While all of the best VPN services can make regular websites think you're in a different location by using regional servers, hardly any can spoof your GPS location for Pokémon GO. So, while using different servers is great for accessing Netflix and blocked content, apps like Pokémon GO that can access your location still know exactly where you are.
In fact, only one VPN on the market can currently also give you a spoofed GPS location, and surprisingly it’s also the best cheap VPN available – Surfshark. Available for just $2.49 a month, Surfshark offers huge value for money, and this GPS spoofing feature is another string to its bow.
TG has teamed up with sister site TechRadar investigate how our readers use VPNs with streaming sites like Netflix so we can improve our content and offer better advice.
However, even with this in-built GPS spoofing ability, it's worth noting that some users have found that, unfortunately, Surfshark alone is unable to spoof your location for Pokémon GO effectively. So as a workaround, you may have to download a dedicated GPS spoofer with a joystick to use alongside Surfshark.
Also, this feature is currently only available on Android devices. iPhone users can't access the developer controls necessary for this.
One thing to bear in mind is Niantic considers this spoofing to be cheating in its game guidelines and doing that could result in you being banned. So you'll need to weigh up if keeping your location private is worth the risk. You could always learn how to play Pokémon Go at home, too.
Here we’ll run down step by step how to activate GPS spoofing with a VPN (Surfshark and others) for Pokémon GO, and then give you some more ideas on how to make use of it.
Surfshark is the only top-rated VPN service with a built-in GPS spoofing tool, and it's seriously good value as well. If you've heard enough and just want to get signed up already, head over to the Surfshark website to get started.
How to spoof your location on Pokémon GO
1. First of all, you’ll need to sign up to Surfshark. Install the Android app, and accept the permissions Surfshark asks for.
2. Then, you’ll need to go to the ‘About Phone’ section in Settings.
3. Tap ‘Build Number’ seven times to enter Developer Mode.
4. Go back to Settings, and tap ‘Developer Options’, which may be at the end of menu.
5. Turn on ‘Mock Locations App’ – it may be called ‘Allow Mock Locations’ – and select Surfshark as your mock location app. If you're using a different mock location app, select it now instead of Surfshark.
6. Download and install the Mock Mock Locations module – some apps won’t function if Mock Locations is turned on, so this module make it appear like it's switched off.
7. Then all you need to do is open Surfshark and select a location – it’ll spoof your location automatically to match the server you’re connected to. Make sure you do this before opening any app you're trying to trick. If you're using a different mock location app, connect to your chosen Surfshark server, and then change your location on the GPS spoofer to match.
Please note: There have been reports of users also having to install the BlueStacks emulator to access Pokémon GO. This is due to the fact that on some devices the System Location must be changed as well. If you struggle with these steps without an emulator, try again when using BlueStacks.
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Pokémon GO spoofing isn't working with just Surfshark
If you've installed Surfshark and it's not letting you access what you want, it's worth installing a separate GPS spoofing app. They're usually free, and can give you extra control over your spoofed location.
These can also be used with other VPNs, too. If you want to use our top-rated VPN ExpressVPN (head over to the site to learn more), you’ll need to download a GPS spoofing app no matter what – there’s one called ‘Fake GPS Location’ in the app store.
Then, after following the steps above, when you enter Mock Locations App in Developer Options you can just select your chosen spoofing app.
To get it working, you should open your VPN and connect to a server first, then open your GPS app and set your location to near your VPN server, and then open the app you want to trick – in that specific order.
Why else would I want to spoof my GPS location?
One of the most popular reasons for this is to spoof your location on Pokémon GO. Players in certain areas may not have access to the variety of Pokémon they’d like, and those living in rural areas are especially disadvantaged.
There are a number of GPS spoofing apps available on the Google Play Store, but just using a spoofed location with Pokémon GO will mean the game will detect that your location doesn’t match your IP address. The game is well-known for banning people using this technique, so you need to be careful.
Thankfully, Surfshark’s world-class VPN service combined with its ‘mock GPS’ system works well. You’ll be able to set the app up to spoof your GPS location to match the IP address of the VPN server you’re using. That way, you won’t be detected and you can catch all the Pokémon, conquer all the gyms and visit all the Pokéstops you like, wherever you are.
You might also be concerned that even if you’re using a VPN, apps like Messenger and Google Maps can tell where you are even when you might not want them to. By spoofing your GPS location you can send them on a wild goose chase until you really want to use a location service.
Dating apps like Grindr, Tinder, Bumble and more are entirely based around knowing your location and matching you with others who are near to you. Depending on how you feel about this, you might want to occasionally hide your location from the app. There have been well-documented cases of dating app insecurities, so you might want to protect yourself from that, too.
Which VPNs are best for spoofing GPS?
Thanks to its in-built GPS spoofer, Surfshark is our top pick for spoofing your location. That’s because you can do everything from within one app, and you don’t have to worry about getting your spoofed location wrong – it’s all automatic. Plus, it’s super cheap too, at just $2.49 a month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
If you want the very best service on the market and don’t mind having to use a different app to spoof your location, we’d recommend ExpressVPN. With over 3,000 servers, blazing speeds and excellent apps for almost every device, it’s a more well-rounded service than Surfshark – and now you can claim three free months with Tom’s Guide.