Pokemon GO updates: What changed and why?

Pokemon GO updates: What changed and why?


Earlier this week, Pokemon GO got a pretty huge update. There were quite a few changes made to the game by Niantic, which in the grand scheme of things all seemed quite minor. However, it turns out that some of the subtly changes have actually affected the game in a pretty major way.

Pokemon GO Updates August 2016

Along with a few bug fixes and improvements, there’s a few updates that have become pretty big talking points in the Pokemon GO world this week, and some users aren’t happy.

Let’s have a look at some of the changes made to the app…

1. No more footprints in the nearby tracker

Nearby Pokemon no footprints Pokemon GO

One of the biggest updates is the removal of the footprints in the “nearby Pokemon” section. In the bottom right hand corner of the game, there’s always been a section which showed what Pokemon were lurking nearby. In order to get an idea of how close you were to catching the Pokemon, there was a footprint system which indicated the distance. One footprint showed that you were quite close, two footprints meant the Pokemon was slightly further away, and by three footprints they were even further away.

However, the footprint system wasn’t too accurate at the best of times, and didn’t really come in too handy – especially with the known bug which showed all Pokemon at three footprints away.

As an idea, the system was brilliant. Being able to locate the Pokemon nearest to you and go on a hunt to find them was exciting and made the game that bit more interesting. However, instead of fixing the bug and turning it into a useful tool that actually worked, Niantic chose to remove the footprint system altogether.

You can still view the nearby Pokemon, but it gives you no clue as to how far away they are from your location. This is probably the one update that has angered players the most.

2. Third-party trackers have been blocked

Pokevision service unavailable

Another popular way to track Pokemon in the nearby are was to use third-party tracking sites such as Pokevision. They provided a pretty detailed map of which Pokemon was lurking about and where. However, in Niantic’s attempt to stop people ‘cheating’ and being able to track the location of Pokemon, they have blocked the access of those sites.

There’s no indication as to whether they will work again in the future, so for now it’s time to actually go out and find the Pokemon for ourselves…

Read again: 5 useful tools to make you a Pokemon GO master

3. Transferring made easier

Transfer Pokemon in Pokemon GO

We all know the issue. You catch 3 Pidgeys, 12 Rattata’s and 5 Weedle’s in one Pokemon hunting session and you have to keep scrolling all the way down after each catch to transfer them back to the Professor. That’s 20 exhausting scrolls just for a few candies.

However, Niantic have now made it easier to transfer your unwanted Pokemon, with a handy menu on the right hand side. Open the menu and you’ll see the option to transfer or favourite your Pokemon.

Tip: Favourite your best Pokemon to reduce the chances of you accidentally getting rid of them!

4. No more battery saving option

No battery saving option in Pokemon GO

Ever since its launch, the biggest issue with Pokemon GO has been its ability to drain a fully charged battery in less than a few hours. Luckily, Niantic included a handy battery saving feature in the Settings menu, to extend your playing time until being faced with a dead phone.

That’s now gone. Thanks to the new update, there’s no more battery saving option, and a whole load of angry Pokemon players. We’re not sure why they’ve removed it, but they have.

Read again: How do I find rare Pokemon on Pokemon GO?

5. Customise your trainer

Customise trainer in Pokemon GO

With the new update, we can finally customise our trainers! Everyone likes a change of appearance every now and then, and it was slightly upsetting that we all had to stick to our original outfits. Now though, you can now change your trainer’s skin, hair and eye colour, as well as the colour of your clothing and accessories.

Still, there’s no option to change your trainer name yet, but it’s a start! We do hope that will be along in a future update.

6. Health and Safety warnings

Health and safety warnings in Pokemon GO

We’ve all heard the news stories; people falling off cliffs, almost getting hit by cars and landing themselves in all sorts of trouble whilst playing Pokemon GO. Now, it seems like Niantic have realised that their game can in fact be dangerous, and have took it upon themselves to warn their users of the risks.

Upon signing in now, you will be presented with one of a few different health and safety warnings such as “Do not play Pokemon GO while driving” and “Remember to be alert at all times. Stay aware of your surroundings.”

So, the game developers have presented us with the warnings. Now it’s up to us to take them on board…

Those are some of the major updates that Niantic implemented over the weekend, and we expect that there will be a lot more to be made. It’s clear that they’re trying to find ways to improve the game, and are listening to user feedback.

However, many players have been reporting a few bugs such as Pokemon changing into different Pokemon when caught, and Pokemon being harder to catch in general.

So, the game isn’t yet perfect but we’ll just have to wait and see what other changes are rolled out in the future.