Pokemon Go is different from almost any other game in the fact that it uses the real world around the player as its map. This makes hunting down and catching Pokemon not only a lot of fun, but very difficult. Luckily you have a few tools at your disposal to get the job done, which we’ve touched on in previous guides. Now we’ll take a deeper dive into the one feature that helps the most, the nearby list of Pokemon. So, how does nearby work in Pokemon Go?
(Note: Nearby is currently broken in Pokemon Go. Some of this info will be useful, but some won’t until it is fixed. At this time, all Pokemon show three steps under them. We will remove this note when the problem is resolved.)
While playing Pokemon Go you should have noticed the nearby list in the bottom right of the screen. Tapping it will bring up an even larger list of nearby Pokemon. Essentially, this list is in order, with the closest Pokemon to your current location situated in the top left, and the furthest in the bottom right.
Underneath these Pokemon will be tiny footprints. These signify (when it is working), roughly the distance the Pokemon is from you. Most estimations put each footstep at around 50 meters, with three footsteps being quite far from your current location. It’ll take a decent amount of walking to reach them.
Of course, there are ways of tracking these guys down, because you’ll quickly find that using the nearby list is pretty tough. You might walk one direction only to see all the ones you were hunting drop off the list entirely. Or you could get closer and closer, then see them begin fading away again. To help we have two guides: How to Find and Catch Pokemon and How to Track Pokemon in Pokemon Go.
Hopefully those answer all your questions, but let us know in the comments if anything else is troubling you.