Pokémon GO’s latest update version, 0.37, brought about two of the most anticipated changes to the massively popular game – the Buddy Pokémon system and support for Pokémon GO Plus. While the buddy system allows you to select one Pokémon that walks around with you in-game and earns its candy, the Pokémon GO Plus is the wearable device for Pokémon hunters that is supposed to hit the stores on September 16.
Even with two such big feature additions, the change that created the most ripples was that rooted Android (And jailbroken iOS) devices cannot play Pokémon GO anymore. Niantic has implemented this change to retain a genuine experience for players who are not using hacks to cheat the game. Even using tools like Rootcloak will not work. While it is true that a phone has to be rooted for hacks like GPS spoofing to work, it is not necessary that every player with a rooted phone is cheating on the game, and due to that, Niantic’s decision doesn’t exactly come across as fair. Which is why there is a way around this and here’s how –
The Magisk mod has been developed by XDA user topjohnwu, and it gained popularity when people discovered that it could enable Android Pay on rooted devices by going around the SafetyNet API. Since the updated Pokémon GO is also using the SafetyNet API, users have tried and succeeded in using Magisk to continue playing it on rooted devices.
A device with an unlocked bootloader is a minimum requirement for using Magisk. According to the developer, the best situation would be for the phone to be restored to the stock system and boot. If that can’t be done, all traces of root access and Xposed (if you have it installed) will have to be removed and a custom recovery will have to be created. Follow the steps below to do that (if you don’t have Xposed, skip #2) : –
Starting with the unroot – open SuperSU>Settings tab>navigate to Cleanup section> choose “Full unroot”. You should see a number of prompts at this stage; restore the stock boot image, but don’t restore the stock recovery image. Your device will then reboot, and once done, it will be without root access. NOTE: If you’re phone is unencrypted and you restore the stock boot image, it may seem that your device is bootlooping, but it is actually re-encrypting
To remove Xposed, open their website’s download section and download the correct Uninstaller for your phone. To flash it, enter your phone’s custom recovery option. To do that, first you have to reach the bootloader screen (the method for which depends on the phone brand and model) and choose recovery option to boot into whichever custom recovery you have installed. In that, to execute the uninstaller, you will have to navigate to your downloads folder and choose the file to be executed. After that, click “Wipe cache/dalvik”, then “Reboot system”. It’ll take a while for the apps to finish optimizing.
For the next step, you will need to download Magisk (click here to do that).
Flash the zip file that you just downloaded on your devic and reboot.
Now you have to reroot using a specific Magisk version of SuperUser 17 that you can get here.
Flash the downloaded file onto your phone, like you did with the Xposed Uninstaller and Magisk in the previous steps.
Once your phone has booted back, install phh SuperUser from the Google Play Store (finally, something not being flashed!)
Now you have to install Magisk Manager v1.2 which you can download here.
And you’re done!!
To play Pokémon GO, simple head to the Magisk Manager and turn off root by using the toggle button. Whenever you want your precious root access back, just re-enable it from the same toggle.
Note: If you want Xposed back, you need a systemless version (also by topjohnwu). Download the Material Design Xposed Installer and install the systemless version (v86.5) from the Systemless tab. Grant Xposed Superuser access and allow the phone to install Xposed automatically. When the phone reboots, wait for a few minutes for apps to optimize.