Niantic Speaks – Pokemon GO Changes Explained

Recently, Pokemon GO appeared to develop a critical glitch in its Pokemon tracking system. The game no longer reduced the number of “steps” a Pokemon had associated with it in order to help track it down. This made finding Pokemon very difficult for players and became known as the “3-Step Glitch” among players access the globe.

In a recent update, developer Niantic removed the tracking system almost completely with no explanation as to why. Players can still see nearby Pokemon, but the “steps” have been completely removed and specific Pokemon can no longer be tracked individually. Niantic also seemed to have shut down all third-party tracking sites and applications with no official word. In response to this, players all over the world have been outraged. With no explanation, no tracking system, and therefore almost no means to hunt Pokemon, some players even began demanding refunds for the money they spent on in-game items like Pokeballs and upgrades. For quite some time, it wasn’t clear if we would ever hear from Niantic on the matter at all…until now.

Niantic released a statement today and you can read it below:


As many of you know, we recently made some changes to Pokémon GO.

– We have removed the ‘3-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design. The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature.

– We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon GO to users around the world. The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokémon GO around the world an… interesting… challenge. And we aren’t done yet! Yes, Brazil, we want to bring the game to you (and many other countries where it is not yet available).

We have read your posts and emails and we hear the frustration from folks in places where we haven’t launched yet, and from those of you who miss these features. We want you to know that we have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally. If you haven’t heard us Tweeting much it’s because we’ve been heads down working on the game. But we’ll do our best going forward to keep you posted on what’s going on.

Be safe, be nice to your fellow trainers, and keep on exploring.

The Pokémon GO team

Finally some communication.
Although the situation isn’t ideal, at least players can now rest a bit easier knowing that Niantic is supposedly hard at work fixing the problem and hopefully even improving upon it. This statement doesn’t mention that the feature will indeed come back, but it certainly alludes to it. This also hopefully has made Niantic and other developers realize how crucial communication and interaction with fans truly is. Having a community team and an active social media presence is incredibly important these days…especially when you have game that is massively popular and has become a global phenomenon.

For now, let’s #BlameTeamRocket for all the issues and try to see Niantic as the kindly Poke Professors that are working hard to make things right again.