For months, the new Pokemon GO nearby tracker was limited to players in San Francisco and California, much to the annoyance of the rest of the world. And then, around a week ago, Niantic added Australia to the test, as well as additional areas in both America and Canada.
Today, Niantic have taken it a step further by including all of the “continental” United States, and “large parts” of Europe in the testing. It seems like the tracker may be gearing up for a worldwide release much sooner than some people had predicted.
The official message on their Facebook page reads:
Trainers, We will be expanding the Nearby Pokémon feature to the rest of the continental United States and large parts of Europe. We will continue to review the feedback submitted on our official social media accounts and in other channels and make changes if necessary. The Pokémon GO team
For those not in the know; “continental” United States refers to all of the States that are connected by land to the United States. It’s basically their way of saying everyone but Hawaii will be getting access to the new Pokemon GO nearby tracker. Sorry Hawaii, we hope you get it soon.
As for Europe, it’s still too early to tell what areas will be granted access to the new tracker, but if you live in Europe, you’ll be able to tell by simply logging into the game and checking if you’ve got the new tracker. Pretty easy.
But is the rollout of the new Pokemon GO nearby tracker a good thing? Sure, if you live in a well-populated area and have access to hundreds of Poke Stops, it’s awesome. I had the chance to play around with it during the double XP event, and I had no trouble at all finding rare and new Pokemon.
This, sadly, is not the case for rural players. Redditor “enjoyinc” explained what it was like to play in a rural area with the new tracker: “Nothing. Nothing at all. The screen showed nothing. The new system was rolled out. What I had taken for granted in SF (San Francisco) was now all over the nation and, simply put, it doesn’t work. I met up with some friends who played out in my home town and they were so upset over the changes that a bunch of them wanted to stop playing, because they have awful spawns out there to begin with.”
Ever since Pokemon GO was released, it’s seemed like Niantic only care about city players and barely recognize the existence of rural players. Hell, it’s become a running joke online, but they’re going to have to seriously change the way the tracker works if they hope to retain the rural players long term.
Look, I’m an optimistic guy, and I’m trying to stay positive about the new tracker. Yeah, let’s be honest here, it’s severely broken if you’re playing the game in a rural area (like I do), but the overall idea is still pretty solid, in my opinion, and just needs to be ironed out.
But what do you think about the new Pokemon GO nearby tracker? Has it been rolled out in your area yet? And if you live in Europe, could you let me know what Country you live in and if you’ve got the tracker yet? Just leave a comment in the comment section below!