Well, sort of.
Pokémon Go has experienced some controversial changes over the past few weeks. Most notably, the removal of nearby tracking incited a lot of rage in the player community, with some even resorting to demanding refunds for microtransactions as a way of “getting back” at developer Niantic. Now it looks like Niantic has introduced a brand new tracking system that looks more functional than before, but right now, it’s only been rolled out to some users (probably to save the game from breaking even more frequently than it already does).
Here’s what the new tracking system looks like:
Unlike the previous tracking system, which used the unreliable and somewhat confusing “steps,” tracking is now divided into “Nearby” and “Sightings.” Sightings seems to be just as useless as tracking was before it was removed, as it doesn’t give any actual location information about the Pokémon (but it does have new grass backgrounds. Whee!).
The Nearby functionality looks to be vastly improved, however, indicating the actual Pokéstop that the Pokémon has been sighted near. Even better, it actually tells you where to go when you tap it!
Right now, all players who download the new update will get the Sightings functionality, but only certain players are receiving the improved Nearby functionality. Kotaku is reporting that this new system updates the monster list more frequently than before, meaning that you won’t have to walk around blindly for as long as you did previously.
For now, this all appears to be a test that Niantic is running, so it’s unlikely that the tracking system will remain this way. But hey, battery saver mode is back now too! It’s good to see Niantic taking steps to improve the user experience, even if they’re not really getting any better at informing their player base about what’s going on or even explaining the new features they add to the game. Oh well, progress is progress I suppose.