‘Pokémon Go’: Complete List of Common Problems and Solutions

Pokemon Go, Pokemon Go gameplay, Pokemon Go Japan

A Pokemon Go user players the mobile game in Japan shortly after its launch. (Getty)

Ever since the game launched on July 6th, Pokemon Go has been riddled with bugs. Some of these are minor, while others actually dramatically affect the way that the game is played but remain unaddressed to this day.

To be fair to Niantic Labs, the game’s developer, many issues have been resolved since the initial launch. The servers are no longer nearly as unstable, and the app is not freezing as often as it did a few weeks ago. There have also been some bugs that have popped up only to be resolved in a timely fashion, such as a glitch that temporarily made certain roads and walkways disappear from the map.

But that isn’t to say the game has been completely fixed. Many more bugs have popped up, and in some cases Niantic’s updates have only created additional problems. Some features have been removed from the game as well, but without much of an indication about if the given disappearance is intentional or not.

As of August 4th, here are the most common problems currently in Pokemon Go:

  • Footsteps Gone The nearby tracker no longer displays any footsteps next to Pokemon, meaning it is not currently possible to tell how far away a particular species is. Initially there was a glitch where every single Pokemon was displayed as being three footsteps away, and so Niantic decided to remove the footsteps entirely until they can fix the tracker. For now, there’s nothing we can do but wait for a patch, but Niantic recently says they’re hoping to improve the feature, meaning it will likely return at some point.
  • Battery Saver Mode Gone – Battery saver mode has also been removed from the game due to a glitch that caused the app to freeze. Niantic recently said that this feature will be back soon.
  • Game Freezing Upon Catching Pokemon: Sometimes after you capture a Pokemon, the app will completely freeze. Usually if you restart the game, you will either find the Pokemon in your inventory or be given another opportunity to catch it.
  • Server Crashes: If you’re having trouble connecting to the game, it’s likely due to issues with the server. You can use this website to determine if the servers are down for everyone or if there’s some problem that only you are experiencing. More often than not, though, it’s likely not just you having problems connecting, and you’ll just have to be patient.
  • No Bonuses For Throws: In recent days, the game has stopped giving out bonuses for nice, great or excellent throws. On Thursday, August 4th, Niantic said that this is indeed a bug and not something that they have done intentionally. They say they are working on a fix.
  • Pokemon Escaping More Often: Notice that Pokemon seem to be escaping your Poke Balls more often than they used to? You’re not going crazy. This is another glitch, as Niantic recently said on Twitter. They say they are currently working on a fix.
  • GPS Signal Not Found: Sometimes the game seems to have trouble getting information from the phone’s GPS. There are a variety of possible solutions, but for Android, go to “about phone” and tap on your build number 7 times. This will enable developer options. Then go to locations and disable mock locations. On the iPhone, try turning on Wi-Fi, resetting network settings, or turning your phone on and off. For more possible solutions, check out our full rundown of this problem.
  • Not Receiving Items From Poke Stops: Sometimes going to a Poke Stop and spinning the icon will not give you any items. Usually if you wait a few minutes and try again, you’ll be able to get the items.
  • Empty Circle Appears on Map: Some players are having a glitch where they’ll see an empty circle pop up on the map near them with two rings inside it. This is actually a Pokemon spawn, but your game is failing to load the species’ animation. You should be able to go catch the Pokemon as usual, though.
  • Poke Stops Disappearing: If a Poke Stop you used to visit suddenly isn’t there anymore, one of two things could be happening. The first possibility is that the owner of that location specifically requested Niantic remove the stop from the game, as some have popped up on properties against the owner’s wishes. There are other instances where the stop will disappear only to reappear at a later date, so check back in another time, and hopefully it will be back. Otherwise, it’s likely Niantic removed it per the owner’s request.
  • Pokemon Skin Disappearing: A strange glitch some have encountered makes their Pokemon look like ninjas, with their entire body blacked out and only the eyes visible. This is quite rare, but uninstalling and reinstalling the app seems to fix it.
  • Pokemon Changing Into Other Pokemon: A new bug to pop up this week has made it so that sometimes players will catch a Pokemon, only for it to appear as something completely different in your inventory. This seems to be occurring less and less in recent days, but unfortunately there’s no current solution; the Pokemon that appears in your Pokedex is what you now have permanently.
  • Game Does Not Register Distance Correctly – In theory, in order to hatch a 2km egg, you need to walk two kilometers with the app open. That principle also applies to 5km and 10km eggs. But many players are finding that the distance they walk is not being measured accurately. That’s probably due to the way the game tracks motion. See, it doesn’t actually measure the amount of steps you take; rather, it pings your GPS every few minutes to see how far you have traveled on the map since the last ping. That means that walking on a treadmill, for instance, will not work at all. But it also means that if you’re walking a path that is not precisely a straight line, the game may get confused about how much distance you’ve actually walked. This one is not really a glitch; it’s just the way the game works, so keep in mind that traveling in a path that involves a lot of turns, for example, may cause the game’s measurement to not exactly be 100% accurate.