Pokémon Go’s popularity has significantly dropped since its summer release. Most updates have been minor, with Niantic hosting several in-game events that let players collect more points. While a ‘Nearby’ feature has been highly requested, the current revision that’s now seeing a wider rollout has also been significantly curbed.
Initially A/B tested in the San Francisco Bay area, Niantic has “made some changes to the Nearby feature.” Now, it only appears on-screen “if a PokéStop is close to your location.” It will then show Pokémon available near or directly at the Stop.
The obvious flaw with this new feature is that those in rural areas with few Stops will not see a real benefit. However, Niantic does hint that it will review community feedback of these changes and “make changes if necessary.” The feature is currently live in the following locations:
- 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
For everybody else and those not near PokéStops, the current ‘Sightings‘ feature takes precedent. However, that feature is seeing significant changes, with some reporting seeing less monsters than they use to.
At the moment, US Pokémon Go players will receive double XP and Stardust when catching Pokémon and visiting PokéStops as part of a Thanksgiving event lasting through the holiday weekend.