In Pokemon Go, it is possible to fool your GPS and location data and convince your phone and your game that you are not where you say you are. This does sometimes happen by accident while playing normally (a phenomenon called GPS drift where your phone takes a moment to resync with GPS) but some people will trick their GPS on purpose in order to catch Pokemon around the world.
Frankly, no matter what you say, this is basically cheating. You may not be editing Pokemon Go itself or altering the base game in any way but you are using external programs to influence what you see. You’re also able to obtain Pokemon that you can’t normally obtain without physically going to those locations and grab wild, high IV/CP/rare Pokemon by simply teleporting across the planet.
Still, Pokemon Go is mostly a single player game, so no real harm done, right? No one’s missing out, right?
No, not really. Because you do interact with other players, and being able to grab Pokemon that most people can’t means that you do better in gyms, raids, Team Go Rocket pokestops and PvP. Spoofing means you can get all the best Pokemon and fill your Pokedex from the comfort of your own home. Which seems a tad unfair to people who go out and walk around to do things the proper way.
Sure, some might way that spoofers are beneficial in a way. If you’re in an area that’s not very busy, you might be able to do raids with spoofers that you wouldn’t have been able to do on your own. But that really depends on where you are. I mean, when Speed Forme Deoxys came out in EX-Raids, we had so many spoofers. So many in fact that actual players physically at the gym ended up being split into two groups because spoofers would fill up the raid. There were about 10 people actually there (including myself) and we just sat there in awe as the EX-Raid filled up and emptied three or four times. When we finally got into the raid, after 10 minutes of waiting, the raid STILL filled up with accounts who were not physically at the gym.
And of course, a spoofer has access to better Pokemon than a normal player. A local player I know who spoofs has a 100% IVs Gible that he’s evolved into a Garchomp. He caught that in California. He’s never been to California but he’s instantly got an upper hand when it comes to using said Garchomp in raids.
But at the end of a raid, everyone gets a chance at the Pokemon. The worst case scenario is that you have to start a second group or you don’t get maximum damage or you lose the team advantage, meaning you get less Premier Balls for the raid. In some rare cases, you might manage to catch a Pokemon you wouldn’t have normally.
When it comes to gyms though, things go downhill fast.
You see, you can’t protect a gym from spoofers. Spoofers can instantly go to any gym that want, kick out the Pokemon there and claim it as their own. A normal player has to physically be there to kick the spoofers’ Pokemon out of the gyms. And if you’re trying to feed a Pokemon berries to keep it in a gym, unless you are right on top of it, your berries have less of an effect. On more than one occasion, I’ve been kicked out of gyms in less than a minute and had the gyms filled with level 35-40 accounts, even though I was completely on my own.
What bothers me more though is that, if you are capable of instantly travelling across the planet via spoofing, you don’t NEED to kick people out of gyms! You can just find one of the many, many not full gyms and stick a Pokemon in one of them! There’s a lot of gyms on this planet, some of them in isolated regions where you can get your 50 coins a day easily. Instead of kicking out other players who just want some coins too, you could stick your Pokemon in gyms that already belong to whatever team you are and, better yet, avoid being detected as a spoofer.
You don’t even get much experience from fighting in gyms anyway. 100-200xp, the same as catching 1-2 Pokemon, but catching Pokemon also gives you stardust.
Frankly, I think it’s a bit sad that some people spoof in a game that’s meant to be about people walking around and exploring. It’s a mostly harmless thing, except when spoofers start taking gyms and forcing local players out. Take your own local gyms, don’t steal the gyms of people thousands of miles away.
I mean, if you want to collect them all and not leave your living room, why not play a normal Pokemon Game? Or even Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu or Eevee?