Hackernoon logoThings I Learned Using The Pokemon Go API by@brianbest

Things I Learned Using The Pokemon Go API

Brian Best Hacker Noon profile picture

Brian Best

Senior Frontend Developer

As many of you have probably been seeing, there’s a whole raft of new 3rd party Pokemon Go related websites and apps debuting. Such as Pokemon maps, radars, bots and even dating sites. Most of these (maybe not the dating site) are actually making use of this Pokemon API, which mimics the server request information and responses sent by the actual app it self. This can get pinpoint locations of Pokemon, your own info on Pokemon and items carried, it can also capture Pokemon, spin PokeStops, and hatch eggs.I’ve been playing with one of these scripts that allows a user to play with some of these functions. It is easy to install if you do software development or are very familiar with the ins and outs python. This is what I learned.

Output from the script

1. Super insecure

This should be a no brainer. This app is against Pokemon Go’s Terms of Service. Its also a hack that makes their serves think you’re a real app. Because you have to give your user name and password in plain text It would be very easy for any 3rd party to take your identity and start accessing things like your online banking.

2. Totally fixes footprints

If you consider getting the exact longitude and latitude of that Weedle a fix, but these radars and maps really do work. Your app on your phone is the one hiding the location from you.

3. There is a limit to XP per day

I ran a script for last night and most of this morning that would move my character from Pokestop to Pokestop collecting items and gaining XP. All in I went from level 15 last night to level 17 this morning, however that stopped at little in level 17. I don’t know exactly how much the cap is but I gained 40k xp in about 12 hours. I’d say I hit some kind of barrier. Right now I can’t collect from any Pokestops or catch any Pokemon, they all run away.

4. You can overflow items

It was really weird running this script, I’d check my inventory and I would have 450/400 items. My guess is the limit to your inventory is actually held on your phone and not server side so theoretically if you only did this method you could gain unlimited items from pokestops. Almost too similar to the MissingNo cheat in the original games.

5. Hatching eggs

The script can walk for you but this isn’t new. Its just spoofing your GPS.

After my experiment I can’t help but feel a little dirty for using this script to gain some XP. The game is made an even greater experience because of the need to go outside an interact with the real world. It’s likely that access to this api will be closed up soon but I hope that there will remain some kind of limited API so third parties could make cool apps that enhance the experience for all players.

If you like to meet and talk to some of the developers who made this api and others like it check out the Pokemon Go Dev subreddit!


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