Niantic speaks up about the tracking issue in Pokémon Go


Pokémon Go’s developer Niantic has finally spoken up about an issue the game has been having recently, namely that tracking is essentially broken and hunting Pokémon has mostly become a matter of luck. This is because of a change Niantic made to Pokémon Go in a recent update, by which it removed the original tracking system and replaced it with… essentially nothing, really.

You see, the game originally had a “step system”, with up to three steps appearing beneath each Pokémon on the game’s “nearby” screen. One step would mean the Pokémon was close to the player, while two and three meant the creature was further away. So you could walk in one direction and see whether you were getting close to a specific Pokémon, making it possible to track down the exact Pokémon you wanted.

Niantic did away with the steps in an earlier update to the game so users turned to third-party tracking services like PokéVision to make catching those Pokémon easier… This service showed you where you could find each Pokémon type on a map, and how far away those Bulbasaurs, Pikachus or Eevees were, and how long they would remain there. But PokéVision is now gone, as the game’s most recent update has made it impossible for these services to work, with developer Niantic apparently sending cease and desists letters to the people behind PokéVision and others.


The old tracking system in Pokémon Go, which is now gone.


In a post on their Facebook page, Niantic has finally broken their silence and talked to the community about the game’s recent changes. Regarding the removal of the 3 step system, Niantic stated that the feature was “confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals” and that they were looking to improve it. The team behind Pokémon Go also talked about third-party trackers, stating that the reason why they cut off these services is that “were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users”.

Although perhaps the removal of the old tracking system has more to do with server load issues as millions of players are getting on the game, so perhaps showing how close individual Pokémon are to a player’s location with the old step system was too much for Niantic’s servers…

Also, the company mentioned that the reason they haven’t engaged more with their fans on social media is that the Pokémon Go team is making improvements to the game and getting ready to release Pokémon Go in more countries. “We have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally” said Niantic on its Facebook page, and referring to their future launch plans stated that “Yes, Brazil we want to bring the game to you”.

But even if it’s definitely good news that more players worldwide will be getting to enjoy Pokémon Go and that Niantic is working to improve tracking in the game, the truth is that Niantic should still strive to improve communication with its fans, if this latest Pokémon Go is to became a long term success rather than the short term phenomenon it has been thus far.

COPYRIGHT: Nintendo / Pokémon / Niantic.