Tagged With niantic

This past weekend, many Pokemon GO gyms were rendered unplayable. Players trying to battle at sites like Big Ben were greeted not by a 'mon but by an egg that glitched the game, protecting these gyms from being defeated. Eggs appeared in New York City, London and elsewhere -- and almost all of them were placed there by the same person.

Niantic Inc., the company behind that app you won't stop hearing about Pokémon Go, has taken a stand against cheaters in the past, or anybody who violates its terms of service, such as sending out cease and desist letters to tracker apps. Now the company has stated that it will outright ban users for those violations.

Pokemon Go's "nearby" menu was, on the game's launch, a great way to find out which Pokemon were around your location, with a handy one-, two- or three-step symbol showing exactly how close said pocket monsters were. A glitch that showed all Pokemon as three steps away destroyed its usefulness almost entirely, then Niantic removed steps altogether in a great example of salting the earth on which something beautiful once grew. Now, like a Moltres from the ashes, a new "sightings" menu -- with added long grass -- has taken its place.

I'm in the back of a Gregory's Coffee in New York's midtown across from Dronpes and flanked by Moots7, who are careful to tell me as little about themselves as possible. From what I can gather Moots works in finance and comes from rural Colorado, while Dronpes is a developer at a tech company, hard-working with a cautious, controlling streak. Both are tall, stubbly white guys in their late 20s -- the right age to have fond memories of the first generation Pokemon games. Six months ago they embarked on creating The Silph Road, a project that has become the Pokemon GO player's bible.

It’s been a few weeks since the launch of the app that even your neighbour who you've never met is talking about. Pokemon Go is now playable in over 50 countries, with the latest location being Nintendo’s origin country, Japan. The smartphone game has made Nintendo more valuable than Sony in less than a week, forced both US presidential nominees to mention the word ‘Pokemon’ in their speeches, and even taught social skills to young people with autism. If you’re not a fan of Pokemon Go you might have installed the PokeGone Chrome extension to try silencing the Internet.

However, if you’re still trying to be the very best, then take note of these actually useful tips from five level 25+ players to guide you this weekend.

Pokemon GO has been keeping some big secrets from you. That should come as no surprise for a game with no tutorial. Thus far player communities have done a marvellous job of sussing out Pokemon GO's often confusing mechanics. But three of the most important stats are hidden from the player, and they're the best way of determining a monster's battle viability.

Video: Don't think for a second that what you're seeing here in New York's Central Park is a contained incident. Pokemon GO is drawing tremendous crowds to the parks and piers of cities across the nation as smartphone-wielding adults venture into the concrete wilderness under the cover of darkness to capture rare collections of pixels.

Pokémon Go is the best mostly-broken game I've ever played. It crashes in the middle of battles. There are constant server issues. It's a menace to my health and well-being that has burrowed itself into my heart like a blood clot. But as the game claws its way to usability, players are realising that Niantic did a really half-assed job setting up the in-game locations, and Pokémon Go is sending people to some really strange places.