A Pokemon Go player has reported a large botting operation in their hometown, and trainers from around the world have confirmed they’ve been victims of similar nefarious activities.
While Pokemon is mainly known for the hundreds of monsters players can collect, another main component of the franchise is the overarching antagonists.
In the anime, it’s always been Team Rocket, and in the games, the evil organization changes with each generation. Their goals range from wanting to take over the world, to wanting to create an endless supply of energy. And their plot normally involves the influence of an incredibly strong Pokemon.
However, Pokemon Go is unique as it sometimes allows actual players to become the IRL Team Rocket members. From guarding gyms to disrupting play, battle-ready NPCs aren’t the only threat to Pokemon Go players.
Pokemon Go players terrorized by bot accounts
Reddit user karmaamputee reported some rather odd and nefarious activities taking place in their local area. They posted their findings to the r/TheSilphRoad subreddit claiming there to be an uptick in TOS-breaking incidents.
“Since around Monday evening at 7:30pm, there has been a massive increase in gym activity in our local and surrounding areas,” they stated. “It started with every gym going white almost at the same time across multiple towns, 10s of KM apart, and then slowly being populated over the next couple of hours, all by brand new accounts nobody has ever heard of, and all with similar naming scheme.”
They went on to explain that every attempt made to retake the gyms was thwarted within 15 minutes. They also stated that reporting the accounts does little in the way of stopping the gym takeover.
However, users were quick to comment stating they had been the victim of a similar situation. Some claimed that it was likely the work of a player running multiple bot accounts they intend to sell new players. Others advised OP to wait it out and that the bot runner would “get bored and move on.”
Regardless, Niantic has stated that they are cracking down on bot accounts and spoofers, but this shows players are still at risk of having their experiences ruined by larger operations – even if it’s just for a short time.
Hopefully, Niantic will take swift action against these large-scale spoofing issues allowing for a more enjoyable gaming experience for real Pokemon Go players.