How to use Magisk to play Pokémon Go on rooted devices

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Since the latest update, Pokémon Go is no longer compatible with rooted Android devices, but do not fret, there’s a way around this rather harsh restriction.

First, a little recap: last week, Niantic Labs began rolling out a new update to the wildly popular Pokémon Go for Android. The main addition is Buddy, a Pokémon sidekick that will walk by side in your travels, and the update also includes a bunch of smaller tweaks. But the update also makes Pokémon Go incompatible with rooted Android devices, which cuts out a huge number of users from the game.

According to Niantic, rooted gameplay had to be disabled in order to kick out cheaters that mess with their phones’ settings to get ahead of other players. Needless to say, the explanation didn’t go down well with the millions of honest rooted users that found themselves stonewalled for no good reason.

In situations like this, you can usually count on the modding community to come up with a workaround, and that’s exactly what happened here.

So, how can you play Pokémon Go on a rooted phone?

The key is Magisk, a mod created by XDA-Developers user topjohnwu. Basically, Magisk makes it possible to hide any modifications to the operating system from apps that demand unmodified systems. Magisk (standing for “Magic Mask”) has been previously used for running Android Pay on rooted phones, and now users have used it to do the same with Pokémon Go.

Here’s a video guide from Max Lee from HighOnAndroid on how to use Magisk to play Pokémon Go on rooted devices.

Detailed instructions are available on this Reddit thread, and the XDA-Developers thread of Magisk is also a recommended read. The bad news is the process isn’t super simple, as it requires flashing Magisk and related files. The good news is, once you have the mod installed, hiding your root status from Pokémon Go is a simple as flipping a toggle.

Multiple users are reporting that Magisk allows them to play Pokémon Go on rooted phones, but the question is, will Niantic try to close this gap in the future?