Finally, at long last, the “Nearby” tracker has returned to, at least, a sizeable portion of the playerbase. The tracker is now live in the entire continental United States and “large parts” of Europe, and we assume that a continual global rollout is now underway. Pokémon GO had a relatively obtuse tracker for the first week or so of its existence, but the new feature is significantly expanded from the old footstep system. It’s far from perfect: Paul Tassi notes that this update, like nearly every other update, makes the game even worse for rural players, but it’s a boon for those living in dense cities and other Pokéstop-rich environments. So, here’s how you use the new Nearby Tracker in Pokémon GO:
So, start by clicking on the tracker in the lower right: it should look like a couple small Pokémon images, if there are any nearby. You’ll see a list of creatures, each of them next to a small photo. That’s the photo associated with the Pokéstop that the Pokémon is near. If you recognize it, go find it. If you don’t, you can click the various Pokéstops around you until you see the picture that matches the one in the tracker. At that point, you’ve just got to go to the stop. If you haven’t been there before, keep an eye out for the thing you saw in the picture. This game is all about exploration, after all.
When you click on a monster in the nearby page, it will bring up an enlargement of the Pokéstop, with some footprints beneath. Click the footprints to start tracking the monster: the map will zoom out to show you precisely where to find it, and it will now be marked by a little pink icon on your map. And presto: there’s your Pokémon. It certainly takes the guesswork out of the system, and you can just walk over to go catch the thing. Go quick before it despawns.
And that’s how you use the tracker. A powerful new tool for those that can use it, another weight on those that can’t. I have a feeling that the tracker is here to prep us for a big rollout of the second generation of Pokémon, but no news on that, at least not yet.