Pokemon Go Trackers Shut Down
Pokémon Go is one of the world’s biggest scavenger hunts. The augmented reality game introduced randomly-spawning monsters for people to find. Each monster only stays put for a few minutes at a time, making it harder for players to truly catch em all.
While the game does offer a simple tracking tool, many third-party companies have developed their own apps to reveal where Pokémon are hiding and Niantic is not happy. The company has been issuing takedown notices to several apps, including Pokévision. How will you track Pokémon in the real world if you don’t have a special app?
Using In-Game Pokémon Tracking System
When version 126.96.36.199 was released by Niantic in July 2016, it introduced a simple tracking system to players. This system showed shadows of Pokémon within about 1,000 feet of the player. When the Pokémon disappeared, their shadow would no longer be seen in the list of nine monsters near them.
The early tracking system used footprints to clearly show how far away Pokémon were to the player. The problem was that it didn’t show which direction to go in. This left many players confused.
While not a lot of people used this particular system, players were shocked when it was temporarily taken away. The feature was brought back in the next update, 1.3.0 for the iOS and 0.33.0 for Android.
The new in-game tracking system used grass to show Pokémon in the area, rather than footprints. It also reduced redundancy by only displaying one monster from each species in the area. This tool is fairly easy to use, but it does not fully reveal the location of the monsters. Players still have to wander and explore in order to find what they are looking for. Details on how to use this Pokémon tracker can be found here.
Problems with Official Pokémon Radar
Many players still don’t trust the Pokémon radar tools provided in the game. This is because they are complicated and have had many glitches early on. No one wants to wander aimlessly looking for a Snorlax or Charizard that never appears. They also don’t want to have to wait to complete their collection.
The other issue players see is the numerous errors. While Niantic is working to fix many of the app’s bugs, the game still freezes on a regular basis. The easiest solution is for player’s to forcibly shut down their app and restart it. This refreshes the map, but makes it more difficult to catch Pokémon that are only available for a limited time.
Why Using Third Party Apps was Banned
Using third-party tracking apps allows players to see all of the monsters available on the server at any given time. Normally, there are a few Pokémon in any given area, but they are usually monsters like Pidgey or Rattata. Players using a tracking app are able to see where rarer monsters, such as Tauros or Chansey, have spawned. They then drive to that area, rather than simply walk around their home or local park.
Third party Pokémon tracking apps were issued takedown notices shortly after the game’s initial release. This was due to several issues, the biggest one being Niantic’s server. All of the third party apps used Niantic’s API and code to reveal real-time locations of Pokémon. This meant the app was making constant calls to the server, slowing it down for everyone.
Changes in code also modified the release dates of Pokémon Go in several regions. The initial rollout of the game was supposed to be slow, which would allow Niantic to estimate traffic levels and adjust its server accordingly. Niantic never explained how these tracking apps affected its release and maintenance.
Pokémon Trackers That Won’t Be Shut Down
While Niantic may not like other people using third-party sources to locate monsters, they didn’t ban the idea entirely. The only thing the company was worried about was people making changes to their code or in-game functions. This spawned several crowd-sourced projects, all of which don’t rely on the in-game Pokémon map for information.
Among the new apps was “Pokemon Go Maps.” What made this app different was that it relied on players willingly providing information to an ever-changing map. While it may use some copywrited images, the majority of the app is original. Other third-party tracking apps use very similar systems, avoiding making any direct connection with Pokémon Go or the servers.
Other third-party tracking apps need to be very careful of how they present their information. Niantic is always working on updates that look for evidence of players cheating and hacking their game. Tracking apps like Pokemesh, Skiplagged and Pokefast work to make sure their apps won’t get players banned for using them. Some of the apps use patched to fix potential indicators that Niantic uses to determine who to ban.
Some of the third-party tracking methods don’t use apps at all. Skiplagged, for example, offers Pokémon Radar on their website. This makes a download optional and reduces the odds that the player will get banned for using the system.
Should You Use a Third Party Tracking App?
Many of the Pokémon Go tips and tricks articles mention using additional radar services to find monsters in your area. There is nothing wrong with getting a little extra help, you just need to be careful. You should only select third party apps that you trust and that don’t use data provided by Niantic.
You should also be wary of any additional apps that claim to be from Niantic. While Niantic has developed other mobile games, they have not released any special radar systems. Most of the apps claiming to be from Niantic are shutdown right away, but you should still check the publisher before downloading.
Pokémon Go has a huge fan base that is always working on finding ways to improve the game. If Niantic shuts down your favorite tracker, it is very likely that someone will build something to replace it. Pokémon Go is always growing and people always want to find ways to improve.