Pokémon Go’s long-awaited, overhauled in-game tracker is live for players to try out in much of the continental U.S., as well as parts of Canada and the entirety of Australia. Niantic posted on its game development blog last night that the feature was available in more locations, after months of testing in the San Francisco Bay area.
The way the new Nearby Pokémon feature works is a bit different from how it worked in beta, according to the post. It’s also vastly different from Sightings, the more ambiguous tracker that replaced the glitchy original system back in August. The more detailed Pokémon tracker will only show up if players are near a PokéStop, at which point it will show the type of Pokémon available at or around that location. Otherwise, Sightings will continue to take precedence during this test phase, although Niantic noted that that feature has also been adjusted — which, some note, means it is gone completely.
All Pokémon Go players west of the Mississippi River can take the Nearby feature for a spin, leaving East Coast-based fans and those in Hawaii and Alaska in the cold for now. Many of the states that have the new tracker available to them are smaller, and players in rural areas aren’t loving the location-dependent service thus far.
“This is a huge step backwards if you’re not in the middle of a bunch of PokéStops, tracking is literally gone when you’re not around one,” wrote Reddit user mattster8.
Others voiced similar complaints, which marks one of Pokémon Go’s greatest ironies. For a feature so loudly requested, the revamped tracker still won’t please some ardent fans, who say they were, in fact, better off without it.