Pokemon Go developers, Niantic, rolled out a major update for the game yesterday that included the introduction of a new tracking feature in a beta testing phase. This means that not all Pokemon Go players currently have access to it, and only a handful of people are able to use it at this point in time.
This was a welcome change for the community as Niantic had previously removed the ‘footprints’ tracking system from the game after the notorious ‘three step glitch’ made it useless. The company also banned third-party tracking sites that were helping players track Pokemon down in the game, causing outrage.
This, coupled with the fact that cheaters and spoofers were still being able to continue using hacks such as getting unlimited Pokecoins using a generator or spoofing their location to catch rare Pokemon, made the situation worse.
The new tracking feature has raised a lot of questions since not everyone is aware about how to exactly use it. At first glance it just looks like it has some Pokemon in front of visible grass, but there’s much more to it.
The new tracking system isn’t as redundant as many people might think it is. For starters, it has two aspects to it that many people aren’t aware of. It has a ‘nearby’ tab, as well as a ‘sightings’ tab which works differently.
A Redditor has come up with a great guide that explains exactly how it can be effectively used to locate Pokemon in your vicinity, and it proves that the tracker can actually help you track down Pokemon with ease.
Here’s a diagram that you can use as a reference point for this guide.
- You, a trainer out on a walk, check your Pokemon Go app at point A. “Hot damn, a Pidgey!” you think to yourself as you look at your Sightings list. You now know that you are some point within 200m of a Pidgey, but not exactly where that Pidgey is. Time to start tracking.
- Keep walking straight ahead. Eventually, you will get more than 200m away from the Pidgey, and it will disappear from your Sightings list. This is Point B. Stop here, and take note of where you are as accurately as you can, you’ll need to use this point later.
- Turn around and go back the way you came. The Pidgey comes back into your Sightings list. Keep walking in as straight a line as you can, past point A, until the Pidgey disappears again. This is Point C, on the other side of the Pidgey’s “detection circle” to point B.
- Find the halfway point on the line you walked between points B and C (this is why you had to pay attention at B), and go there. This is point D. When at point D, make a turn and start walking at right angles to the line you just walked between B and C.
- One of two things will happen. If you chose correctly, you’ll walk right into the Pidgey. If you chose poorly, you’ll end up moving away from the Pidgey and wind up at point E, where the Pidgey will disappear again. No problem there, just turn around and walk back the way you came, and eventually you’ll hit Pidgey.
He goes on to explain how the tracker is different from the previous tracking system in the game:
Why is this different to what we had previously? Well before, the Pokemon didn’t disappear from your nearby list until they were either replaced or you force closed and restarted the app. Now we can accurately tell whether we are within ~200m of a Pokemon or not, which lets you reliably map out the edges of it’s detection circle. Once you’ve found three points on the edges of a circle (B, C and E in this example), you can find the middle. Easy.
He also explains how this tracking system is similar in many ways to the ‘three steps’ tracker the game had previously, and how only the variables have changed:
Of course, doing this before it despawns can sometimes be a challenge, especially in places where there might be buildings in the way to mess with your straight lines. But in a lot of ways, we’re back to where we were on launch week with regards to tracking Pokemon. This triangulation process is exactly the same as I was using when the steps worked, but instead of marking the difference between 2 steps and 3 steps, I’m marking the difference between “there” and “not there”.
As you can see, the location tracker is quite effective and just needs a bit of thought and effort to figure out. It’s still early days for this tracking system in the game as Niantic is closely monitoring feedback from the community, but it’s possible it’ll be used as the permanent tracking system in the game in days to come.