Pokemon GO had a recent update and it infuriated many players and members of the community. There have been many changes in the latest update, but the one that got the community talking was the infamous tracking feature.
Some players have even been requesting refunds for in-app purchases.
Let me start by listing all the changes, then dedicate a section solely to tracking.
- Avatars can now be re-customized from the Trainer profile screen
- Adjusted battle move damage values for some Pokémon
- Refined certain Gym animations
- Improved memory issues
- Removed footprints of nearby Pokémon
- Modified battle damage calculation
- Various bug fixes during wild Pokémon encounters
- Updated Pokémon details screen
- Updated achievement medal images
- Fixed issues with displaying certain map features
- Minor text fixes
That bolded section is what you are hearing about. In Pokemon GO, there is a “nearby” feature that shows Pokemon close to you. There used to be footsteps underneath them to indicate how close they were.
They ranged from 1-3, 3 meant furthest away, and 1 meant very close. It hasn’t worked since the first week and would always show 3 steps. The latest update removed footsteps entirely since it was not working.
Players have expressed their dislike for this feature and was hoping it would be fixed instead of removed. Some players are even pledging not to make in-app purchases until Niantic adds a working footsteps feature.
Personally, this is not a huge deal. Will it take longer and more work to find Pokemon? It sure will, but the game isn’t broken.
This app was never advertised as a game for you to just go to a specific place to get Pokemon, then move on. It was advertised to be like the games where you travel around and search for the Pokemon. You are meant to just go out in the world, then if you see some interesting Pokemon nearby, you catch them.
Players have it their mind that the app is something different, something they need to min/max. There are even sites like Pokevision that were used to track nearby Pokemon. This was mostly because the footsteps weren’t working, but it is still not how the app was advertised.
Niantic has shut down sites like this, which will infuriate people even more. I, and others that are not as vocal, believe in a different experience and don’t think that this is the end of the world.
I will not defend Niantic, however, because they lack serious communication skills and don’t listen to feedback at all. I just think that the tracking change is fine, and the game is still very playable.
Other Important Changes
Let’s talk about the other changes though, which are actually great. Firstly, being able to customize your trainer at anytime is fantastic and I’m glad they finally added that.
The adjusted battle damage values, mixed with modifications of how battle damage is calculated, can make battling a lot better. Secondary moves actually matter now, and you don’t have to just tap primary moves nonstop.
It will take multiple battles to test how much of an impact this actually has on which Pokemon to use.
Issues being fixed for wild Pokemon encounters is also very important.
There were 2 changes that were not in the notes:
- Battery saver function was removed on iOS
- Favorited Pokemon can’t be transferred
I don’t know why the battery saver function was removed, but the favorited Pokemon being unavailable for transfer isn’t a bad change. You can also unfavorite them, then transfer them if you want.
What do you feel about the Pokemon GO changes? Is everyone’s outrage justified, or are people overreacting?