How To Use Pokemon GO’s Latest Tracker

How To Use Pokemon GO’s Latest Tracker

After months of testing, Pokemon GO’s new tracker is finally available. And calling its reception “controversial” would be an understatement — but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work!

Complaints are so ubiquitous that moderators on the mobile game’s subreddit are forced to delete them. Many think the new tracker, which launched yesterday, is confusing because the “Sightings” feature is gone, and all players have to go by is the “Nearby” mechanic.

Tracking Pokemon is also basically moot now in rural areas. That’s because the new tracker locates Pokemon based off PokéStops, which in the cornfields, can be spread out across several miles.

I actually found that it worked well here in New York. Last night, when I played with the new tracker for a bit, I hunted and caught a few Pokemon with relative ease. For me, it was an improvement on previous Pokemon GO trackers (frankly a low bar to clear). That’s because, in New York, Pokestops can occur three times on one block. So, here, the tracker is quite specific about where a Pokemon is.

Maybe you’re still playing the game, or have a boss who makes you play it for work. If you survived the last few upheavals, maybe you want to know how (or where) the new tracker works. I’m here to help.

The Tracker’s Layout

The new tracker on the bottom right of the main screen lists nine Pokemon nearby your location. Next to their image is a picture of the PokéStop closest to them.

Which Pokemon Appear On The Tracker (Or Don’t)

Some players say that only more common Pokemon appear on the tracker. Counter-intuitively, the “Nearby” feature may not help you track Pokemon you really want. Don’t worry — other Pokemon are still spawning. You’ll just have to find them through the time-tried method of random wandering.

Some Pokemon will spawn and despawn while you track them. Often, Pokemon despawn before you have time to go track them around the PokéStop…

How To Read The Tracker

When you click on the PokéStop representing the Pokemon you want, the game points out where it is on the map. Next to the PokéStop appears a little bubble with some footprints. The number of footprints should tell you how close that Pokemon is to the PokéStop, in theory. I’ve only seen three footprints at a time, but have caught three-footprint Pokemon directly next to PokéStops.

How To Catch Tracked Pokemon

Go to the PokéStop. Walk around. The Pokemon you’re tracking should appear. Chuck Poké Balls at it. Profit.

A tip: Make sure to track Pokemon in locations with plenty of PokéStops. But if you’re on the hunt for more rare monsters, just wander around like you did when the tracker was broken. It wouldn’t be Pokemon GO without that feeling of chaos and uncertainty!


  • what? they got a new one?
    wait… isnt this the same as what “new” thing we got like few weeks ago?
    come on kotaku, i expect something new, not something old =/

    • It wasn’t rolled out globally all at once. Australia has had it for a few weeks, and it has been in the San Francisco area for a few months. So it probably is new to some people.

  • Altering (reducing?) the hook of the game and turning it into ‘congregate’ around a certain pre-defined area rather than ‘let’s go exploring’ may have to be the game needs in order to remain viable.

    It’s hard to put into words, but if we looked at the game in terms of an MMO, this would be as large a shift in fundamental gameplay as an MMO that was not free to play going free to play.

    I am unashamed to still be playing it, and I’m enjoying it. By virtue of this update, I haven’t had the time to really try it out myself. I expect Niantic will either streamline things or upset the apple cart even further in the short-term to take advantage of the Christmas holiday period where people once again have a lot of free time.

    • It’s not really congregate around a specific spot. Sure, you’ll visit a nearby pokestop if it has something you want, but playing myself, I usually ignore most of them.

  • The nearby function does NOTHING except say its near that stop…thats not a tracker. we were better off before the current system. If Niamantic were smart they would have bought fastpokermap and then charged 4.99 month to use it. Would have made 100m a month easy.

  • I find this system a hell of a lot more useful than the one one. Now I know how close a Pokemon is, and in which direction, rather than wandering about randomly in the hopes I come across it.

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