Recently, community-made tools such as the IV Calculator and even a Pokemon GO spawn locator have surfaced to make things easier and more convenient to players in Niantic?s mobile game. However, some players are worried about these tools as they may completely undermine the game?s social gameplay. Additionally, most of the Pokemon GO community?s access to much of the game?s data can be considered ?cheating,? according to Niantic?s terms of service for the game. Could this community effort of massive data access be considered cheating all along?
On the SilphRoad Reddit, players of the game are discussing PokeVision, an unofficial wild Pokemon tracker site for the game. Reddit user MrAnderson7 raised the question about the site?s potential effect to the overall game and if it could possibly be considered a ?cheating? tool based on Niantic?s rules. The site allows players to see currently spawned Pokemon near their area in real time, and it can also be accessed in a player?s mobile phone. The advantage of the site is it provides convenience to the players in hunting Pokemon. However, the disadvantage is that sites like this may undermine the game?s social gameplay as players aren?t playing the game as intended as players would rely on tools like these to hunt for a particular Pokemon.
Additionally, the SilphRoad charts may also fall into this potential ?cheating? grey area as players were able to find hidden stats in the game through data mining, as the Attack, Defense, and Stamina ratings are not shown in the game. However, knowing these particular stats are crucial in getting ahead in the game?s Gyms due to its stiff and semi-automated battle system. More than stats, the players have also dug into the game?s data on chance percentages like catch rates and exact boost bonuses to understand the game even more.
According to SilphRoad moderator dronpes, this issue lands in the game?s ruling grey area as the unofficial Pokemon GO data sites are the first signs of the game?s community and gameplay dilemma. Additionally, dronpes noted that the hidden information was discovered because Niantic shares game information in an ?easily mine-able? format. For now, the moderator encouraged the community to make their stand on the said tools. The SilphRoad community has launched a research site that contains stat summaries of Pokemon in the game, which could definitely be affected if Niantic makes a move against such sites.
Pokemon GO is a young game that has just been picked up by a large player base. It?s also one of the first augmented reality games to ever hit mainstream consumption. For now, both the Pokemon GO community and Niantic may have to decide if the mentioned sites are considered ?cheating? or not.