The newest update to Pokemon GO, at least on the surface, doesn’t bring anything major to the game. Minor text changes and some small cosmetic update to the Apple watch version. One point, however, is worth discussing. Namely, version 0.53.1 for Android and 1.23.1 for iOS changed distance tracking to account for GPS drift. This impacts both egg hatching and walking with your Buddy Pokemon. guess some bad news were due after the great time we had during the holidays, eh?
For those of you that don’t know, GPS drift basically means that your GPS device might show you moving around even if you’re standing still. Translated to Pokemon GO, you could get about 0.1 km every so often just from drifting. It’s not a lot by any measure, but it adds up over time. Trainers have been using this to their advantage as much as possible. In fact, if you google GPS drift, most results will somehow connect to Pokemon GO. It seems that Niantic have decided to put a stop to that. Now, this seems as a fair decision, right? Why would anybody get extra distance for nothing? Well, in practice, it’s not so simple.
This decision wouldn’t irk me so much if distance tracking were flawless otherwise. We all know full well that it’s not. The distance tracker consistently robs trainers off their kilometers, and by a larger margin than 0.1. I once walked a full five kilometers, and the app registered 3.9. Using GPS drift was just a way to compensate at least a little for what we lost. Now, we won’t even have that much. This leads me nicely into my second point.
I might be wrong here, but it seems to me like hatching eggs and walking with your Buddy Pokemon has replaced Gym Battles as the ultimate goal in Pokemon GO. Yes, there isn’t any end game per se, but this is the easiest way to progress. I’m fine with that, since I don’t like battling anyway; it’s just boring. But now, Niantic made both of the “main” features into a bigger hassle than they needed to be.
Couple that with the fact that it’s really, really cold in many areas of the world right now, and you have a perfect mess. I really think this wasn’t the best of moves.
What’s your opinion on this nerf? Do you think it’s fair or not? Tell us in the comments!