Niantic warned users ahead of Pokémon Go’s latest update that the game would no longer be supporting those with jailbroken, rooted or unlocked phones. That didn’t stop players excited to choose a buddy Pokémon from crying out after updating yesterday, only to find that Pokémon Go has ceased to support their devices.
"This device, OS, or software is not compatible with Pokémon Go," reads the message that now greets a swath of trainers, who also happen to have jailbroken smartphones. Unless they revert back to version of the game prior to the 0.37.0 update, Pokémon fans have no way to progress past this screen.
Victims of this update are retaliating with their wallets, according to Reddit. One user of a highly upvoted thread detailed his experience going through Google customer service in order to get a refund for his Pokémon Go in-app purchases.
Blocking users 2 months in is "completely unscrupulous," some say
"I wouldn’t have had a problem with [the update booting jailbroken/rooted/unlocked phones] if they blocked rooted users from launch," original poster GnothiSeauton said of Niantic. "However, doing it 2 months into the [game] show after rooted users have invested time and money into the game, is completely unscrupulous."
This form of protest has a questionable success rate as is, but it’s only applicable to folks who spent money on the free-to-play game. For everyone else, there doesn’t seem to be much hope.
Barring tweaked smartphones from Pokémon Go falls along the lines of Niantic’s over measures to increase security and diminish cheating. But as many posters on Reddit have mentioned, people often root their phones for other reasons; Android users in particular commonly bust their devices open to make them more customizable. Many people also buy unlocked phones to circumvent carrier fees or other charges.
There are workarounds for Android users, detailed on various forums and sites. One popular method uses an additional program to give players access back into Pokémon Go, but it's added trouble for users who just want to get catching and bonding.
With Pokémon Go facing a possible resurgence — buddy Pokémon is an exciting new feature, and the Pokémon Go Plus peripheral is already in high demand before its release on Friday — the timing of the user ban could dampen the game’s re-entry into the cultural conversation. For anyone not negatively affected by the update, check out what’s new and what’s coming to the game this week.