Pokemon Go has fixed two issues involving the in-game distribution of coins to players. One of the key incentives for players to leave their Pokemon in gyms is an in-game coin bonus, which allows players to purchase premium items from the in-game shop for free.
Although players can only earn 50 coins a day (which comes out to about $0.50 in real money,) the coin distribution system is one of the most discussed and scrutinized aspects of the game. While a daily coin bonus doesn't seem like a "big deal," it's one of the few hard incentives to keep players (especially high-level players) active in the gym system.
On Monday, WWG reported on a recently rediscovered exploit that allowed players to reset Pokemon Go's daily limit on coins by changing the time settings on their phone.
When players manually changed time zones to an area that was in a different date than the player, Pokemon Go would allow them to collect more coins....even if they had just received 50 coins mere minutes beforehand.
This exploit could be repeated multiple times, which technically meant that a player could receive unlimited coins provided they had a steady stream of Pokemon returning to them.
Although this isn't a new cheat, a post on Reddit provided detailed instructions on how to use it...while at the same time imploring Niantic to take action.
A few hours after the "unlimited coins" post went live on Reddit, players began noticing that their gym defenders were no returning with coins. Although this is a somewhat common complaint among Pokemon Go players (usually due to players not noticing that another Pokemon had already returned with a max amount of coins,) it quickly became obvious that Pokemon Go had totally shut its in-game coin distribution down.
Around the same time, players also noticed that Pokemon Go had removed its special "Anniversary Box," which offered players a bundle of premium items at a slight discount.
Niantic acknowledged the issue on Twitter, and quickly assured players they were looking for a quick fix. About an hour after Niantic made their announcement, players reported that coin distribution had quietly returned. Players also reported that the "unlimited coins" exploit no longer works.
It's likely the outage was due to Niantic trying to fix the time zone exploit and accidentally shutting off coin distribution entirely.
As of press time, Niantic had not announced that they had fixed the issue. Niantic has also not said whether there are any plans to reimburse players for any coin bonuses lost during the outage.
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