Pokemon GO's Three-Step Glitch Makes Tracking Pokemon Even Harder

The entire point of Pokemon GO is to get out there and find monsters, but a new glitch has made that prospect difficult for many players. If you've logged in recently and noticed that every single critter around you is three steps away, you are not alone. Countless number of trainers around the web are reporting the same thing, and here at Kotaku some of our staff has been hit with this nasty bug as well:

The way it works is, no matter where you are or how much you walk, the "Nearby" tab will claim that each and every Pokemon is at a maximum distance away. Even if the critters on the Nearby tab change, they will still be displayed at three pawprints. You can still encounter Pokemon while experiencing this glitch, but there's no actual way to hunt down a specific Pokemon. Everything becomes a crapshoot.

We've reached out to Niantic to ask about a fix, but had not heard back at time of writing. For now, the three step glitch adds to what has been a terrible launch for Pokemon GO. Not only do players have to constantly deal with a sluggish app, the servers are still being overloaded, gyms being borked and now, one of the core mechanics to the whole experience has been compromised too. Here's hoping that some of this gets smoothed out soon. In the meantime, I guess I'm going to be catching mostly Doduos and cursing at any rare monsters teased by the Nearby tab.


    You'd think Niantic would actually be able to make the game properly.. Given that it's very much like Ingress at this current stage.

    They should have waited to release it instead of releasing a broken pile of steaming crap. I'm very much disappointed with it. I can't find the appeal of walking around draining the battery like mad, then spotting a pokemon and spending the next 10 seconds flinging balls at it only to have the game freeze on me. Gym battles are slow and really stupid, dodging doesn't even work half the time. There's no direct PvP, and no trading. I don't want to have to go catch the same pokemon 500 times just to get a new evolution which may be quite shit. Yes I know that there is an update coming with trading, but in all seriousness it should have been in from the get go.

    I want to love it, but it's difficult.

      You do realise that they've been constantly attacked by hackers ?

      as well as ingress isn't and never could be as popular as a game using the pokemon franchise ?

        They've only RECENTLY been attacked. That's not an excuse for the piss poor launch. This also would not prevent the developer team from completing work.

        I'm not saying Ingress can be as popular. I'm saying that Ingress HAS the base structure of every aspect of Pokemon Go, just reskinned and some tweaks.

        Things like being notified when there's a portal near you - Why not do this for pokemon? They don't god damn move around.

        You missed the entire point of my comment though - The game should have had more features than what it currently does. The notification stuff is a feature that should have definitely been implemented. I can appreciate that development takes time, but it honestly feels like it was rushed out the door to try and get a bit of revenue from microtransactions.

          I haven't had any issues up until yesterday with the game, mine ran perfect only ever crashed once.

          And yes i did get your point but what i'm saying is even if you have a BASE structure a lot of the issues that they're having are caused by high volume and not enough server power, especially considering people from the US, EU and JPN have been bootlegging their way into the game.

          While i agree with you that more features would be a good thing, the game was solid and had enough features to begin with i'm sure they will implement things in the future that's how game models work these days.

          Start with the least then upgrade as you go to keep people interested with new features etc.

    To be honest I've mostly been ignoring the nearby bit. I get plenty of uncommon pokemon by wandering around and using lures dropped by other lovely people. Found a cluster of 4 last night which was great although I had to take shelter under a play shelter as it started raining. But it was non stop pokemon!

    It's not impossible to hunt pokemon. In Nearby the pokemon are listed in order of closeness (top left is closest, then top middle and so on). If you spot a pokemon you want, walk around until it starts moving up the order and then just keep going in that direction until you hit it.

      The problem is that even the list isn't accurate now, and the green flashing ring around the Pokemon you're trying to track doesn't work either. I've had Pokemon in the bottom of the list just randomly appear in front of me a few times now. It's really frustrating... especially with how quiet Niantic is being due this whole thing. While sitting in lures and getting Pokemon is easy enough, it's not where I get the most enjoyment. I was having more fun walking, exploring and tracking down Pokemon but now this glitch combined with the pokeball freeze glitch is making me not want to play at all anymore. :(

      Last edited 19/07/16 9:59 am

    Hopefully they'll switch back to showing actual distances again rather than paw prints too ...

      I wouldn't mind a directional compass of some sort, considering I've had a lot of times where it's like;

      "Okay, it's nearby"

      *Heads North*

      "Oh, it's not here"

      *Heads West*


      *Heads South*


      *Looks East*

      "Um, that's an ocean... I'm not expected to swim, am I?"

        For part of the beta, they were giving distances at 20 m accuracy, which meant you didn't have to walk far to get an idea of whether you were going in the wrong direction.

        But even the less accurate 0/50/100/150m mode wasn't too bad. The current frustration here is that (a) they removed the real world units, combined with (b) there is a bug causing the distances not to update correctly. If either of those changed, it wouldn't be so bad.

        Last edited 19/07/16 11:12 am

    I have seen this bug this morning.
    But also had a Snorlax in the nearby list and tapped it multiple times and it spawned :D Caught it.

    People are cheating now anyway with GPS spoofing. Able to travel to any gym\pokestop they want and capture any pokemon that they get alerts for.

    Ever since their last update my game will crash within first 5 minutes of opening it and it will be stable .... was so scared too, found a Allakazam and caught it and my game crashed, freaked out, restarted it and fortunately it was still there so caught it again.

    Coming from a software delivery background, neurotic is right. They should have defined features, built tested, rebuilt, retested until they had a stable base that was easy and enjoyable to use. On top of neurotics points, I also do not want to spend 20 seconds watching a pokeball rattle each time while thry try to escape. Just show them escape or tell me I got it, don't waste my bloody time. There should also have been a look at the slow pokemon management system, it should have a bulk transfer option. Attacks should be shown as subscripts beside each pokemon when viewing all. I could go on with basic functional requirements that are effectively from the original bloody game. Besides in an app usability is probably the no one requirement. If your stupid app is clunky why nkt just write an in browser web app?

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