Two Weeks After Launch, Pokemon GO's Servers Are Still A Mess

Connectivity issues are par for the course right after a popular game launches. Usually, things stabilise after a couple of days, if not sooner. Pokemon GO has somehow managed to get worse as time goes on. Pictured: Niantic's servers

If you are having trouble connecting to Pokemon GO right now, you are not alone. I've been staring at this for hours now:

Really, this isn't an isolated incident. Most of my experience with Pokemon GO has been defined by technical issues. I can't tell you how many times I have typed my log-in info at this point, or how many Google verification codes I've had to punch in, only to have it fail to retrieve my trainer info. If the app manages to connect to the servers, it still tends to run fairly sluggish on my phone, such that simply navigating menus is a bummer. Sometimes, it takes multiple taps for the game to register that I am encountering a Pokemon. Ten per cent of the time, it will outright crash after I capture a Pokemon. Often, it will just crash for no observable reason. Pokemon GO is the buggiest game I've played in 2016 so far.

Even the mechanics are busted. For days now, every single Pokemon on the Nearby tab displays itself as three steps away, making it almost impossible to track down specific monsters. The whole point of the game is to explore and capture new critters!

Mostly, though, I've been staring at that damn loading screen. Hoping against hope that the blue bar moves up, and the Gyarados goes away. It usually doesn't.

Niantic is definitely working on the game. Actually, Pokemon GO got an update today. Here's what it addressed:

Yep. It's already become a meme.

Meanwhile, Niantic hasn't said much about what they are doing to make things better. The last update on Niantic's social media is about how they fixed the server issues from last weekend, but there's still no word on things like the three-step glitch, or any of the more recent issues that players are currently grappling with:

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about all of this is that, in spite of being a total shitshow on a technical level, Pokemon GO is still sitting on the top of the charts, breaking records left and right. The thing about Pokemon GO is, a lot of the experience lives outside of the actual app. To play Pokemon GO is to walk places, to meet people, to socialise.

I've visited hot lure spots even while my game wasn't working, just to see what was going on with my friends. I'll shoot the shit, mostly about where to find good Pokemon, or what new ridiculous things players have done this time. In the background, I'll still try to reload the game, but if it doesn't work, it's not the biggest deal. I mean, it is a free game.

Even so, I get the sense that Pokemon GO is starting to push the limit of what people will tolerate in a game. If Niantic doesn't manage to turn things around the thing that kills the Pokemon GO fad may not be a lack of features, but rather dwindling interest from a playerbase that can't even get the game to work.


Comments

    Obviously it's an American-centric point of view, because other countries are getting some better luck here and there, but yeah it's quite weird to see.

    One thing I'm not sure we're seeing is how many non-supported phones are having trouble. My iphone 4S for example can 'run' the app but I spend over a minute at the initial Niantic boat splash (heheheh) screen, another minute plus at the progress bar screen, then (sometimes) the app actually launches.

    I can't imagine how much strain I'm making when it might be...I don't know selfish?

    My biggest gripe with the game is one needs create/provide an online account to use it.

    Haven't tried it yet as I'm of the school of thought that I am an individual and not a commodity to have my movements tracked and catalogued for marketing purposes.

    If they dropped the need for a unique account and just let me manage my own data on the device I own then I might give it a shot.

    But then again, that is just me being a product of better times.

    Last edited 21/07/16 3:40 pm

      It's a multi-player online game. How would you expect this to work without identifying users?

        The same concept can easily work being off-line first.

        How do I know this? I've played Pokemon since the original RBY cartridges. The online features should have been secondary and allow users to play with their lonesome.

        Seriously this is like EA's SimCity; made online for the sake of it and DRM.

          But this game clearly isn't the same as those games: if you want that experience, it is still available with the main series games.

          Your argument seems equivalent to saying that because the original Warcraft could be played offline by yourself, so should World of Warcraft. The games might be part of the same franchise, but they're clearly different experiences.

    Game works fine for me (running on iPhone 6s).

    They fixed the repeated login email address issue with the first patch I believe. Here is a tip by the way (from reddit); make @@ a shortcut to your email address. Will help with many things that require an email login and you can just type @@ instead of your entire email address

    Footstep bug is annoying and should be fixed.

    I do think this article greatly exaggerates the issues with this game at the moment. I don't think the author has written a single good thing about the game. But I've clicked on the article and commented so mission accomplished I guess.

      Wait, on iPhone do you have to login each time?
      On Android I just tap the app and it launches.

    This is probably the best server status site I've seen so far:

    http://www.ispokemongodownornot.com/

    Unfortunately no Aus specific section yet from what I can tell. But those stats are sweet.

    As I've said in a few of the thousand articles written on here for Pokemon GO. It seems more like a money grab ( Yes it's free, but those retarded people who drop hundreds of dollars on microtransactions still count ). The game released in a buggy state with next to no features. I don't find the appeal of having to track down the same pokemon 500 times just to evolve it. I also hate the pay off for Eggs. I walked 5 kms to get a 10CP Goldeen.

    I want the game to succeed, but as mentioned in the article - They need to sort their shit out or people will just stop. I don't even load it up unless my partner points out there's something nearby.

    Not american centric... Australia servers are crap at peak hours especially on mobile data for sone reason I cant fathom cause its not pushing that much data. Spinning pokeball loading endlessly like its disconnected and cant reconnect.

    Sometimes after repeated lick ups I cant reconnect until I access a wifi hotspot because either the login wont accept my 4G connection or wont accept the GPS location. Its wierd... then works fine. I have to pick my pokemon spots based on if there is a goid and trusted wifi spot around just incase server latency.

    Its dumb that i have to reboot pokemongo off a wifi sometimes

    also your location wont update if you capture a pokemon too. Happens during peak hours.

    Most (big) game launches ease-up after a few days because everyone has tried it, in the case of Pokemon Go, they're still launching it across the world with their staggered release schedule so even as it might be slowing down in one region, another region is tearing them a new one.

    i have yet to play it, bought my first smart phone just to play this game, havent been able to play once :(

    I think niantic released this way to early. They should have stayed in beta and if anything expanded the player base to further stress test and iron out any bugs. Fortunately they released a game which everyone wanted to play but if these issues aren't rectified soon I see the player base shrinking to the same as ingress and now in particularly that competitors have seen how successful this idea can be. Sink or swim niantic?

    $400 motorola G4 - runs game like shit
    $90 ZTE phone bought from Kmart - Runs game perfectly? the fuck

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