Warning to all Pokémon GO trainers: you might want to hold off before updating the game.
Niantic Labs released the first major update for Pokémon GO over the weekend, but instead of fixing some of the key problems in the popular mobile game, players are now facing even more major problems.
Many players expected the update (version 0.31.0 for Android and version 1.1.0 for iOS) to fix the "three-step glitch," which is the bug that doesn't accurately show the proximity of nearby Pokémon.
However, the update completely deleted this feature, as the developers opted to "remove footprints of nearby Pokémon."
Even though the feature has not been working for some time (mainly because of busy servers), the tracker allowed players to see which monsters they could catch near their location. The player would first see a three-step icon that indicated to keep walking closer. By the time the icon was two steps, then one step, they were right on the Pokémon's tail.
The problem is, the three-step feature barely worked from the beginning, so it might not even matter if the player has already updated or is thinking about updating the app.
The update also removed the battery saver mode, but both this and the three-step feature was probably removed as a short-term solution so that Niantic can make the appropriate fixes and then roll them out when they are working properly.
However, there is an even more serious problem users have reported after updating the augmented reality game.
It appears that many people have had to start over from scratch, since the major Pokémon GO update seemed to erase all the users' progress.
Players took to Twitter to complain about losing all their progress and having to start over at Level 1. However, Niantic addressed the issue, which seemed to be primarily among iOS users, revealing that the problem is a result of also updating its Google account login system.
— Kathe Karow de Fdz (@KatheKarow) July 31, 2016
If the player does not want to lose their progress, they might want to think twice before updating. However, the developer reassured players that the update doesn't mean they will have to start over from the beginning.
"Please be assured that your gameplay progress has NOT been lost. It remains safe and intact," Niantic writes on its troubleshooting page. "In the Pokémon GO update version 1.1.0 (build 31.0), we updated our Google Account login system and as a result, you may have inadvertently created another Pokémon GO account by logging in with a different Google email address than the one originally used for the game."
The developer suggested signing in with the email address the player initially used to create their account in the game. Players might also have to uninstall and reinstall the app to completely fix this issue.
It might be safe after all to update Pokémon GO, but be warned of these problems.
The update does, on the other hand, fix some other issues. These include "improved memory issues," "refined certain Gym animations," "various bug fixes during wild Pokémon encounter" and "fixed issues with displaying certain map features." Players can also re-customize their avatars.
The Pokémon GO update is available for iOS and Android.
Photo: Robert Couse-Baker | Flickr