This post was last updated on February 1, 2024
Few games have enveloped such a wide fanbase as Pokemon, and the franchise’s team-up with Niantic has created one of the most popular phone games there is today. The AR-based game is loads of fun and constantly features new events, but as with all games, players are constantly looking for ways to improve their odds.
This leads us to the big question: Are Pokemon Go cheats even possible? Well, yes and no. This isn’t a game where you can hit a string of buttons and suddenly find yourself face-to-face with whatever shiny pokemon you want. However, there are a lot of different exploits you can take advantage of.
So, we’ve put together a master list of so-called Pokemon Go cheats for you to employ in becoming the greatest pokemon trainer there is.
Pokemon Go Cheat Codes
Let’s get one thing straight, if you see cheat codes out there online, they’re almost certainly wrong. A lot of websites will try to bait you in with strings of codes, hoping you’ll spend a lot of time on their site entering in all of them and hoping for one to work.
We’re not going to do that, but we will tell you how “cheat codes” work in Pokemon Go. For starters, there aren’t any actual cheat codes. Instead, Pokemon Go’s shop uses promo codes. These codes are redeemed to receive a variety of items and sometimes even special research quests.
Unfortunately, almost every promo code is crafted to be for one-time use only. If Niantic wants everyone to be able to receive a shiny pokémon, they’ll just release an event that makes it easy for people to catch shiny pokemon. If they want to give people free ultra balls, they’ll put a free ultra ball in the item shop.
So, if you want to get some free stuff, keep an eye out. Typically you can find promo codes being handed out by other companies that partner with Niantic. Your phone company might give out monthly rewards, or you could take advantage of Prime Gaming, which has been doing weekly rewards for quite some time now.
The real cheat codes in Pokemon Go are the friends we make along the way.
Sorry, old memes die hard.
The real cheat codes in Pokemon Go are all exploits of how the game works. Some cheats are fun methods to take advantage of the game while others employ some shady tactics that may or may not be against Niantic’s rules.
GPS Location Spoofing in Pokemon Go
Pokemon GO is a game that uses your GPS location so you can encounter pokemon, challenge gyms, and spin pokestops. You might think this is a foolproof way to get people outside but plenty of third-party apps have come up with creative ways to send the game fake GPS information.
By changing your GPS location with a spoofer, normally a ramped-up VPN service, there’s actually a lot you can do. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is move around with something most apps call teleport mode. This allows you to immediately drop into a new location.
Players use this method to catch pokemon they can’t find at their real-world location, encounter more pokemon or more powerful pokémon, and even battle in as many raids and gyms as they possibly can.
Proceed With Caution
Location spoofing to a fake location is incredibly dangerous though since Niantic keeps an eye on players’ accounts. They’ve gotten very good at identifying the various cheat apps that give players an unfair advantage (or allow players to avoid spending money on their game).
If Niantic catches you using one of these websites you could be banned, although this does come in three strikes as shown below:
- Shadow Bans – You’ll receive a warning that you’ve been caught using unauthorized third-party software and have limited access to the game for about a week.
- Suspension – On your second strike, you will be shut out from your account for 30 days.
- Termination – On your third strike you can say bye-bye to all the pokemon you’ve caught and all the hard work (and even money) you’ve put into the game.
So, we don’t actually recommend this method, although we can understand why you might want to. Some people live in areas where pokemon don’t really spawn with any frequency or where they might not be able to easily battle gyms.
The community has long been annoyed by Niantic’s poor accessibility options, so finding ways to change location and catch some spoof pokémon is often seen as only fair. If that’s how you want to justify it, then we’ll totally support you there.
Simulated Movement in Pokemon GO
Hatching eggs, catching pokemon, leveling up your buddy, and so much more are all based on your ability to walk. So, keeping the theme of accessibility-based cheats, we should probably mention that there are lighter versions of spoofing out there.
Instead of completely spoofing your location, you can simulate GPS movement or even use an app to record steps. These movement-cheating apps don’t change location while you’re actively playing the game.
These apps take advantage of the Adventure Sync feature in Pokémon Go. You might set the app to record 10km worth of walking and then when you open your game, you’ll receive an Adventure Sync notification letting you know how much you walked while you were away.
We tend to like these sorts of apps better, since they don’t require us to mess around with our phone’s internal settings, nor do they present a huge threat of being banned. They even let us change our walking speed so we can knock out about 100km on a day when we want to hatch a lot of eggs.
Still, the use of any third-party apps does present a risk of banning from Niantic, so use any of these apps at your own risk.
Many rare pokémon are locked to certain areas of the world or even certain habitats. Instead of actually spoofing your location, you can try sharing your account with a friend that lives somewhere else.
Again, this is against Niantic’s Terms of Service, so we do not officially recommend this strategy.
Players that do use this sort of cheat tend to do so sparingly and make sure to wait a good amount of time before logging on from a new location.
Think of it like credit card usage. If you charge your card to New York City at 4:30 and then make a charge in Botswana at 4:35, your bank will probably be pretty suspicious and put a hold on your account.
Of course, if you wait long enough for a flight to have theoretically occurred, you might be fine. Then, you can get to catching rare pokemon in a new region.
Players who use this tend to also engage in another activity that’s frowned upon by Niantic – multiple accounts. The shared account works as a sort of go-between bot account, with the players trading whichever pokemon they want to their actual accounts.
The Real Pokemon GO Cheats: Tips and Tricks
Sure, you can cheat pokemon into your game if you use a fake GPS cheat app to teleport yourself around and catch the best pokémon you possibly can. That’s too easy though. Some of us just want ways to be better than the average Pokemon Go player, which is why we’ve got the best tips and tricks for you to use in your games.
AR Mode Shiny Checking
Most Pokemon Go players are interested in finding as many shiny pokemon as possible. The best way to do that is to encounter as many pokemon as you possibly can. So, the best players have come up with methods to quickly encounter huge amounts of pokemon in a short amount of time.
Using the AR mode will allow the app to use your camera and show any pokemon you encounter hovering in the middle of your screen. To be clear, this is the AR mode that you can toggle on and off from the encounter screen, not the AR+ you can turn on in your game’s settings.
The benefit here is that in normal encounters, there’s a little zoom-out animation that takes about 3 seconds before you can catch pokémon or run from the encounter. With AR mode on you can immediately do either of those options.
It may seem like a small difference but when you’re walking around trying to check for shiny pokemon, especially on a community day with hundreds of spawns in a small area, every second counts. This method allows you to keep walking with ease and check every pokemon you pass by.
Item Quick-Catch Pokémon Go Cheat
Sometimes, we’re not just trying to catch pokemon. Sometimes, we want to catch as many pokemon as possible so we can get one with incredible IVs (individual value) for competitive play. Catching your pokemon faster is a surefire way to get more value from a quick walk around the neighborhood.
The quick-catch method isn’t necessarily easy, but with some practice following these steps, you’ll get the hang of it.
- Encounter a pokemon.
- Hold your finger on the berry icon in the bottom left.
- Throw a Pokeball. As you throw it, open up the berry pouch by sliding it to the right.
- Tap on the screen to close the berry pouch.
- Run from the battle once the pokemon goes in the ball.
Normally, you have to wait for the catching animation to finish and then go through all the caught messages that come at the end of an encounter. If you do this maneuver correctly, the berry pouch will confuse the UI and allow you to run early, skipping all of that time on the end.
The pokemon will still appear on the screen as if it’s available to catch, but clicking on it again will cause it to disappear if you’ve successfully caught it. In general, we find that this is more likely to work if you’re using ultra balls, throwing well-placed curve balls, and catching pokemon that don’t have incredibly high combat power.
Checking Your Pokemon’s IVs
Let’s be real clear here. This is not a Pokémon Go cheat in any way shape or form. IVs are something you can check in the game as soon as you hit trainer level 7. With the appraisal feature, you can easily see what your pokemon’s IVs are.
Some websites might try to sell you auto IV checkers that promote advanced features allowing you to quickly determine IVs, but that’s completely unnecessary. In fact, you don’t even need to use the appraisal feature if you’re feeling lazy.
If you want to see which pokemon you have with great stats, just type “3*” into the search bar of your pokemon inventory and you’ll be shown all 3-star pokemon. Since 3-star pokemon have anywhere between 82 and 98% IVs, you’re bound to see some of the best pokemon you have.
You can replace that 3 with 0,1,2, or 4 to see those stars as well. A 4-star pokemon has perfect IVs and is incredibly rare, so be sure to favorite them and protect them at all costs.
Pokemon Go is a really incredible game, but it’s still a financial enterprise by a mega-corporation. Naturally, this means that some players are going to be at a disadvantage. So, use some of these cheats and exploits at your own risk to become the best Pokémon trainer you can (without emptying your pockets for pocket monsters).