In the latest update, Niantic removed the footprints that offered us clues about the location of nearby Pokemon and that drove a lot of people crazy. Today, however, we found out that the company is testing a brand new and extremely awesome way for us to track nearby Pokemon, a way that will surely make us forget about the footprints… but there might be a catch.
But before we go there, let’s find out what this new method of tracking nearby Pokemon is all about!
The first clues were given by the latest update notes: “We’re currently testing a variation of the “Nearby Pokemon” feature with a subset of users. During this period you may see some variation in the nearby Pokemon UI.” And now, some of the users who were lucky enough to be selected for testing this feature have reported what this is all about.
As reported by Business Insider, the new nearby Pokemon interface shows us the Pokemon that have been “sighted” in the wild based on Pokestop locations. The new screen shows you the Pokemon that are nearby, as well as the actual real world image of the Pokestop they’re close to. You can even select a Pokemon that you want to catch and it will be marked on the map, showing above the Pokestop in question.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to go to the Pokestop and that the Pokemon Go Pokemons are now available at Pokestops – it just gives you a visual hint on the area they are close to. There are also the well known footprints shown above the Pokestop, telling you either how far you are from it or, more likely, how far the Pokemon is in relation to that Pokestop.
Here is an image of how things look like, courtesy of Toki767 on NeoGaf:
So what’s the catch with this method?
For people living in areas where Pokestops are few and far in between, this method makes things more difficult and capturing Pokemon might prove to be a huge challenge. I visited a nearby village recently, being sure that I will become the PokeKing of all Gyms and scavenge all the Pokestops constantly there, just to find out that there were none anywhere. This is not the only situation where the number of generated stops and gyms is very small, so this would be a problem for players in those locations.
However, Niantic is apparently testing various ways to tell us where the nearby Pokemon are, as Kotaku has reported that a new “Sightings” menu has taken the place of the old one, but it seems that it’s extremely similar to that reported by Business Insider.
All we can hope is that the nearby feature will be back soon – and it will be back without any additional problems, especially for players from less crowded or popular areas.
Were you picked for testing these new features? If so, let us know by commenting below, and share your thoughts on how it works!