Pokémon Go just lost a key feature and players are getting frustrated

The good news: There’s an update to Pokémon Go rolling out on Android that seems to fix a lot of little bugs and annoying things wrong with the game. Presumably, it will be coming to iPhone, too.

The bad news: The update also completely removes the footprints that let you know when you’re close to a Pokémon, capping off a two-week span where the feature didn’t work as intended.

Pokemon changelogGoogle PlayThe complete list of changes in the new version, per the Google Play store.

When a Pokémon is far away, the in-game tracker shows three little footprints. As you get closer, it goes down to two footprints, then one, then the prints disappear and the Pokémon will appear on your map.

It’s like a hot-or-cold game. At least, that’s how it works ideally. 

For the last two weeks or so, for reasons unknown, it’s been showing three footprints no matter how near or far you are from a Pokémon. Fans have dubbed it a glitch, and while Pokémon Go developer Niantic has said that they’re aware of the problem, there’s been no timeline for a fix.

Pokemon GOThe Pokemon CompanyIdeally, those footprints let you know when a Pokemon is nearby. But they haven’t worked correctly for weeks.

Now, with the removal of the footprints entirely, it looks like the timeline for a fix to the three-step glitch could be a while out. 

The rumour on the street is that Niantic, the developer of Pokémon Go, purposely turned off the tracker to ease the strain on the servers, which have been unreliable since the game’s launch just under a month ago. 

Regardless of the reason, players are getting annoyed, and this new update isn’t helping matters. On Reddit’s Pokémon Go community, there’s a lot of frustration and confusion. That’s likely to spread as the update hits more places.

On the brighter side, the new fix also brings some other improvements, including a better-placed “Transfer” button so you don’t have to scroll as much to exchange a monster for some candy. There are also reports that Niantic has quietly changed where certain groups of Pokémon appear and, as Kotaku reports, how much damage certain attacks do in battle.

Still, the busted Pokémon radar has been driving fans towards apps that help them cheat by placing the monsters on a map. By removing the footprints, it will only push more players in that direction.

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