Pokémon Go players: Do you live in a small town without any PokéStops? Are there a bunch of cool places around you that could make for great PokéStops? Want to know how to make your own PokéStops in Pokémon Go? Thanks to a clever new hack you might be able to make that happen.
Pokémon Go is the second augmented reality game created by developer Niantic. The first game, Ingress, uses a lot of the same data as Pokémon Go, and it turns out you may be able to use Ingress to your advantage in order to create PokéStops in Pokémon Go.
Before we dive into this Pokémon Go hack, here's a quick primer on Ingress:
Pokémon Go hack: Turn Ingress portals into PokéStops
Ingress is a cyberpunk-flavored game about hacking computers and competing with factions to control game elements called portals, much in the same way that Pokémon Go players fight to control gyms.
The portals are all linked to real-world locations in the same way that PokéStops are linked to real-world locations, and you can look up portal locations using the Ingress Intel site. Some of these Portal locations were determined by Niantic using historical markers and geotagged photos on Google, but around 15 million potential Portal locations were also submitted by users. User submissions for Ingress are ultimately what you'll use to try and create new PokéStops.
Pokémon Go hack: Here's how to do it
Like PokéStops, most Portals have a photo showing you what the real-life location looks like. A Redditor says that finding those photoless Portals is the key to creating new PokéStops.
The method to create new PokéStops, as shared by redditor TheFarix with the Pokémon Go fan community The Silph Road, ultimately involves finding Portals in Ingress that have no photograph attached to them. Here's how it works:
I live in Wyoming County in southern West Virginia with a population of approximately 23,000. When Pokemon Go launched, we only had 3 PokeStops and a single gym for the entire county. This, of course, created a lot of frustration for the county's players. While looking at Niantic's other game, Ingress, I noticed a pattern. The Ingress portals that had images were the only ones that where converted into PokeStops.
There were several original "seed portals"—mainly post offices, fire departments, and libraries—that did not have images. So as an experiment in August, I went around to several of these locations, took photos, and suited the photos through Ingress. A couple of weeks ago, three of the images where excepted and a couple more where rejected. A week later, I was able to confirm that the three images that where excepted where converted to PokeStops.
So if you live in a rural area or small town or city, check around for Ingress portals without an image, then submit an image through Ingress. If the image is accepted, there is a very good chance that you will get a new portal soon after.
Pokémon Go hack: First step, download Ingress
The only way to submit photos for Portals in Ingress is through the game itself, meaning you'll have to download Ingress and create a player account. The rest of the directions, again shared by TheFarix, are easy to follow.
Second, find the portal that doesn't have an image. Tap on the portal to open up the screen. In the portal screen, in the area where the image should be, there will be static scan-lines instead with the text "Add Photo".
Tap on the "Add Photo" and it will bring up an information screen.
Tap on the camera and you will be given the option to take a new photo or us an existing photo you have on your phone.
You should be able to figure out the rest from there as it will now switch over to your phone's camera or gallery software.
This method has not been tested rigorously. Other members of The Silph Road have submitted photos for Ingress Portals and are still waiting to see whether or not those Portals are turned into PokéStops. Some community members have also posted that not all Portals with photos were turned into PokéStops.
But if you're dying for more PokéStops in your area, this method at least gives you a chance to try and change things, and thus make Pokémon Go easier to play in your area.
If you're serious enough about Pokémon Go to try creating your own PokéStops, you may also want to check out our Pokémon Go guides for setting up the best gym attackers, the best gym defenders, how to maximize your chances to catch Pokémon and how to track nest migrations.