Pokemon GO cheaters are a huge problem for the game. The tools that they use are a drain on the servers, and their antics normally end up being a serious inconvenience for legitimate players. Using bots, mapping, and GPS spoofing, cheaters can earn insane amounts of XP in a short time, catch tons of Pokemon with zero effort, and lord over gyms with obscenely strong Pokemon that would take months to develop normally. Recently, Niantic has made it known to the Pokemon GO community that they will begin to crack down hard on cheating, up to and including permanently banning cheaters. This all sets the stage for the story of Jimmy Derocher.
Derocher, a prominent Pokemon GO player and Redditor, planned out a 0.2 mile route through a large number of PokeStops in Austin, Texas. He would play by certain guidelines to make things as efficient as possible, putting down lures, using lucky eggs and strategic Pokemon evolution for maximum effect, and catching Pokemon based on whether it was worth it in relation to the plan. His goal was to prove that, through legitimate play, it was possible to attain 1 million XP in a single day. In preparation, he reached out to Niantic CEO John Hanke on Twitter and asked to be spared the softban that he anticipated would automatically happen. With everything in place, he began his epic run, with a live audience watching via Twitch.
After the 600,000 XP mark, about 13 hours in, Derocher and a live audience watched in horror as even the weakest of wild Pokemon simply refused to be caught. Derocher had triggered an automatic softban, as he suspected he would, and it would seem that his Tweet to Hanke had been in vain. Derocher said of the ordeal, “In a sense I was trying to prove to Niantic that their limit was actually hurting players who play efficiently,”. He continued to play by hitting PokeStops and netting XP from fleeing Pokemon as fast as he could, but it just wasn't enough to hit the target. He did manage to raise some scratch for charity using a mile-logging app, and proved quite solidly that Niantic's anti-cheating measures are not perfect.