Pokemon Go – Bot Edition

A wild Python appeared, and it wants to play Pokemon Go. Python bots are taking over the game when you can’t, and they are good. Since you’re likely to bump into one sooner or later, here’s an overview:

One of the first workable bots and the origin of a lot of (dirty) code, as well as the (not dirty at all) Pokemon Trainer Club client secret, is [Mila432’s] Pokemon Go Bot. One of his initial goals was to make better sense of the API, which worked out better than he hoped.

Not wanting to impetuously destroy the numerous helpful applications that had been built upon the already partially known API, he decided to keep the project off Niantic’s radar. The most recent (and most powerful) version of his bot has not been released. The current version works fine within its limited functionality: Wandering around and looting Pokestops.

Elsewhere, [Mila432’s] API code was cleaned up and restructured, but what remained is mostly the PTC client secret and understanding of the API. In particular, [tejado’s] API code base and [AeonLucid’s] protocol buffer, inspired a few new bot projects. Among them [Ruben Vereecken’s] API and demo bot, which could handle more of the basic functionalities, such as catching Pokemon. It’s bot routine wanders around, loots and catches everything it can find (if uncommented from the demonstration code).

Eventually, the most advanced Python bot we have encountered so far is an uber-bot by [PokemonGoF]. This bot does not only implement all known API functions but also use them strategically. The highly configurable bot can be set up to keep only certain Pokemon with certain stats, trading the rest in for candy. It also can evolve Pokemon, incubate eggs and features a “human behavior” – a ban prevention trick that adds a certain randomness to its actions. It even shows what it’s doing on a map, as you can see in the header animation.

Human behavior or not, all of them have one thing in common: After a day of usage, they leave our test accounts bursting with items, Pokemon and XP, although the accounts are still fully workable. No bans, all fine. It is actually pretty devastating. Try at your own risk, though, or even better: Let us know how human players can defeat an army of bots in the comments!

29 thoughts on “Pokemon Go – Bot Edition

  1. I certainly hear you and I do agree. I think there were two yesterday and two today. That said, I also think they are all interesting hacks and all a bit different. Hang in there, I’m sure this fad will die down soon enough.

  2. Hum, I also admit it’s a bit much. Although some great hacks have been accomplished here, and this post is already a three-in-one. Of all the terrible hype topics this summer, this one at least has a certain quality to it.

    1. Why? Even people who are not regular Pokemon players are enjoying themselves walking around, meeting strangers and making the occasional eye-contact to say hi. It’s rather surprising how more social my walks have become. Do I play? Yes. It’s entertaining and I get off my ass way more than I ever did for simple walks.

  3. I really love posts on video game bots, especially in regards to ban evasion.
    I once made a bot for an unspecified 2D online game that would abuse the game’s systems for making in-game money (a rock-mining minigame.)
    I eventually had to add human-like behavior just like this, via random variations in timing, movement patterns, and occasional pauses for the bot to take a human-like break. It was even capable of observing the screen to determine if other players could see it (via a pixel reading routine, and by knowing that a certain GUI element turned white when people were around). When observers were present, the bot would pretend to be AFK, or would talk to players in the in-game chat with non-commital comments that sounded human, before saying that it was busy and returning to work. It was super effective.

  4. People let’s be nice and let those who find these articles interesting enjoy them.. this site is to watch, read and learn there’s nothing wrong with posting more than one time, I run into articles that don’t interest me and i just move along without complaining.

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