Those firing up the Pokemon Go app this weekend are likely confused to notice a major change: There are no longer any footsteps displayed next to Pokemon. What happened? Is this feature coming back?
This is a product of the most recent update to the game, which removed both the footsteps icon and battery saver mode. The footsteps were removed due to a glitch that was causing every single Pokemon to appear to be three footprints away, regardless of where it actually was. This issue has persisted for over two weeks now, and Niantic Labs has not yet been able to fix it. So for now, they have decided to get rid of the feature entirely until they can work out a solution.
The nearby tracker is still functional in that it shows you which Pokemon are nearby, but it is no longer possible to get a better idea of how far away any of them are.
This disappearance of the footprints feature has left Pokemon Go players everywhere extremely frustrated, especially as they were hoping the next update would provide a solution. This is a fundamental part of the game, and users are increasingly feeling that Niantic apparently has no way of fixing the game’s major issues. They are also frustrated that the studio shows a lack of communication with its audience, and players have no clue when any of the major glitches will likely be fixed.
“Absolutely NO communication at all with the community,” one Reddit user wrote. “Several bugs, which they fix by REMOVING THE FEATURES. They saw a decline in players after the 3 step bug happened, why would this fix it?”
Adding to the frustration, Niantic Labs is beginning to have tracking sites like PokeVision removed from the Internet; these websites allowed users to see how close certain Pokemon were to them, and so players were making use of the websites because the game’s internal tracker wasn’t working. Not only has Niantic not been able to fix one of the game’s fundamental features, then, but they are actively removing all potential workarounds as well.