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Fans divided over site that lets you "cheat" Pokémon Go

Pokevision reveals 'em all.

A website that lets you successfully "cheat" Pokémon Go has divided fans of the smash hit app.

Pokévision.com uses the game's API to show where Pokémon have spawned around you.

It's as simple as putting in your postal or zip code, then seeing where the critters are on a map of your area.

There are even timers that tell you how long the Pokémon has left until it despawns.

It's so simple to use, however, that some fans have spoken out against it, and said that using it amounts to cheating.

"This is a grey area, for sure," one fan wrote on hardcore Pokémon Go subreddit TheSilphRoad. "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 Pokévision 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."

Then there are the fans who point out how sites like Pokévision technically break Pokémon Go's terms of service - by using the game's API to display information that breaks open its core monster-finding mechanics.

"According to Niantic, pretty much everything on this subreddit is cheating," another fan added. "It is against the TOS to datamine, yet more than half of the front page currently is stuff retrieved through data-mining. So the real question is does anyone really care about the ToS?"

Many fans have said no - at least while Pokémon Go is struggling so badly with crashes and unreliable servers. Personally, I have lost a number of captures from the game freezing. Servers have also gone down after placing a lure, which is time-limited, meaning it was useless.

I was a little sceptical of Pokévision, but having tested it out myself, I find it somewhat surprisingly actually does work as easily as you'd hope.

The below image is myself trying the website out, seeing a Squirtle was fairly close and noticing it had more than 10 minutes left on the clock. So I headed over, using Google Maps to match up my location with a screengrab of Pokévision. And, upon getting to the right spot, there Squirtle was.

Our video man Ian "Gooblings Gamsers" Higton tried it out, too. Here, he heads out the house for a Rhyhorn, and finds it exactly where Pokévision said it would be.

Finally, just as I was about to hit publish on this article, I noticed the rare prehistoric Aerodactyl was close by. Gotta catch 'em all:

I didn't feel like this was breaking the experience - the app is a game, and rushing - well, walking briskly - to a location is still fun. It's still a little difficult to pinpoint exactly where things appear in real-life, and I still had the app crash on me half a dozen times just on the 10 minute round-trip.

Unless Niantic does take action to shut sites like Pokévision down, it's difficult to see fans giving them up by themselves.

Playing Pokémon Go? Check out our Pokémon Go guide, best tips and tricks hub to get the most out of finding, catching and leveling up.

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About the Author
Tom Phillips avatar

Tom Phillips


Tom is Eurogamer's Editor-in-Chief. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.

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