Playing Pokémon GO this week has proven to be pretty difficult thanks to a wide array of issues plaguing the augmented reality game. Things got to an iffy start right from the get-go, given the lack of clarity from developer Niantic as to when the game would actually launch across various regions. Players were left guessing and frantically reloading their news feed on Wednesday in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, the game was out in their part of the world.
Once the game officially launched for US gamers at 9:00PM EST (Thursday 11:00AM AEST), the servers got so overloaded that it was impossible for many people to try the game out. I was able to play for a total of five minutes before Pokémon GO started crashing or freezing on me, if it was able to get past the server issues at all. Both the Google log-in and Pokémon Club logins were a bust, and as an added annoyance, I had to input my sign-in info every single time I booted the game up... only to see this:
Connectivity issues aren't unusual for hot online games, especially on day one. The thing is, the problems persisted on day two, as players found that the servers kept going up and down (mostly down, really). For the most part, the average Pokémon GO fan didn't get to actually play the game yesterday thanks to a combination of server issues, authentication problems and general wonkiness of the app.
Now we're on day three, and while it seems that Pokémon GO has started to work for some people, social media is still full of players who can't get the game to load. Personally, Pokémon GO lets me log in, but I can only see this:
No Pokémon, no landmarks, no gyms. My trainer is locked in place, and the only thing I can do is watch the Pokeball in the top left corner spin round and round. This happens regardless of whether I use the Google login, the Club login, heck I've even tried deleting and redownloading the app to no avail. Pokémon GO has been a frustrating experience thus far, even though yes, it's technically free-to-download.
We reached out to Niantic and The Pokémon Company yesterday about Pokémon GO's server issues, but they did not share any updates. Actually, the only official word is from Thursday:
Due to the incredible number of #PokemonGO downloads, some Trainers may experience sign-up difficulties. Don’t worry, our team is on it!
— Pokémon GO (@PokemonGoApp) July 7, 2016
Again, issues like this aren't out of the ordinary, especially for a game with as much hype as Pokémon GO. But it sucks to have Niantic be mostly mum about what is going on, or when players can expect a fix. With no ETA, I've found myself periodically loading the app to see if things are better now, only to find that nothing has improved. This in turn only makes me more aggravated, and I know I am not alone: I've seen players outright delete the app because they don't want to deal with all of these issues. They just wanna catch some Pokémon, man.
We'll keep you updated on the status of Pokémon GO connectivity issues as the week goes on. For now, it's worth noting that these problems might just be the tip of the iceberg for the game: In what little time I've spent with GO, it already feels like the offerings are kind of sparse. The game has only launched with functionality to capture monsters and do gym battles, but not franchise staples like trading or battling against other players. Such features have been hinted at in trailers, so its entirely possible that they will be patched in at some point, but for now, their absence only adds to the disappointment that is Pokémon GO's launch.