Pokémon GO implements the Nearby Pokémon “Feature”. I’m not feelin’ it.

If you haven’t had a chance to look at the newest implementation of a tracking system in Pokémon GO, in short, you can see nearby Pokémon but only if they are near a Pokéstop.

This is marginally useful. Being able to see that a Pokémon is near a certain Pokéstop can be helpful. One can travel to that stop and search its proximity for the Pokémon you want.

However, as many have pointed out this excludes every area that is not dense with Pokéstops. It feels like the “Nearby” list only includes Pokémon within about 20m of a Pokéstop, so it’s as though the tracking system has been completely removed in regards to all of the Pokémon that are not near a stop.

When this is the case it feels as though the game has turned away from “searching for Pokémon” to simply having the “random encounters” of traditional RPG games. While random encounters work for the handheld Nintendo games, in Pokémon GO it is VASTLY less compelling.

I am far less incentivized to even open up the game. The tracking system requires that I be in an area with larger numbers of Pokéstops. Players typically need to specifically travel to these areas if they want a meaningful experience with Pokémon GO now, so I won’t even bother if I’m simply taking a walk to the store, on a lunch break, or for exercise because unless I’m already in those areas the Nearby system doesn’t help me at all.

If players open the game less often in most areas, they will also be less likely to feel it’s worthwhile to travel to a Pokéstop dense area for the game. I’ve been a rabid Pokémon fan for 20 years, I made multiple purchases in Pokémon GO on release. I want Pokémon GO to be a fun game that I can enjoy for years to come. But as the game currently stands, it’s not worth my time and especially not my money.

Niantic does want feedback though! Click here to go to their Google+ page where you can leave a (friendly, helpful) comment to what you think about the new tracking system. I encourage everyone to take a moment and write out a quick sentence. I would love for Pokémon GO to be a fun thing I can do when I get out of the house and feedback is a good start!


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