Game Guides

Pokemon Go Guide: How to Track Pokemon

by Kyle Hanson


Finding and catching Pokemon is what Pokemon Go is all about. We’ve given you tips for how to locate Pokemon that you’re really trying to catch, but what do you do once you’re right near them? You need to track them down, but doing so is different from pretty much anything else featured in a video game. Well, it’s actually kind of the same, but it all takes place in the real world, which changes it significantly. So, here’s our guide on how to track Pokemon in Pokemon Go.

First off, there are a few methods, and everyone is sort of arguing and figuring it out right now. This could change, and I’m not even saying this is the very best way to track Pokemon in Pokemon Go. Instead I’m just giving you the method that I’ve used, which has been successful so far.

OK, so let’s set the stage. You’re out hunting Pokemon when a Bulbasaur shows up on your “Nearby Pokemon” list. Obviously you want to catch him since Bulbasaur is the best Pokemon in all of Pokemon Go (fight me!). So, now that he’s on your list he is closeby, but you need to track him down.

The most important thing to notice is the number of footprints below Bulbasaur. This indicates the distance he is from you. Think about the circle around your character as one footprint. If he is three away, then he’s about three of those from you. But distance isn’t really the important thing, instead it’s all about direction.

Most people think you should tap Bulbasaur, which puts him on your main screen, and shows you the footsteps he is away all the time. Instead, I’ve found the best way is to leave it unchecked. You want to, instead, walk in a specific direction, then pull up the nearby list again. This list is in order, with the closest to you in the top left and the furthest away in the bottom right. And an important note, the blinking that the list does simply means a change has been made. It happens so often it is almost useless, but you can jump in and check it whenever it blinks if you’re twitchy.

See how much Bulbasaur has changed. If he’s moved toward the top left then keep heading in this direction until he starts to drop back down. If he moved down, then head in the exact opposite direction you were just walking. Each time he moves up just keep walking, once he drops start to shift, and if any single direction is wrong just turn around and walk the total opposite way.

Repeating this you should hone in on him. Once all the footsteps are gone from beneath him you are really close, and should be able to just wander a little bit to find him. Pop an Incense if you’re having any more trouble, but otherwise this should be the way you track Pokemon in Pokemon Go. We’ll update this as the method gets a little more refined.

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

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