Pokémon GO responds to criticism over removal of footsteps feature

By , Aug 2, 2016

Pokemon Go teaser 005

Pokémon GO has become the top free game in the App Store and Google Play stores in such a short time. It’s undoubtedly popular among players around the world, even though it’s not yet available in all countries.

Nevertheless, a recent update removed the footsteps Pokémon tracking feature from the game and left many users upset, and now the game developers have released an official response to the criticism they’ve received.

An official statement from Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO originally had a feature known as footsteps, which allowed you to better track down specific Pokémon that appeared on your radar.

With it, you could tap on a specific Pokémon in the radar, and you could attempt to pinpoint that specific Pokémon by watching for the green pulse as you walked around. However, the feature was buggy and many people even went as far as to say the feature didn’t even work.

As a result, last weekend’s game update removed the feature. The removal was not only because it wasn’t meeting everyone’s expectations, but also because Niantic is working hard to eliminate third-party Pokémon tracking websites from being able to report the real-time existence of Pokémon for players who want to take the easy way to the top.

Despite all the criticism, the developers behind Pokémon GO appear to be on solid ground with their decision to remove the footsteps feature, as they’ve released the following public statement on their Facebook page:


As many of you know, we recently made some changes to Pokémon GO.

– We have removed the ‘3-step’ display in order to improve upon the underlying design. The original feature, although enjoyed by many, was also confusing and did not meet our underlying product goals. We will keep you posted as we strive to improve this feature.

– We have limited access by third-party services which were interfering with our ability to maintain quality of service for our users and to bring Pokémon GO to users around the world. The large number of users has made the roll-out of Pokémon GO around the world an… interesting… challenge. And we aren’t done yet! Yes, Brazil, we want to bring the game to you (and many other countries where it is not yet available).

We have read your posts and emails and we hear the frustration from folks in places where we haven’t launched yet, and from those of you who miss these features. We want you to know that we have been working crazy hours to keep the game running as we continue to launch globally. If you haven’t heard us Tweeting much it’s because we’ve been heads down working on the game. But we’ll do our best going forward to keep you posted on what’s going on.

Be safe, be nice to your fellow trainers, and keep on exploring.

The Pokémon GO team

The statement doesn’t go into any details about whether or not the footsteps feature will ever return, or if a better feature to replace it will ever be implemented, but such is to be expected when the game is so popular and third-party services are trying to take advantage of it by setting up real-time Pokémon tracking websites.

Because the Pokémon GO team is working hard to have third-party tracking websites taken down, it’s a touchy subject at this point in time for the company.

These third-party websites pinged the Pokémon GO servers on such a high scale that it caused lagging and login issues for players who were constantly being booted out. Since the removal of many third-party real-time tracking websites, login issues have been virtually non-existent for most of the Pokémon GO player base.

Wrapping up

Although there doesn’t appear to be any indication that footsteps or third-party real-time Pokémon tracking websites will be returning any time soon, the Pokémon GO development team is working as hard as possible to keep the game running smoothly despite all the server issues that have been occurring from the massive influx of interested players from around the world. Some of these sacrifices were necessary.

If you haven’t tried Pokémon GO yet, and would like to, you can download it for free from the App Store and give it a whirl.

Also read:

What are your thoughts on the removal of footsteps and third-party tracking websites for Pokémon GO? Share below!

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  • Well, no, they’re not on any form of solid ground. They had features which were riddled with bugs and instead of fixing the bugs, they simply removed the feature. That’s not solid ground, that’s utter madness.

    “Ohh, this feature that saves battery has a bug, I don’t know what’s wrong so I’ll just remove it entirely.”

    • That comment was intended to mean, “yeah we removed the feature… and we’re going to keep it removed” as in they’re solid in their decision to keep it out.

      • Ohh I see what you mean. Thanks for the clarity. With any luck, they’ll find the actual problem and fix it and then re-introduce it to the game. My battery’s taking a real beating since they got rid of it.

      • :D

        Download an older version through an app installer like Vshare

      • Bugs Bunnay

        Appcake works better

      • Joseph Apodaca

        Use App Admin in Cydia for downgrading.

  • Ernie Marin

    They are going to kill the game eventually, no question about it, this wasn’t to make it better, it was to make sure you went to sponsored pokestops which will make the other half of the game’s income. If they really wanted to be fair you wouldn’t need to be in a big city to catch more pokemon, or have to go half way around the world either to get the regional ones which makes no sense either considering this App was made for everyone, but not everyone can travel miles, much less continents.

    • Hence: http://www.idownloadblog.com/2016/08/02/spoof-your-location-in-pokemon-go/

      I don’t personally condone cheating, and I won’t cheat on my own account because I don’t want to get banned or take a chance on it, but it’s certainly a way to get around the “regional” issues.

      • Jibbley Gravey

        Can’t be banned. We already found away to unban ourselves in less than 30 seconds. 😉 You can cheat all you want. The bots will unban you autoMAGICALLY 😉 Go ahead, join the chat. Download the bot. Even the sniper.. 😉 ahhh yes. Pokesniper 2. 😉 You can put in the coordinates of any pokemon and snipe them across the globe without getting banned at all. 🙂 Trust me, you need to bot to level the playing field. In my area, there are like no pokemon. Maybe catch 100 a day… yet when I teleport to Japan, there are THOUSANDS of pokemon surrounding me 😉 and I can catch them all in just a few seconds and repeat 🙂 I can go from level 0 to 21 in LESS than ONE hour. 😉 Not to mention you will catch all types of rare pokemon 😉 Go ahead, give botting a go. ownedcore.

      • Denial

        And people were complaining about spoofing your location! Damn! Lol

      • Jibbley Gravey

        Yep. California to Japan in 1 second. 🙂 banned… bot spins the pokestop 45 times, and boom unbanned 😀 works everytime.

  • Jibbley Gravey

    Doesn’t matter… Just means all users who played fair… will now stop playing.. and the botters (Like myself) will own the game… Took over a gym with a level 3300 Dragonite xD as I watch all those noobs who play fair keep attempting to take it out with a 1400 weak Vaporeon. xD ONE hyperbeam and it’s dead 🙂 Rookie Mistake. 😉 Bot is running as we speak. I have 12 Dragonites over 3000 🙂 Don’t forget that level 2700 Snorlax with Hyperbeam :D!!!!!!

    • Denial

      Dude, I get that you want to own the game and all that but really? No challenge at all?
      I don’t think I’ll ever try using bots (or whatever technique you’re actually using, because it isn’t really clear to me) just because I like having a challenge. If it gets too easy, I simply lose the desire to play and I remove the game (and I don’t play many).

      I first thought that you at least were keeping the challenge (I get wanting to get rare pokemons, I want them too lol) but this, this building an “army” of overpowered pokemons in less than an hour like you said, this is too much for me. Much much too easy.
      But of course, you do what you want and I’ll keep just spoofing my location to somewhere with pokestops lol

      • Jibbley Gravey

        No… catching pokemon is not the fun part… most boring part of the game… the real fun is holding down and taking over GYMS!!! Even my level 3000+ dragonite goes down if I hold a gym by myself… but if I get a team we can put up a good fight!!!! it’s also fun taking the gym from another team. 🙂 who doesn’t want to do that? … I will tell you right now… anyone over level 23 is a cheater 🙂 there is no way in the world they can catch enough pokemon to level up after 22 😉 250,000 xp needed…. 100 points per pokemon, 500 per evolve… you would have to catch THOUSANDS lol and in only 3 weeks of release time… I doubt anyone has done so legitimately 🙂 use a bot to level the playing field! it’s VERY FUN!!!

    • MarMar Jackson

      You’re a piece of trash and its people like you who make everyone just trying to enjoy the game sick. I hope you get AIDS

      • Jibbley Gravey

        How will they enjoy the game if they can’t find pokemon? explain this trickery to me? LOL