How to Track Critters in 'Pokemon Go' After the New Update

Look, it's not fun anymore, but it's still possible.


All is not well in the world of Pokémon Go. After becoming a phenomenon that swept parks and bus stops around the world, new updates by developer Niantic weren’t welcome by players frustrated (among other things) by the removal of the three-step tracker feature. Where tracking Pokémon with a helpfully vague system measured in footsteps made IRL exploration fun, the absence of those distances now just makes players mad to walk in circles.

Niantic promises the removal of the steps is only temporary, claiming it ultimately didn’t live up its hopes for the game. But while Niantic tries to cook up something new, players are left without much help. Needless to say, a crucial chunk of the Pokémon Go experience has been made needlessly harder than it should be.

But all is not lost! The system is, more or less, still the same. You just have to be patient.

Just keep walking. Just keep walking. Just keep walking…

The update only removed the three-steps players had grown accustomed to. It didn’t actually change the whole tracker: Pokémon nearest to you are still at the top left, while the Pokémon furthest away are at the bottom right corner.

This is far from perfect or an ideal scenario. In fact, it totally sucks. But it should be pointed out that the sky isn’t falling and that Pokémon Go is still a playable game — it’s just that the removal of the app’s most helpful tool has turned the experience from a chase into a search for a needle in a wide open haystack.

I'm surrounded by Rattatas. Anyway, these are the Pokemon near me right now: an Eevee, followed by two Weedles. The farthest Pokemon from me is a Rattata. Nothing has changed except the silhouette footsteps that once were in the game.

My iPhone

Other Apps and Pokemaps?

With Niantic’s shutdown of Pokevision, arguably the most popular real-time tracker of Pokémon, third-party apps for Pokémon go is kind of a dead scene. There’s no shame in using them — it’s not like you’re using bots — but with Niantic explaining that third-party apps make the game’s rollout around the world hard for them, you don’t have many options for maps or third-party tools.

That said, it’s not like people aren’t trying. A new Pokémon Go Tracker has popped up — on Twitter. While it’s only focused on Manhattan, Pokémon Go Tracker tracks rare spawning Pokémon in the Big Apple, and posts its coordinates via Google Maps along with a time of expiration.

The great thing about Pokémon Go Tracker is how it doesn’t force you to keep the actual app open. You could just refresh the Twitter feed. I’m not exactly clear how Pokémon Go Tracker actually tracks Pokémon, though, and its laser focus on NYC is unfortunate for many. But if it proves itself you can expand expansion into other places.

Until that happens, though: You just have to keep walking.

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