The New ‘Pokémon GO’ Update

Photo: Niantic

Photo: Niantic

Pokémon GO has received its largest update yet on Android and iOS, and it has players buzzing about some interesting and also terrible changes to the game.

First, the good news. The update has allowed you to re-customize your character, has rebalanced Pokémon move sets, has changed some spawn points and now allows you to lock your favorite Pokémon to prevent accidental transfers, which came exactly one day too late for my 1800 CP Vaporeon (RIP).

But the bad news? The famous “three-footstep” bug that has been plaguing the game for weeks is no longer a bug…

It’s a feature.

Far and away the most controversial aspect of the update is the fact that instead of fixing the three-step bug to once again show two and one footstep indicators as player get closer to a specific Pokémon, Niantic has done away with the footstep tracking idea altogether. Pokémon now all have zero footsteps near them, meaning that they’re just somewhere “around.”

Given that I’ve done some pretty extensive analysis of Pokémon GO tracking in the past, I want to really explore what on earth happened here. And a few things are starting to become clear, both from my own play, and from data reported by other users