- Allows auto-attempts at Pokemon capture*
- Allows auto-spins of Pokestops†
- Comes with charger in box
- Comes with fancy armband for quick access
- Go-Tcha devices stay charged for weeks at a time
- Charger is unique to this device (not micro-USB)
- Low visibility on display in direct sunlight
- Price in USD (+shipping) is a bit high (around $40)
- No guarantee of future compatibility
- Not official Niantic-made hardware
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been using a Go-tcha Wristband for Pokemon GO. This Pokemon GO Gotcha (or however you want to write it) is essentially a Pokemon GO Plus with its button held down. It comes from the folks at Codejunkies, a group who specialize in the sort of devices that are akin to a modern-day Nintendo Game Genie. Cheaters without cheating, winning games because they’re very good at backwards engineering.
*Auto-attempts at Pokemon capture unfold the same way they’re attempted with a Pokemon GO Plus – sort of. This means that one single Pokeball is tossed at whatever Pokemon the game sees as in-range of the user. If the Pokeball misses or the Pokemon escapes, the Pokemon then runs. If the user is out of standard Pokeballs, the device moves on to the next tier of Pokeballs – Great Balls, then Ultra Balls.
†Auto-spins of Pokestops occur only if the user is moving slow enough to be able to spin a Pokestop normally. Users driving in cars, passing by Pokestops at 30MPH+ will not be spinning Pokestops automatically. Users driving cars and driving around 10MPH past Pokestops will see that Pokestop spun automatically – most of the time.
Is this cheating?
If your name is James T Kirk and you’re asked to take part in the Kobayashi Maru, what do you do? The Kobayashi Maru is a simulation-based test in the fictional universe of Star Trek – a test of the character of the participant in a no-win scenario. In this situation, the Kobayashi Maru is much like Pokemon GO, a game which has no ending.
Kirk hacked into and modified the software of the simulation in Star Trek to win an un-winnable game. In a way sort of similar to this, the game of Pokemon GO is played in many different ways. Some of them are outright cheating, while others ride the borderline between hacking and playing legit.
The Go-Tcha Wristband rides this line for several reasons. The first is its similarity to the Pokemon GO Plus. Go-Tcha shows up connected to Pokemon GO on a smartphone as if it were a real-deal Pokemon GO Plus device. As far as the game knows, the Go-Tcha is a Pokemon GO Plus device made by Niantic.
Niantic does not want anyone playing Pokemon GO with this device. While we’ve seen no public efforts by Niantic to stop the Go-Tcha from being used, it MIGHT be possible for the company to block its use. The fact that the Pokemon GO Plus cannot be updated (as far as we’ve seen) with new firmware suggests that there’s nothing Niantic will be able to do to block any device that replicates it.
If the Pokemon GO Plus has some sort of secret software signature that the folks at Codejunkies somehow missed, there’s a chance Niantic could block the Go-Tcha and ban everyone who ever used it. But the chances of that are extremely, extremely thin. Slim to the extreme, I’d say.
But yes, it’s probably considered cheating by Niantic. Head over to The Silph Road to discuss with the community — whether it’s cheating as far as the general Pokemon GO worldwide community is concerned.
What the device does and How
This device uses a touch-sensitive button which cycles through several options on a one-color display. The display shows Pokemon Capture (in the form of a Pokeball), Pokestop Spinning (with a sort-of Pokestop-looking icon), and Pokemon found (with a question mark in a box). Each of these items has a box below it with a checkmark or an “X” – on or off. There’s also a spot to turn vibration (yes the device has a vibrate feedback inside), and to connect to the user’s phone (Android and iPhone work – real easy, with no connectivity issues as such).
The user can choose to have the device work almost exactly like a Pokemon GO Plus – each time a Pokestop or Pokemon appears nearby, the device can vibrate. The user would then tap the device twice to initiate a spin or a capture attempt. The unique bit about this device (other than the obvious cosmetic differences) is the automatic functionality.
When switched on, this device will attempt a capture of each Pokemon the game sees nearby. When switched on, this device will spin every Pokestop within range. Both of these functions can be switched off individually.
The device also allows the user to attain walking distance for Pokemon Eggs and Buddy Pokemon while the user’s smartphone’s display is off. This was and is the best reason to purchase a Pokemon GO Plus – and it’s great for this device, too. Using the device for this alone allows the user to save battery life on their smartphone – potentially – while gaining great distance for the game.
Is Go-Tcha worth the money?
If a user already has a Pokemon GO Plus, there’s not a whole lot about this device that makes it worth dropping another $40 or so (with shipping, that is). If a user does not have a Pokemon GO Plus but was considering buying one, the Go-Tcha might be a good alternative. I do not recommend that parents purchase this device for their younger children – it is not as intuitive to use as the Pokemon GO Plus, as the GO Plus uses a physical button with bright colored LED light.
The Go-Tcha Wristband for Pokemon GO is available at the Codejunkies online store. There it’s priced at around 30 GBP – converted to USD at the time this article is set to be published, that’s around $38.74, and with shipping that’ll be kicked right over $40. This device is worth the price if the user is an extremely hardcore Pokemon GO gamer – especially if they’re ready to kick the cheating addiction as it’s prime time to do so.