Ever since Niantic pulled the plug on the original tracking system in Pokemon Go, players have been lost. Literally. It was replaced by the useless "Sightings" feature, which consistently sends players running off aimlessly in random directions. Due to this, several third-party developers have tried to pick up the slack and produced useful Pokemon tracking apps. However, Niantic wasn't too thrilled about that, resulting in a crackdown of both said apps and the players who use them.
Although progress is slow, Niantic has been developing an all-new in-game tracking system, called the "Nearby" feature. As a test, it was initially available only to players in San Francisco, California. The Nearby feature brings up a window showing a list of PokeStops with attached images of Pokemon, indicating Pokemon near or at the location. Tapping one of the items on the list brings up another window that shows players where the PokeStop is. You can see it in action in the video below, via YouTuber Alex Leavitt.
Well, at least that's how it used to work. Niantic has announced that they have changed the Nearby feature. Now, it will only pop up if a PokeStop is close to you. Changes have been made to the existing Sightings feature as well, according to Niantic, although no exact details were given. Furthermore, the Nearby feature is no longer exclusive to the San Francisco area. It's now available to players in the following locations, too:
- United States of America: All states west of the Mississippi River (except Hawaii and Alaska)
- Canada: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the western half of Ontario.
- Australia: All states and territories
Obviously, this is great news for players living in urban areas where PokeStops are in abundance. Not so much for players in rural areas. The revamped Nearby feature is basically non-existent in areas where PokeStops are hard to come by, effectively barring many players from getting a piece of the overdue "official" tracking system.
Hopefully, as Niantic continues development, they will recognize this glaring issue. In the meantime, happy hunting for those of you living in the aforementioned locations! Make the most of it before Niantic suddenly plays kill-joy (knocks on wood).