Following the so-called proof of a captured Articuno defending a gym, a method of manipulating the game to create fake Pokemon in Pokemon GO comes to light.

Pokemon GO players have been in an uproar ever since footage of an Articuno defending a gym appeared online. Most have believed the footage to be fake, and now more evidence is coming to light that reveals that creating fake Pokemon is a simple task.

While swapping out models or creating an elaborate hoax with image manipulation software could explain some of the legendary Pokemon that have been appearing online, the Articuno hoax most likely required a Pokemon GO proxy. Skilled modders have created proxy software that allows gamers to effectively create their own Pokemon GO servers, altering the game’s data as they see fit. Once the private server was created, multiple players would be able to log onto it using the same software, and take screenshots of the Articuno as further “proof” backing up the claims of the trainer who posted it.

Based on the examples shown on the official proxy page, the sky is the limit in manipulating the game’s data. Screenshots posted there show a Pokedex full of Pokemon with CPs in the 9000s, including legendaries like Mewtwo and Articuno. Users also appear to be able to choose which items they receive from PokeStops, with one PokeStop awarding master balls and a backpack to the player.


Thankfully, the proxy software’s modification abilities don’t extend to Niantic’s official servers. While the proxies give gamers an easy way to pull a prank, honest players don’t have to worry about encountering a bunch of 9998 Legendary Pokemon defending a gym anytime soon. It also means that it’s unlikely that the current glitch of players’ caught Pokemon changing will result in any accidental Legendaries.

Model swaps and private servers are an easy way for tricksters to take advantage of gamers, making them believe that Ditto and the Legendary Pokemon are actually out there, ready to be captured. Gamers should approach any rumors with caution, as there’s a strong likelihood that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. In addition, any players who are considering using the proxy should keep in mind that it could potentially put them at risk of being banned by Niantic.

Some fans were undoubtedly hoping that there really was a legitimate way to get ahold of Legendary Pokemon, but for now, it appears that isn’t the case. Since Niantic currently has its hands full launching the game worldwide and dealing with angry Pokemon GO players, chances are it will be quite some time before gamers have an actual opportunity to catch the most rare Pokemon in the game.

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Pokemon GO is out now for Android and iOS devices in select areas.

Source: Pokemon GO MITM Proxy (via Polygon)