Coming on the heels of a Thanksgiving update and the official addition of Ditto in Pokémon GO, Niantic is finally bringing back a feature that drove many players away from the app when the company first yanked it from the game.
The Return Of The Nearby Tracker
At long last, the nearby tracker is returning, albeit slowly, to the overwhelming delight of many players who have continuously complained about its absence. Niantic had been pretty much situated in the hotseat the entire time upon exclusion of the feature, and now players have less of a bone to pick with the company now that it's finally available again.
The new tracking feature in Pokémon GO works surprisingly well. Players can check a list of Pokémon within proximity respective of their location, along with the corresponding PokéStop photo where the Pokémon is closest to. This is a slight change to the original nearby tracker, but it's still performs what it's intended for.
The nearby tracker will especially prove useful in congested areas because the game will finally provide the accurate location of a Pokémon relative to its PokéStop. Often, players would spot a Pokémon sans any information on how to navigate toward it, causing the creature to suddenly disappear from the map after players have walked a couple of blocks in an attempt to catch it.
The Nearby Tracker's Limited Availability
For now, the nearby tracker is only available in a number of locations, so some players may still not find it on their game. According to Niantic, the new feature will only be available in all states west of the Mississippi River in the United States, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska.
In Canada, the nearby tracker will only be available in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the western half of Ontario.
In Australia, however, the nearby tracker will be available in all states.
There's no word yet as to when the nearby tracker will bleed onto other locations apart from the areas where it's already available now. However, the decision to bring it back was the outcome of negative feedback from disappointed players. If Niantic wants to continue its prosperous fan service, the next logical step is for it to open up the nearby tracker in other locations altogether.
"Your feedback submitted to all of our official social media accounts and posted in other channels is important to us. We will continue to review community feedback and make changes if necessary," Niantic wrote in a blog post. "Our goal is to to always improve on existing features where we can while also releasing exciting new content and functionality."
Thanksgiving Bonuses And Ditto
The return of the nearby tracker ties perfectly with the new Thanksgiving-ish update, which gives players double the XP and stardust for completing in-game actions. The tracker will also prove useful for attempting to catch Ditto, though that's a tall order in itself. Ditto encounters in the game are surreptitious, driving many players aghast, since Ditto doesn't show up as its original form — it takes on the form of a Rattata, Zubat, Pidgey and possibly other Pokémon, forcing players to go on a catch spree just to encounter a Ditto.
Well, at least players can now see if Rattata, Pidgey or Zubat are close by.
Would you be trying out the new nearby tracker in Pokémon GO? Why not take it even further by using the Pokémon GO Plus accessory? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!