Pokémon GO Players in San Francisco Share Their Thoughts After Using the ‘Nearby’ Tool for a Week

After Niantic killed Pokémon GO’s three-step Nearby tracking tool and replaced it with the Sightings tracking tool in the game’s first major update, many players were bummed that it was gone. Still, news broke quickly that users in San Francisco were testing a new Nearby tracking tool.

Here’s what that looks like…

So it’s been around a week since these updates launched, and San Francisco trainers are chiming in on reddit.

Here are the highlights:

From fs616:

Pro: I’m now more likely to leave the apartment because I know where that rare Pokemon is

Cons: Less excitement when it comes to hunting because you know exactly where it is

There’s only room for six in the Nearby tab, so sometimes things won’t even show up on the tracker if it’s not one of the six that are (randomly?) chosen

Sometimes it will tell you that the Pokemon you’re tracking has fled, when in actuality it’s still there but another (closer?) Pokemon has taken its place on the list. This has happened to me a few times – I’ll be walking towards the Pokemon I want, it’ll tell me it’s fled, so I’ll go in a slightly different direction only to see that same Pokemon show up at the same stop a minute or two later. And yes, it’s the same instance because sometimes it’s a very-rare Pokemon.

Overall – much better than having nothing, and has definitely gotten me interested in playing again. It’s still not as fun as when the footprints was working correctly.

From shiirocrow:

My girlfriend and I were in SF this weekend and that tracking system was a pleasant surprise. We loved how convenient it is to find the pokemon that spawn around the pokestops. I would love to see this take flight and become part of the tracking system as a whole.

From ideki:

I think the original one was just simple and really great. The new one kind of turns an adventure and discovery game into a point and click waiting game.

From djlewt:

Man a fucking Draginair spawns on an empty pier on saturday afternoon and there’s suddenly this stampede of like 200 people on the pier. Also it’s confirmed that North Beach has been hooked the fuck up, we got so many weird rare pokemons at the park there..

The feature is great, because this time we actually got the spawns instead of just seeing them on the radar.

From vaporeon46:

As someone who works from home and can leave at any time to grab a Pokemon, it’s awesome. Ive caught an aerodactyl, hitmonchan, hitmonlee, and a lickitung since the new feature went active. Even though some of the mystery is gone, I really enjoy the feature and it gets me out of the house a lot. Especially at this stage where I’m only like 20 Pokemon away from completing my pokedex, it helps get the job done.

From themerriestbear:

It feels like tracking on easy mode.

I can actually plan my walks to any destination based on the Pokémon that I will be able to catch along the way. The “view” feature to see them on your map is wonderfully simple to use, but again, there is little challenge.

There have been a few times where I have gone out of my way to a Pokéstop with a rarer Pokémon at it, and I will be told it has fled. Perhaps to up the challenge, reduce the time the Pokémon will be spawned there.

And finally from HeyIJustLurkHere:

I like it! Most people seem to like the original tracker best, but I kinda prefer this for a couple reasons.

  • The 3-step tracker is lots of fun in an open area, but it’s kinda a pain when you’ve got things like buildings and hills in the way. SF is filled with both, of course. In a city you’d often have to end up going around 3-4 sides of a square just to get 3 steps to drop to 2, and if you’ve climbed up and down a hill to do that, it’s kinda a pain.
  • I’m at the point of the game now where there’s a relatively limited set of things I need, and I’ll go a bit out of my way for them. In the early days, if I was tracking something new and went the wrong way for a little while but picked up a few Spearow and Paras along the way, they’re still getting me closer to an evolution I need so I’m happy. The more Pokemon I catch, the fewer Pokemon remain genuinely exciting to find, so something that makes it a bit easier to find what I need keeps it from being too boring to grind those last couple dozen pokemon in the dex.

One other note: Playing on a bike works pretty well with the new tracker. With the old tracker, you’d constantly have to keep an eye on it to see if you went from 3 steps to 2 (or, with the broken tracker, from 3 steps to there), but with a bike you know where to go and can ignore your phone until you get there.

So that’s what users think about the new Nearby tracking tool. When Niantic issued their first update, they let everybody know that some users were testing this new tool, so the likelihood that this will be rolled to most users soon is very high.

Are you excited about it? Have concerns? Let us know in the comments below!

And make sure to check out our other Pokémon GO posts!