As mentioned in the latest patch notes for Pokémon Go a select number of players have access to a new radar system that features far more advanced tracking and improved accuracy.
The updated radar will be used by everyone eventually, but for now a randomly selected group of players have access to a ‘beta test’ of the new system before it becomes available to everyone. The radar is now split into two sections – Sightings and Nearby.
Sightings is much like the old system and shows you Pokémon that are within 200m (650ft) or less of your current location. Much like before players can’t know for sure if they’re on the edge of that radius, or if they’re walking away from their target.
But the radar refreshes fasters and more reliably, so if a Pokémon does disappear they can head back in the opposite direction, see it pop up again and have a general idea of its location.
The other half of the radar is the Nearby section that shows which Pokémon are hanging around PokéStops. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:
- In the Nearby section of the radar screen players can see Pokémon next to images of local PokéStops.
- Tapping on the Nearby Pokémon brings up a larger version of the PokéStop.
- Tapping ‘View’ takes brings up the map, which zooms out from the player and shows you which PokéStop to head towards to catch that Pokémon.
- The PokéStop is highlighted with the old ‘three-steps’ icon and remains highlighted until:
- The player catches the Pokémon being tracked.
- The Pokémon disappears and the player receives a pop-up message telling them “The Pokémon fled!”.
The Nearby section can track Pokémon that are much further away than the previous radar could detect, and the Sightings radar has done away with doubles (so no more screens filled with Pidgeys) and refreshes more often than the old one.
Overall it’s clear that Niantic have stepped up their game to compete with the third-party radar systems that are on the verge of a comeback. Further improvements have been hinted at, but for now this is a big step forward for Pokémon Go and it’s recently divided community.
Image credit: Anarisis on Reddit