The bad news: The update also completely removes the footprints that let you know when you’re close to a Pokémon, capping off a two-week span where the feature didn’t work as intended.
- Google Play
When a Pokémon is far away, the in-game tracker shows three little footprints. As you get closer, it goes down to two footprints, then one, then the prints disappear and the Pokémon will appear on your map.
It’s like a hot-or-cold game. At least, that’s how it works ideally.
For the last two weeks or so, for reasons unknown, it’s been showing three footprints no matter how near or far you are from a Pokémon. Fans have dubbed it the “three-step glitch,” and while Pokémon Go developer Niantic has said that they’re aware of the problem, there’s been no timeline for a fix.
- The Pokemon Company
Now, with the removal of the footprints entirely, it looks like the timeline for a fix to the three-step glitch could be a while out.
The rumor on the street is that Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, purposely turned off the tracker to ease the strain on the servers, which have been unreliable since the game’s launch just under a month ago.
Regardless of the reason, players are getting annoyed, and this new update isn’t helping matters. On Reddit’s Pokémon Go community, there’s a lot of frustration and confusion. That’s likely to spread as the update hits more phones for more players.
On the brighter side, the new fix also brings some other improvements, including a better-placed “Transfer” button so you don’t have to scroll as much to exchange a monster for some candy. There are also reports that Niantic has quietly changed where certain groups of Pokémon appear and, as Kotaku reports, how much damage certain attacks do in battle.
Still, the busted Pokémon radar has been driving fans towards apps that help them cheat by placing the monsters on a map. By removing the footprints, it’ll only push more players in that direction – even as Niantic CEO recently expressed his desire to shut down those outside cheating apps.