Newest Pokemon Go update reintroduces ‘nearby Pokemon’ system, with some tweaks

Late yesterday, developer Niantic rolled out a new update for its worldwide smash hit game Pokemon Go. The tweaks include a claimed fix for the capture rate bug as well as the return of the Battery Saver feature for iOS users, plus a new version of the ‘nearby Pokemon’ system — albeit not for all users.

Let’s have a look at each of them in turn!

New ‘Nearby’ system changes up footprints; adds waypoints

Currently in beta, the new ‘nearby’ system separates Pokemon appearances by “sightings” — a generalized indicator that a given species is in the area — and “nearby,” which now indicates the specific Pokestop where the Pokemon can be found. It even lets players set a waypoint on their maps, ensuring there’s no ambiguity of where the Pokemon is located.

You can check out a video of the new system posted by Adobe marketer Jackson Palmer. Keep in mind, there are likely plenty of kinks yet to be ironed out of this feature, and at the moment it’s only available to a seemingly random subset of users.

There is currently no ETA for rolling out the new system for all players.



‘You’re going too fast!’ window locks you out if the game suspects you’re at the wheel

The next big addition is a lockout system when the game detects the player going over a certain speed (Niantic is not specific about the actual number; testing it out, I found it usually kicked in at around 20-30mph). A window will appear warning the player that the game should not be played while driving, and includes a button for players to confirm they’re a passenger before continuing.

There are a couple annoying things about this system. First, if you confirm you’re a passenger and then switch out of the app to check something else (as many of us do when we’re bored on our commutes), when you dive back into the app, the notice will display all over again. Secondly, if you’re — say — riding in a vehicle braked at a stoplight, and start trying to catch a Pokemon,  the window will appear and interrupt the catch screen once you’re driving again.

My other criticism is that there’s no way to actually verify if someone’s telling the truth when they say they’re a passenger — it’s just a way for Niantic to avoid liability. If Pokemon Go is able to detect and lock out the player for exceeding a certain speed, why not simply disable it? Apart from making a lot of our commutes unbearable, I mean.

Battery Saver returned on iOS

Niantic previously removed the battery saver option on the iOS version of the app for being buggy, and I can confirm I had a few issues with it myself. It’s back now, and so far, no problems.

Fixed capture rate

The steep difficulty spike in capturing Pokemon has apparently been addressed, as was a bug which prevented ‘Nice,’ ‘Great,’ and ‘Excellent’ throws from conferring the normal XP bonuses. I’ve tried this one out for myself as well and can confirm that most Pokemon under, say, 200 CP now seem to go quietly with a single Pokeball, and I’m getting XP bonuses again as well. Tell us in the comments if you’re still having problems!