Game Guides

Pokemon Go Guide: What is Sightings and How Does it Work

by Kyle Hanson


If you got the latest update to Pokemon Go last night then you might have noticed a few differences. The biggest of these is the new tracking system, called Sightings. Unfortunately only a select few have actually been given the brand new tracking system, which you can read about in a future guide. For those unlucky many who are stuck with just the new Sightings menu, there are still a few changes to keep in mind. So we put together this guide to tell you what is Sightings and how does it work in Pokemon Go.

Sightings is very much like the old Nearby (which you can read about here). It gives you an idea of what Pokemon are near you. It used to also give you directions toward them, giving you a sort of hot and cold mechanic where you could slowly track down the individual Pokemon. However, most of those features were ripped out shortly after launch. Many assumed that the placement of the Pokemon on the list was still indicative of how close they were to you, but it was pretty much random.

All of that is still true for Sightings, with the current iteration of the feature, at least the non-beta version that most players have, simply replicating it in many ways. However, a few key changes have been made that you need to keep in mind.

Whereas the old Nearby list would not update if a Pokemon de-spawned, the new Pokemon Go Sightings menu does. It will actively remove any Pokemon that you move too far away from (the scanning radius usually being about 200 meters), or that has its timer run out, making it uncatchable.

Furthermore, you won’t have your Sightings menu dominated by Pidgeys and Rattatas anymore, with the list now clumping the same Pokemon into a single image. This will make it tougher to track multiple Pokemon, but if you’re hunting commons in Pokemon Go then you’re doing everything wrong. Now, if you magically get two Dragonites or Charizards to show up, then we all hate you and you should quit Pokemon Go immediately.

So that’s pretty much it for what is Sightings and how does it work in Pokemon Go. There’s not much info right now because the feature is still being rolled out. We’ll try to keep this updated with changes as the full tracker gets put together and sent out to more players. For now you’re still kind of wandering around blind, but with a tiny rip in your blindfold.

- This article was updated on:March 8th, 2018

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