Pokémon Go’s dynamic weather system went live this weekend, coinciding with some of the most dramatic seasonal changes of the year — at least, for those of us here on the East Coast. And while it’s always better to be safe than sorry, Pokémon Go’s baked-in extreme weather warnings proved themselves to already be way out of whack.
Now that the augmented reality game is responsive to real-world weather changes, players will find their maps covered with snow, rain, intense sunlight and other effects. When these conditions become unsafe for players to venture out into, Pokémon Go does something responsible: It warns and discourages players from using the game until things are safer.
“Pokémon seem to dislike these conditions,” the “extreme” pop-up reads. “Weather conditions are potentially dangerous — be aware of your surroundings! Check your local weather service for details.”
This is a smart feature, or it would be, if players weren’t reporting that Pokémon Go has a liberal definition of “extreme.” While we New Yorkers did experience some serious snow on Saturday, trainers from across the country shared images of their much milder weekend weather on Twitter. Pokémon Go’s extreme weather pop-up appeared in their games all the same.
In places like Toronto, Canada, where regular snowfall is the norm, the pop-up suggested to some players that Pokémon Go’s weather system was already in dire need of recalibration.
The issue is that “extreme weather” isn’t just an annoying notification. It also disables the positive benefits of the in-game weather system. Depending on the type of weather the game picks up on, different Pokémon will appear more often. If it’s raining, you’ll see more water-type Pokémon, for example. In addition to that, Pokémon whose types correspond with the weather conditions will experience stat buffs in battle.
If it’s raining just a bit too hard by Pokémon Go’s standards, however, players won’t get to experience any of this. Instead, they’ll continue to find the standard monsters they encounter on a regular day without any of that other fun stuff.
We’ve asked Niantic about how sensitive this new system is, but expect the kinks to be worked out over time. Such is the way of Pokémon Go.