You Can Hack Pokemon GO On Jailbroken iOS And Rooted Android Phones

You Can Hack Pokemon GO On Jailbroken iOS And Rooted Android Phones

Pokemania has swept the nation since Pokemon GO was launched in Australia this week. Thousands of people are rushing outdoors with their phones out, trying to catch digital critters in the wild through the augmented reality (AR) interface. You have to be outside and walking around in order to find and ensnare Pokemon in the game… or do you? If you own a jailbroken iPhone or a rooted Android smartphone, you can become a well-travelled Pokemon Master on GO without taking a single step. Here’s what you need to know.

Image: Supplied

Pokemon GO uses GPS to determine your location and then shows you nearby Pokemon and Poke Stops that you can visit through the app. It’s a good way to encourage people to be more active and I’ve already seen friends organise meetups to go on walks just to track down new Pokemon. “Gotta catch ’em all”, right?

But if you hate walking, have social anxiety or you work long hours in a tiny office cubicle, it’s going to be a lot harder to amass those pocket monsters. If you still want to get in on the Pokemon GO craze, you can still progress in the game if you have a jailbroken Apple iPhone or a rooted Android smartphone.

Bear in mind that if you decide to go down this path, you’re essentially cheating and that is not only frowned upon but it also violates the terms of use for Pokemon GO. GPS spoofing was a big problem on Ingress, an AR game that was developed by the same company that worked on Pokemon GO called Niantic. If you are found to be cheating, you could be reported and possibly banned from Pokemon GO, so do this at your own risk.

As Niantic states in its Pokemon GO Trainer Guidelines:

“We will enforce the Terms of Use as well as these guidelines. We will review reported or flagged player accounts and content and will determine whether or not they violate the Terms of Use and/or these guidelines. Accounts are penalized for violations of the Terms of Use and/or the Trainer guidelines—we may issue a warning, suspend you from the game, or (for serious or repeated violations) terminate your account.”

There are unofficial iOS and Android apps that can spoof the GPS location of your phone. For this reason, Pokemon GO can actually detect whether your mobile device is jailbroken or rooted and the game will not work if your phone is found to be hacked.

But there are also apps that can stop other apps from detecting whether your phone is jailbroken or rooted. On the iPhone, you can get anti-jailbreak detection apps. You can download these via Cydia, the gateway to unofficial app stores for jailbroken iOS devices. For our guide to jailbreak your Apple iPhone, hit this link.

Once you have this tweak running on your iPhone, you can use a GPS spoofing app to falsify your location by punching in your desired latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates for any place in the world. I have seen a friend demonstrate this on their jailbroken iPhone running iOS 9.0.2. so I know this method works.

For rooted Android phones, if you turn on developer mode, there’s a feature that lets you use mock GPS location apps. However, Pokemon GO can detect when this feature is turned on and the game just spazzes out. Theoretically, you could bypass this if you have a rooted Android phone and used a anti-root detection tweak along with a GPS spoofing app. I don’t have a rooted Android phone to test this on just yet so be warned that it may not work.

While I do know some of the apps that can perform these tasks, I’ve made a conscious decision not to mention any of them specifically (for obvious ethical reasons). If you want to go down this dubious route, a Google search will point you in the right direction.

I’m sure there are many other techniques you can use to hack Pokemon GO but it’s actually nice to have an excuse to go outside and get some fresh air for a change. These hacks are useful for people who are unable to venture outdoors (for example, if you’re stuck in a hospital) but they have the potential to ruin the game for others; it’s not fair for the people who do put in the effort to walk around. If you’re an able-bodied human being and a fan of Pokemon, do yourself a favour, pick up your phone and go outside. You can’t truly become a Pokemon Master if you don’t do the legwork.

Read Next: Is Your Phone Compatible With Pokemon GO?


    • Hi beto,

      Pokemon GO is able to detect jailbroken or rooted devices. In the Pokemon GO FAQ, it specifically states the game does not support jailbroken iOS devices but doesn’t mention rooted Android phones. Having said that, as noted in the article, the game knows when you’re using fake GPS location apps (many of which you can get from the Play store) but there are ways to get around that on a rooted Android device (though I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet).

      Hope this helps.



      • Hi Spandas,

        Thanks for the reply. I was asking because I have an Xperia SP I’d like to use to play. Since it’s rooted and doesn’t officially go to Android 4.4 I’ll look into making an unofficial update. I’m not interested in hacking the GPS but didn’t want to go through the effort if it wasn’t going to work.

        I’ll share my findings once I update the device.

          • Just like Chunky Love said. I didn’t have any issue with it being a rooted phone or a custom KitKat for Xperia SP. Game works without any trouble.

        • It didn’t pick up my root, and when I tested my fake GPS, it didn’t seem to work..
          So there you go.

          • The fake Gps does work you have to have mock mock locations turned on to block pokemon go from seeing it. then run the gps spoofer works great for me while im at work on break ( military base that doesnt have any pokemon on it, so i use it to get to off base locations)

    • Hi TastyFishes,

      Yes, I keep confusing the name of Niantic with that of a hyperconverged infrastructure company! Sorry about that. Nutanix is definitely not working on any augmented reality products!

      I have updated the name. Thank you so much for flagging!



  • Cheating? More like cheating themselves out of fresh air, exercise, and adventure.

  • LH why on earth would you promote cheating like this? This is an irresponsible article and you should really take a good hard look at your editorial integrity, or rather lack of it.

    • Hi bugsquash,

      Thank you for your comment.

      I don’t know if you read the whole article but throughout the piece I did highlight that cheating is frowned upon, risky, generally not worth it and unfair to other players. Also, learning how to ‘hack’ things, be it in life or with technology, is a core part of our publication but I have deliberately left out the specific apps that can be used to cheat in Pokemon GO. This isn’t promoting the cheat. It just shows that it is possible to cheat in the game.

      Hope this helps.



  • Uh, having a rooted android device doesn’t stop you from playing. It also doesn’t detect mock location apps, it only detects if you have the option on or off. If the game sees you have the option enabled then it’ll say it can’t find your location. If you have a way around it detecting that, then share it. I doubt it’s possible without see apk decompiling

  • “I don’t have a rooted Android phone to test this on just yet so be warned that it may not work.” Journalism click bait/10

  • My phone is rooted running dirty unicorn and had no trouble playing both in the beta and now (although I got pretty bored of it during the beta fair quickly so I’m interested in seeing how long it takes for the world to feel the same lol).
    Remember though there is many ways to get a location of your phone, (cell tower ISP IP address) WIFI IP address and GPS location is a few. I would imagine if any of these differed greatly (say by country) it will probably be easy to flag you as a cheater. Further more changing location from one state to another within hours, is likely another way to flag you (unless you have a private jet :P).

    Remember that its made by niantic a start up originally from google, so they know what they’re doing and since they’ve been dealing with ingress cheaters for a while, I’d definitely be more careful if I was trying to cheat without being banned

    • Doubtful, i VPN all my data through the Netherlands even though i play in the UK. plenty of people do similar.

  • For Android
    Yes you can play pokemon go with a rooted android device
    Yes you pokemon go detects if you have mock locations enabled in developer options and will block you.
    You need to know how to install GPS spoofer to your system/apps or system/priv-apps
    You will need to have a rooted device, and a folder application that has full view of your phones folder structure.

    No i wont be explaining how, if you dont know how you will most likely brick your phone by accident.

  • GPS spoofing works. I’m testing it now. No problems just depends on how you do it

  • 1. Have a rooted andriod phone
    2. Download “Fake GPS” from app store.
    3. Use a root browser app, go to data>app>fakegps.apk and move the apk file to system>priv_app>folder. Then click install.
    4. Reboot phone
    5. Run the Fake GPS app, then go to developer options > turn off mock locations
    6. Make sure location setting is using gps or either high accuracy (gps + data connection)
    7. Run pokemon go
    8. Profit.

  • I’m thinking about getting an Xperia SP and root it. Which custom KitKat did you use? Can you use AR mode?

  • Really fagsquash, get over it. There will always be dishonest people but it surely doesnt give you any reason to bash someone who wrote an article on a domain called “lifehacker” . Even though it would still technically be unfair to other players there are absolutely circumstances where location spoofing would be necessary in order to play. Unfortunately in my case I live in a rural area (Hocking hills) with hughesnet satellite internet and no cellular service for 30 miles. That being said even though I am quite capable of visiting and hiking along miles of state parks in my area, there is no cellular reception. Physically disabled people may also appreciate being able to enjoy a game that is being taken talked about 24/7 across every form of media.

    Simple minded people such as yourself are what’s wrong with society

  • Easiest way to try out this game for those who don’t have Pokemon Go in their country or don’t own an Android 4.4 above phone:
    1. Download and install Nox App Player Pokemon Go version on your pc (works on Windows only)
    2. Start up Nox and you will find pre-load Pokemon Go, log in and play with WASD keys for walking. There’s also virtual location feature to cover greater distance.

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