When you used Pokemon GO, you may have noticed something different: your Pokemon in the “Nearby” panel now have grass behind them. The newest Pokemon GO update changed the look of the “Nearby” panel, renaming it “Sightings” and changing the appearance slightly. What does this mean? Does it change how you’ll use Pokemon GO?
Here’s what you need to know.
After your Pokemon GO app updates, you may see that the “Nearby” pane has changed to a “Sightings” pane. When you click on the “Sightings” tab, you’ll also see something new. Behind the Pokemon, you’ll now see grass. Many Pokemon GO players are wondering what this grass means. It’s all part of a new tracking system that Niantic is releasing, fixing some of the problems that have been plaguing trainers.
The green grass is a new type of “footprint” for your Pokemon, indicating which Pokemon are close to you. The ones on the tab with grass behind them are, indeed, closest to your location. These Pokemon are within 200 meters of you.
The grass also means that the Pokemon are found in the “wild” and not at Pokestops, according to people who have been able to compare this feature with the tested beta tracker.
The new “Sightings” update is fixing a lot of problems that bugged players. Pokemon that despawn or end up more than 200 meters away will now be removed from the Sightings list. Previously, you had to restart your app to get despawned Pokemon off the “Nearby” pane. Now they are removed as the app refreshes every 10 seconds.
Similarly to the three-step tracker (back when it was working), the Pokemon higher up on the Sightings list are closer to you. The Sightings pane also won’t show lured Pokemon, but only Pokemon in the wild.
If you’re one of a select few lucky people, your Sightings pane will show two sections, one called “Nearby” and one below it called “Sightings,” according to Pokemon GO players, including some on Reddit who were lucky enough to get the test version. The Nearby section will give you an exact location for Pokemon that are at Pokestops. Unfortunately, this feature is being beta tested and is not available for everyone. But you can see photos of the feature and how it will work in our story below.