Pokémon GO developer Niantic is taking action against players who have been abusing a clever exploit to farm as much as 120 XL Candy per hour in Routes.
The developers have recently handed out bans to players involved in the exploit, with suspensions ranging from 30 days, 230 days, to even a whopping 1247 days, alongside permanent bans.
A post by Redditor milotic03 on the Pokémon GO subreddit shows a screenshot of the ban handed to a player.
“Your Pokémon GO account has been suspended for 30 days for repeated or serious violations of the Route Instructions for Players,” a machine translation of the first screenshot read. It also said that the player would regain access in 230 days.
It's likely that the punishment is proportional to the amount of XL candy that was cultivated through the exploit attempts.
In the second screenshot, the machine translation read: “Your Pokémon GO account has violated our Routing Guidelines for Players. Repeated violations may result in a temporary suspension or permanent ban from Pokémon GO.”
What is the XL Candy exploit?
Recently, a bug in the newest Pokémon GO feature, Routes, was discovered by some Pokémon GO players. was revealed to be exploited by players in order to quickly and easily acquire XL candy.
The exploit works essentially by removing the speed cap on Route progress.
Players are currently only allowed to create five Routes during a 30-day period, which limits the
To take advantage of the exploit, players had to create a route and utilise external applications on a jailbroken device with a specific set of settings in order to trick their device's GPS into skipping to the end of the route an excessive number of times.
This exploit could be tempting for some since it accumulates enough XL candy to max out legendary and mythical Pokémon in a day, and it bypasses the limitations of Routes.
Community mostly happy with bans, but complaints about Route feature remain
The move to ban players who took part in the exploit was generally praised by the Pokémon GO community, with one Redditor saying, “Good. I wish they would get more aggressive with cheaters,” while others agreed by saying that this “should be a permanent ban.”
Pokémon GO content creator Poké AK was among those who reacted to Niantic’s move. In his video, he said. “Do I think that that [the bans] should be taking place? Oh, hell yeah!”
“You’re doing something extremely exploitative, and you shouldn’t be. Niantic has been quietly banning people, and I mean, what do you expect?” he added.
However, others continued to complain about Routes and the difficulty of collecting enough XL candy to max out Legendaries.
In particular, one of the top comments from Redditor Alternative_Net8931 said, “[People] are already exploiting routes and yet the only one I have found by my house goes straight through a [little] kid’s house.
Players have complained about routes for a variety of reasons, including that they don't provide enough rewards, are too rare in most areas, and have a terrible design.
“Making routes indoors is a nightmare due to all the lag and drifting. Worse is that my route description had a couple of typos, and I can't even edit them,” Redditor CDV_Solrac also complained on the same thread.
Still others, like nukey18monthink that the route system “should be revamped" and gave plenty of suggestions on what should be changed, like “Each route should have checkpoints instead of keeping strictly to a line on a map.”
Aside from the ban, Niantic has yet to address players' feedback on the new feature.
However, at least players need not worry about those who use the XL Candy exploit to gain an unfair advantage.
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.