In the game’s most recent update, Pokemon Go has added a brand new nearby tracking feature to replace the old one. How does it work, exactly?
The new tracker is separate from the “sightings” feature, which shows nearby Pokemon displayed in front of grass. That just gives you a general sense of what Pokemon are around, but the new nearby tracker is much more specific. Unfortunately, it’s only available to a small subset of players so far, and if it’s not appearing in the app for you right now, you’ll just have to be patient.
In the new version of the game, the nearby tracker displays nearby Pokemon in front of an image of a specific Pokestop. It seems any Pokestops within 500 meters can appear. Tap one of the Pokemon and you’ll get a more detailed view of the stop in question so you know where to go.
From there, hit “view” and you’ll get a zoomed out map showing you where the stop is in relation to you. That stop will now appear on your map with a pink icon above it so you can head over and catch the Pokemon, though you can reopen the tracker and hit “clear” if you want to get rid of the icon.
The Pokemon won’t always appear precisely at the Pokestop, but it will be somewhere in the area. The radius is not yet clear, but players who have the feature report that the Pokemon are usually pretty close to the Pokestop.
It also seems that the new nearby tracker is incredibly accurate. One gamer reported that every single time they went to a Pokestop that appeared on the tracker, they found the Pokemon they were looking for.
If you see a rare Pokemon on the map, you’ll want to make sure you head over to the Pokestop as quickly as possible; if the creature despawns, you’ll arrive in the area, only to receive an alert that the Pokemon has fled.
So far, players are having mixed reactions to this feature. On the one hand, it’s now much easier to locate a specific Pokemon, whereas recently doing so basically required gamers to walk around in circles and hope they stumble upon what they’re searching for.
But on the other hand, some don’t like the fact that Pokemon are now so tied to Pokestops, especially not those who live in rural areas without many stops. Some also feel that it’s almost too easy, as there’s now not much hunting involved.
“That looks absurdly easy,” one Reddit user wrote. “Seems to massively discourage pursuing Pokemon away from stops (ie exploring) in favour of just farming stops.”
Still, there’s a bit of mystery left when it comes to the “sightings” feature, which gives you an idea of what Pokemon are nearby but gives you no indication as to where exactly they are hiding.
It’s also not clear that this will be the very final version of the tracker, as Niantic’s update notes that they’re “currently testing” it.
The Pokemon Go nearby tracker has currently only been made available to select players, but it will hopefully begin rolling out to everyone soon enough.