It’s not cheating; It’s POKÉVISION!

(One trick that Professor Willow HATES!)

POKÉVISION displays Pokemon locations using Niantic's data.

If you haven’t seen POKÉVISION, the Pokémon tracking application, here’s everything you need to know.

PokéVision hasn’t been out for more than two weeks, but already it’s drawing attention (and criticism) from all over. The app, which locates PokemonGo ‘mons in real time, has taken fire not only from those who think it’s an unfair cheat, but also from people who doesn’t think it works well enough. Here’s the basics:

Does it work? Is there anything I can do to make it work better?

It works. I’ve tested it myself, and many people have corroborated that it works. It can be, however, incomplete.  For the diehard Pokeperson with a little bit of tech knowledge, it’s possible to create or customize an app which may work better than PokeVision.

Is Pokevision a cheat? What does Niantic think about it?

According to an interview with TechInsider, the creators of PokeVision have not been in contact with Niantic. They did say that if Niantic asked them to take down the app, they would. In the meantime, the app remains in a gray area with no signs of being shut down. And even if it was to go away, several more Pokemaps would pop up due to the nature of how Niantic sends their data.

Should I use this app? What’s the deal?

Well, ultimately, it’s up to you! Trying to beat the Pokevision clock and get across town for a rare Pokemon certainly adds a fun game-play element to an already fun game, but there’s definitely some ethical complications. The best philosophizing I’ve seen on the topic came from dronpes, a moderator for the hardcore PokemonGo subreddit:

“This is a grey area, for sure. Personally, I feel like the true burden for this moral dilemma lies largely on Niantic for sending so much information over the wire in an easily mine-able format. Mapping sites like PokeVision are popping up every few hours now. I don’t doubt they will be working to fix this over time, but for now it’s an unstoppable force – a many headed hydra.

Personally I can’t help but feel that if I were to start heavily using these spawn-leaking sites, I would be undermining the game mechanics against the spirit of the game and I’d have less fun overall. I’d reduce my need to explore/exercise/chat with new people. It also removes a sense of community I’ve experienced in my neighborhood from strangers talking about where they encountered rare spawns.” -Dronpes, SilphRoad Moderator

Wise words from a Pokemon master, surely, but I’ve got to say I’ll be using the Pokevision map from time to time. Maybe I’m just a casual, but it seems like a good time to me! –cat

  • LucianUsagi

    It’s cheating but it was grey area because it was replacing a broken/turned off feature (nearby) all these sites and spoofers are taking an immense toll on the servers so preventing the cheaters from continuing to play is a good way to reduce server stress