Niantic has released a new update for Pokémon GO’s nearby tracking system. It’s rolling out in these areas:
- United States of America: All states west of the Mississippi River (except Hawaii and Alaska)
- Canada: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the western half of Ontario.
- Australia: All states and territories
The feature is, well, odd. In order for nearby Pokémon to show up within the app, users have to be close to a PokéStop. Guess which users aren’t close to PokéStops… Gamers living in rural areas.
Niantic doesn’t explain their reasoning, other than that they originally tested it in San Francisco, CA.
Rural Pokémon GO players have every reason to be upset
Niantic made an effort to remove all unofficial Pokémon trackers near the launch of Pokémon GO. You know who was hurt most by that? Rural players with limited access to PokeStops and Pokémon.
Now, the only way you can actually use the in-app tracker is by living close to a PokéStop. That’s fine for me, I have one near my house. Others? Forget it. They have to drive miles to get to one, and that makes this game annoying.
Annoying is bad, and rural players have every right to be annoyed.