I discovered "supportive apps" such as PokeWhere and Pokevision that assist players by showing them when and where certain Pokemon spawn and for how long. While some could argue this is cheating, one that allows players to play the game with an advantage, I would actually say apps like Pokewhere are a blessing in disguise for those Pokemon GO players, like myself, who don't have the time to spend hours every day hunting Pokemon, waiting around in the vain hope of catching something a bit more exciting than a Pidgey. I have other more mundane priorities to occupy myself with rather than just swan around looking for virtual monsters all the time.

So after Pokemon GO's recent update, which has seemingly put a temporary end to such Pokemon location services, I am left quite infuriated by Niantic's decision, especially considering the in game tracking system is itself very vague.

I understand Niantic may feel people using such apps and services are not playing the game as it is intended to be played but come on, people just want to enjoy catching Pokemon and sometimes need some extra support in catching them. If Pokemon GO's in game tracking system was more complex and helpful then maybe you could understand the decision, but it's not, and it can lead to many unproductive hunts. Sure I'm not expecting to catch a Porygon every time but at least with these tracking services I had a better chance of catching them.

I actually had great fun using PokeWhere to track down a Clefairy, it got me playing the game when I probably would have ignored it as I had other things I should have been doing. I'm not saying I would use such a service all the time whilst playing Pokemon GO but to have that option makes me want to explore more and go places I might not have gone and essentially play the game more. Isn't that what Niantic would want? (Maybe not the crashtastic servers mind).

In fact such tracking services can actually generate more excitement, as instead of wandering around aimlessly finding nothing but Rattatas, knowing that a Gengar is a few streets away adds a sense of urgency and fun, trying to hunt it down before it disappeared. Oh and that's another thing Pokemon only appear for about 15 minutes at a time, so the opportunity to capture them can be severely limited and for someone like me, knowing that I have a chance sometimes, albeit a small one, to capture a rare Pokemon, is a very welcome chance.

And one more thing Niantic, whilst you may think such location services are cheating (I don't know if you do but I would imagine that's why you have stopped such services) by denying people this extra support you increasingly push people to use other methods of capturing Pokemon that are definitely more "fraudulent" and underhand, methods such as assistance bots that catch Pokemon for trainers in the background whilst they do nothing. These bots can dramatically increase players XP, levels and naturally catch many strong, rare Pokemon. I know someone who is using a bot and they told me they had over 20 Arcanines all at around 2000 CP. This is far more damaging to the game than allowing people the opportunity to occasionally track and catch a rare Pokemon.

I will still play Pokemon GO but now I will probably become more frustrated, especially considering I can't go poke hunting around my home due to the poor mobile coverage. So capturing Pokemon has become even harder for me, thanks Niantic(!) At least my account didn't get deleted during the recent update....


What are your thoughts on third-party tracking services like Pokevision?


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