Niantic puts a “stop” to automated Guardian portal hunting

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Guardian portals have been a very hot topic lately, especially now that badges count towards new levels.

If you are a reddit user, you may have seen the thread showing a tool that not only automated the seeking of guardian portals, but also put it in an easy to use map, showing which portals were closest to hitting their next badge.

guardian hunter
Even Niantic’s own Joe Philley had posted about guardian hunting being “cheap and dirty”, which spawned a pretty heated discussion about guardian hunting. Some argued the point that it’s more than just denying a pretty badge now that new levels are in play. A guardian denial may also result in a level denial as well since it is one of the “easier” badges to obtain. Another popular argument was that tools such as the one above was playing “smarter” rather than “harder”.

 

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Today, we noticed a change in the Intel map that has removed the capture time / discovery date entirely.

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Code removed from the Intel map JSON (which was the fuel for most automation tools):

(“capturedTime”: “1400205318768”,)

Guardians captured before today are likely still subject to being found since their data was already discovered by guardian finder tools, however… From here on out, the age of a portal will only be known between it and the Agent that captured it.

UPDATE:
An oversight by myself was quickly revealed in the comments. Though these changes may put a halt to guardian tools in use today, the next generation of tools will likely scrape capture data in COMMs, which ranges back to 180 days.

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9 Comments

  1. This is good news, Why did they not ban the people that were using scrapers for guardian hunting. It is no different than modding your character in a first person shooter so you have the upper hand, plain cheating and they call it Playing smarter? Wow! We also suspect they are still scraping data as many agents on the ENL team got congrats from the other team in comms for making L16 when the innovater badge came out. How are they scraping this data?

  2. I wish there was a way to only view your portals. For example all portals you have captuered and it lets only you see how long it has been up.

    Trying to guess which portal you capped over a week is tough given the complexity of other players destroying them.

    If someone came up with that App… I’d 5 star it with a vengeance, lol.

  3. Unfortunately it hasn’t worked. Both sides have access to services that will list out guardian portals and ages.

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  5. It’s a shame some people feel they need to have an advantage over other players. The game obviously means more to them than it ever will to me. Just saying….

  6. Hide your guardian by using an Ada or Jarvis then time (min hour) to Ada or Jarvis it back. Problem solved. No capture for scraper tool to find.

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Niantic puts a “stop” to automated Guardian portal hunting

by fevenis time to read: 1 min
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