Although helper apps have been removed, it seems actual cheating apps haven’t even been touched.
Pokemon Go developer Niantic Labs has been vehemently against Pokemon tracking services that helped users to find their most desired Pokemon in-game. However, the company seems to be overlooking another major component, taking down cheat services that break the game.
It is without a doubt that Niantic Labs had every reason to remove PokeVision access and input for other Pokemon Go apps that helped track Pokemon. It helped to free up resources and even bring the game to different countries. These apps helped to free up the servers and increase performance levels.
PokeAdvisor was just blocked this morning by Niantic. PokeAdvisor functioned similarly to PokeVision and allowed players to compare themselves to others on leaderboards and calculate the max potential of their Pokemon. PokeAdvisor left the Pokemon catching mechanic intact and was simply a tracking app like its predecessor.
Niantic has been curiously silent about the existence of cheating robots that play the game for you, however.
These cheat bots function by players feeding it coordinates for anywhere in the world. The bot can then be told what Pokemon to catch and which to ignore, and it even calculates the IVs of the Pokemon, one of the values which helps determine its potential.
The cheat app can also be told to transfer any low quality Pokemon and evolve those that are close to perfect. The app can also be told to prioritize CP instead. The app also “wanders” around a given area, and automatically spins up Pokestops, hatches eggs, and so on. Basically the users leaves the app running and it plays the game for them, reaping a lot of rewards. Obviously something like this breaks the game.
However, one particular bot is charging $7.95 for the first 60 days of use and $9.95 for each recurring 60 days after that. It is seeing an alarming amount of success despite its pay to play function.
The only punishment that seems to be put in place is a soft ban, one that doesn’t actually last. This soft ban stops players from catching Pokemon, spinning Pokestops, and gym battling. The ban will simply run down and the bot can continue, so this clearly is not effective.