Pokemon Go's tracking system actually works -- here's how

Some players are seeing a new tracking system. Here's how to use it.

Alina Bradford CNET Contributor
Alina Bradford has been writing how-tos, tech articles and more for almost two decades. She currently writes for CNET's Smart Home Section, MTVNews' tech section and for Live Science's reference section. Follow her on Twitter.
Alina Bradford
2 min read
Watch this: Pokemon Go finally gets nearby tracking right

The Sightings tracker.

Alina Bradford/CNET

The latest update brings a new way to track Pokemon in Pokemon Go -- at least for some users.

Two types of trackers are being tested and you may see both, one, or none at all.

The 'Sightings' tracker

Some players have the Sightings version of the tracker. This tracker tells you which Pokemon are currently in your area and is basically the same type of tracker you saw when Niantic took away the steps from the original tracker. It's just a list of a bunch of nearby Pokemon, but this time they have grass in the icon.

I have tried the Sightings tracker and, like before, it's hard knowing how close the Pokemon are or in which direction you need to travel.

The tracker isn't completely useless, though. Here are some tips for using Sightings.

The 'Nearby' tracker

Another version of the new tracker is called Nearby, like the old tracker.

Except this time, it's improved, it actually works!

The Nearby tracker lists Pokemon that are in your general vicinity and the PokeStops you'll have to visit to hunt them down.

Tap on the Pokemon you want to track, then hit the View button and you'll be taken back to the map screen. The screen will zoom in and show where the PokeStop is located in relation to your avatar.

If the Pokemon leaves that location before you get there, the app will let you know with a warning, "The Pokemon fled! Check the nearby list for other Pokemon."

Some people are reporting that they have one tracker and not the other, while some people are reporting that they have both trackers. This is probably part of the testing process. Niantic explained on its site, "We're currently testing a variation of the "Nearby Pokémon" feature with a subset of users. During this period you may see some variation in the nearby Pokémon UI."

A closer look at Nintendo's Pokemon Go Plus

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Editors' note: This article was originally published on August 9, 2016. It has since been updated to reflect changes in the "Sightings" tracker.