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'Pokémon Go' Cheat Reveals the Exact Locations of Pokémon on Google Maps

Published On 07/20/2016 Published On 07/20/2016

Look, it doesn't take a Pokémon Master to know that the most exciting part of playing Pokémon Go is stumbling on rare and powerful Pokémon out in the wild of your neighborhood. But if your sad collection of Pidgeys and Rattatas has left you crippled with Pokémon envy, then good news: an extensive new cheat will show you exactly where to find every single Pokémon hiding nearby.

As explained in a report by The Verge, the cheat or hack -- whatever you want to call it -- was born in a subreddit created for software developers turned Pokémon Go trainers who figured out a way to access raw data from the game, including gym locations, the items you'll get at Poké Stops, and most importantly, the exact locations where Pokémon are appearing. One of the developers, Ahmed Almutawa, managed to plot the data onto a Google Map you can use to helpfully reveal all the Pokémom appearing around you. There's just one giant catch.

Currently, using the map is not as easy as visiting a website or downloading an app. Instead, you'll have to download code Almutawa shared on GitHub, potentially download software, open your computer's command line, and follow a long list of instructions to make it work. If any of these words already make you feel uncomfortable or you don't know what the command line, you probably shouldn't attempt to install and set it up. Almutawa said he and other developers are currently working to make the map more user friendly, so you don't have to be a programmer to enjoy it, according to the report. 

In the meantime, reporters at The Verge successfully installed the map and found that it actually worked in their testing. However, all they caught were a Meowth and Koffing.

In addition to the difficult installation process, the cheat obviously diminishes the whole purpose of the game and potentially puts you at an unfair advantage over other aspiring trainers. Further, a disclaimer warns that using the software violates the Pokémon Go Terms of Service and could get you banned. There's also a very good chance the game's developer, Niantic Labs, won't allow it stand for long (by wiping out the cheat with an update). In other words, you might just be better off using easily accessible crowdsourced Pokémon sighting maps like Poke Radar, or you can give this new real-time map a try.

Or, you can continue roaming around your neighborhood from one active Lure Module to another like everyone else.

h/t The Verge

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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and, personally, would rather go out and find the Pokémon himself. It's way more exciting that way. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.

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