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Pokemon GO reportedly blocks players using Android custom recovery or backup methods

Pokemon GO's anti-cheating features have reportedly turned on TWRP. (Source: XDA)
Pokemon GO's anti-cheating features have reportedly turned on TWRP. (Source: XDA)
Team Win Recovery Project (TWRP) is a popular alternative recovery used by those who like to root and modify their Androids. A new thread on Reddit asserts that Pokemon GO will not work if it detects signs of it in a device's storage. This behavior may be intended to prevent cheating in this augmented-reality (AR) game.
Deirdre O Donnell,
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Pokémon GO, a popular AR mobile game made by Niantic, has become notorious for measures that scan for customization-related software. This activity may result in a player receiving a ban, and may be intended to prevent in-app cheating. However, some users view it as ineffectual, as well as an abuse of the permission granted in order to access a device's external storage.

The latest potential ill effect of this "anti-cheating" code allegedly targets TWRP recoveries, and may prevent their users opening the app. This is reportedly done through the detection of folders with its name in a device's file-system. In addition, one Redditor claims that the use of a second alternative recovery, OrangeFox, has resulted in the same. Furthermore, the app Titanium Backup, which helps a user restore their apps following a complete wipe of their phone's storage, also now reportedly triggers Pokémon GO's blocking response.

Most seriously, the Android developer Kieron Quinn asserts that the game can enact this even if its 'storage' permission has been revoked. The Niantic app has also reportedly assigned bans to users of the root app Magisk in the past, although its developer has addressed this by causing its folders to take on names that Pokémon GO cannot recognize. Therefore, users may be able to apply the same solution to issues newly related to the presence of TWRP.

A TWRP user may encounter this message on opening Pokémon GO. (Source: Twitter)
A TWRP user may encounter this message on opening Pokémon GO. (Source: Twitter)

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Deirdre O'Donnell
Deirdre O'Donnell - Senior Tech Writer - 3992 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.
contact me via: LinkedIn
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 02 > Pokemon GO reportedly blocks players using Android custom recovery or backup methods
Deirdre O Donnell, 2020-02-19 (Update: 2020-02-22)