Despite some promising action from Niantic in implementing a brand new tracking system into Pokemon GO [Free], this additional feature has yet to roll out to everyone playing the augmented reality creature catching simulator. The new 'Sightings' tab is somewhat effective, but compared to the glory days of Pokevision where the exact coordinates of Pokemon locations were plotted, it's still a bit of a scramble to locate the specific critter you're looking for. Thankfully for anyone lamenting the termination of this tracker, a few new options have popped up on the App Store in the past week which, while not as brilliantly consistent as Pokevision, do help somewhat in finding the rarer Pokemon in your local area.

goradar 1

The most reliable option I've tried in the past few days is GoRadar [Free]. It uses the same principles as other trackers, in that it plots a Pokemon on the map through a color-coded silhouette matching its primary type. You can also click on an icon to know the time whereby the Pokemon will despawn and disappear into the Pokemon-ether. There are also options to view Pokestops, Gyms, only show favourite Pokemon or hide common variants, and also customise how distance and time is shown (for example, you can change the time a Pokemon will despawn into a Pokevision-style timer). While I did have a few issues with locating some Pokemon that were on the nearby section of the actual app - that Poliwrath refused to be found, both on GoRadar and actually within Pokemon GO - it has been very accurate with the Pokemon it does detail. Running around central London locating the likes of Dragonair, Dewgong, Tentacruel and a disappointingly awful Starmie was great fun, but that appears to be the main problem with the app - if you're in a rural area, GoRadar doesn't produce the same results as within a city, and the three star rating on the App Store reflects this.

Another option that is has an impressive four star rating is PokeAlert [Free], which is riding high in the free section of the App Store. While there are many users who have reported it working, I've had far more mixed success with the tracker myself. It doesn't plot where gyms and PokeStops are like GoRadar does, and while it allows you to filter out the common Pokemon like Pidgey and Drowzee, it just does not seem accurate enough to be of any use. Its sprite-based overlay is certainly pretty, but a lot of the Pokemon displayed on the map don't match up with the 'Sightings' tab or even appear when walked over, and it seems extremely happy to plot Doduo everywhere when, in reality, the double-headed bird is relatively rare to encounter. Maybe it's just reading the data wrong, and PokeAlert can still be used to at least find out where a random Pokemon may be located, but I wouldn't put too much faith in it for locating the rarer creatures. As the comparison below shows (GoRadar is on the left, with PokeAlert on the right), the two apps do not match up at all, but both being free means there's no risk in trying which works out best for your local area.

goradar pokealert

Even though I have only cited two examples of tracking apps on iPhone, there may be many more around that could be even more accurate, so if you have a particular favorite, make sure you share it in the comments section below. However, ultimately these options should just operate as a short term solution until Niantic rolls out their own new 'Nearby' feature to everyone, hopefully in the coming few days. Whether you believe tracking apps are cheating, or vastly improve the experience, it's undeniably a good thing to have the option available for any players who decide to use them. There's no telling how long these apps will be operational, so be sure to download them quickly if you've been itching for a replacement for Pokevision over the past few weeks.



  • Hoodin

    I live in a city of nearly 100,000 people with 50+ pokestops and a dozen gyms. Go Radar doesn't give me any results. Looks as though it only works in major metropolitan areas like Boston or New York.

    • http://www.twitter.com/robfunnell3 Rob Funnell

      Hmm I'm hearing a lot of mixed results regarding where the app will work. Think it's entirely situational and there isn't a set number of pokestops or whatever that determines whether it'll work. Sorry it doesn't for you though :/

      • Nobotsa

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    • hkgsulphate

      it relies on user generated data i think

    • James Third

      Or London!

  • jamesgecko

    The old tracking solutions were banned because they were spamming the Pokemon GO API with millions of requests, breaking the actual game for players.

    Why are you promoting new apps that are presumably doing the exact same thing?

    • http://www.twitter.com/robfunnell3 Rob Funnell

      Because the servers have greatly stabilised and a *lot* of people are still angry about tracking apps not working. Your decision to download and use them or not if you're upset by their existence.

    • Tallgeese

      Again, for various reasons outlined before (and I guess I'll do so again), I'm fairly sure an application that only let itself fire once every 30 seconds, and something I would assume most people used to plot a course instead of using the much more continually refreshing app or spoofing (I hear spoofing still works btw), meaning while using the less server taxing Pokevision they were probably not using the more server taxing Pokemon Go app itself and therefore did not have the huge impact many reported it did.
      .
      AND if you'd actually used pokevision you'd have seen the disclaimer stating it might not work (and sometimes didn't) because of how unstable the PoGo servers ALREADY WERE AT THE TIME! This continued narrative of Pokevision messing up the game or preventing a rollout in other countries or hammering/spamming/swarming the poor defenseless servers is a fiction. Pokevision was too good and too popular a product and it was seen as a threat to the game's bottom line.

      • Tallgeese

        These new trackers are ad supported by the way, I don't recall seeing any ads on Pokevision...

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        "This continued narrative of Pokevision messing up the game or preventing a rollout in other countries or hammering/spamming/swarming the poor defenseless servers is a fiction." [Citation Needed]

        Before I started cleaning the toilets around here, I worked in enterprise-scale web services. Even well engineered internet services can be brought to their knees when they're used or accessed in a way that are outside of the original design scope as optimizations make assumptions based on how you've designed the methods people have to access your infrastructure. I absolutely promise when Niantic was writing the Pokemon Go server calls, no one ever stopped to say, "Hey what if someone reverse engineers our game, and hammers our servers 24/7 to populate a worldwide map of spawned Pokemon? We should probably make sure our servers can handle that."

        A real-world example I can talk about without breaking NDA's involves the challenges friends have had who work/worked at Riot. League of Legends is a huge game, and there's a bunch of third party sites that exist which do... All sorts of different things. Archive match histories, player performance, look up teammates, you name it. Most of these popped up when there wasn't a third party API, and these sites were cobbled together based on endlessly aggressively scraping Riot web data and parsing it into their own database. The load this was causing was so significant that Riot now has an *entire department* who now do nothing but work on and manage the third party API so all these different utilities can exist without impacting Riot's overall infrastructure.

        I wish I could figure out why people think Niantic is just making up this server load thing. Anyone who has worked in anything to do with public-facing web services, database administration, or anything in between has experienced what they're going through.

      • Rob L

        Because they have provided ZERO factual evidence to support their claims. The charts they posted didn't show a decline due to pokevision being shut down, it showed a decline in their overnight hotfix of scan times being increased from 5 seconds to 10 seconds. I completely agree with Tallgeese here. Pokevision only allowed 1 scan every 10 seconds anyways and if you were using that, you didn't have the app up on your phone, you had to switch back and forth. Yes I agree that there was some server load from the usage, but I don't think it was anywhere near the scale they are trying to scapegoat.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Ok, let's Occam's Razor this. Here we have Niantic saying that's what happened and people with experience running web services saying "Oh, yeah, that's a thing we've had similar issues." ...But it's a grand conspiracy and they're lying about all this for what reason?

        Unexpected server load due to third party access versus... Real weird theories that haven't (so far) appeared to be grounded in realism.

      • Rob L

        Isn't it obvious? They had a 1.5 star rating on the App store, it was a huge PR move to scapegoat Pokevision and the like. Also of note, I don't run a website on gaming, but I do have an ITSM degree from MSU.

      • Sarusig Musicman

        Scapegoat and then what? How would that benefit them in any way? It's not gonna change their rating. Also, people keep pointing out the rating on the appstore like it has ANY relevance. EVERYONE knows about Pokémon Go. Niantic needs 0 marketing traffic, they need 0 ASO efforts. Mouth-to-mouth is absolutely all they need.

        Even if they had 0 stars, they would still get their current download volumes, and they would still appear on the stores front page because of sheer volumes. They. Don't. Care.

      • Rob L

        I'm not sure you could be more wrong... had a long response typed up, poof disappeared. If you think that the rating system and every website running an article on the rise and fall of Pokemon (including this site) didn't affect their bottom dollar from a lack of positive PR and someone communicating... then you need to check your sanity.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Someone needs to check their sanity alright.

      • Tallgeese

        Sorry I'm late, app doesn't give notifications (and I hate losing posts too, ctrl+c). You can be "insane" with me, bro. Are you trying to say a purely word-to-mouther wouldn't be impacted at all from negative press via word-to-mouth (even those crazed DC fans who wanted to take down Rotten Tomatoes know that can't be true). What sounds better to you? "We screwed up or pokevision/hackers screwed us up?" It's a classic corporate tactic, bro, and it preserves brand loyalty. Your inability to consider it as a possibility doesn't make sense to me.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        It has more to do with me talking to game developers as a full time job for 8 years now and never once has some crazy Internet conspiracy turned out to be true. It's always the simplest, boring, most obvious things happening behind the scenes that Internet conspiracists just can't accept as a remote possibility because SURELY they must be up to SOMETHING.

      • Tallgeese

        I'm not sure everyone's completely honest with you and your press privileges, Eli. Sorry. I'm also not sure what makes managerial/ marketing/ advertising/ PR/ fiduciary responsibility as usual a conspiracy theory. If we wished to speak of conspiracies though, pretty sure you had a fairly in-depth interview with a guy explaining how some freepers run slightly less than ethically. Past experience does not always determine present or future actions. Anyways, regardless of the (at this point purely academic) real or imagined reasons behind their actions, I'm obviously still hoping they make their game great... uh... once more.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        I've been around long enough that people trust me and I have a lot of off the record conversations which is where "Here's what really happened" typically lies. So, just to be clear though, we're adding "Oh yeah well they're lying to you too" as another layer to this conspiracy?

      • Tallgeese

        I'm not sure I have the time nor the willpower to attempt to explain the intricacies of semantics and diplomacy to you, Eli, nor deductive vs. inductive reasoning, however I am 1000% ok with simply agreeing to disagree with you on this. I suppose it's only fair if I declare you a winner for your adamant abilities as well.

      • Mark

        "... let's Occam's Razor this..."
        Let's see, why would a company that makes its money by encouraging you to use up resources that it can charge for have a problem with a third party service that allowed you to find rare pokemon, potentially saving you lures, balls, etc? Do you really need "weird theories" to explain that quite simply Niantic was probably thinking more about their bottom line than their server load?

      • Tallgeese

        I'm sorry I don't have a citation for you (besides the fact that you're obviously my hammer bro source), I found:
        .
        a meaningless graph Niantic provided (it has no numbers just labels, and even if it did it isn't isolating pokevision requests vs gamer drop off (probably significant once every news agency in the world stopped giving Pokemon Go free press and Donald Trump a break, so good to see he's number one in my new's feed again, or for other factors), other requests, and changes they've made themselves (like changing the game's own refresh rate as they have done) so there are too many variables to find a proper causation with the info they have provided and I can get no other information),
        .
        some info on how LoL APIs obviously have a way larger scope and LoL itself is a much more complex game with much more competitive multiplayer. Some of their more prominent APIs caused legal controversy (spectatefaker, which I imagine was actually helping LoL and Twitch reach a wider audience so they let it be for a time) and being one of the biggest (the biggest?) esport's games (one that people actually gamble on too) I'm glad they have an entire division dedicated to patrolling the tools that people use in addition to the base game (and trying to make popular ones official).
        .
        They would be stupid not to stop and consider abuses of the system, just like Niantic would have been stupid not to consider things that could have been done to their game since APIs are hardly anything new (by now, APIs have been around since at least 2000).
        .
        .If Pokevision was really a threat to their servers (by the way pokevision does not give you the global positions of all the pokemon, it pings the location you pick (the size of your character's range but also provides already provided data from other users, and doesn't need to re-ping an area until you say so because the pokemon that have been pinged have a countdown (no need to check this with Niantic's server, and you can't do it anyways because of the 30-second cool down and there's no meaningful reason to use your app and pokevision at the same time so the substitution effect may have made its impact rather negligible), I would assume Niantic would be after all of these applications that attempt to do so, AND the spoofers (especially if it was about cheating), but none of that seems to have happened. It was also be totally ironic if some sort of pokevision rip off advertised below me as I write this...
        .
        I'll agree with you that Pokevision must have had some impact on Niantic's servers, we disagree on the scope, but I think one could also agree that their were other reasons for removing pokevision, which you may also disagree of in scope.
        .
        I have no citations to prove my theory but I also have no citations to the contrary, except from the prime suspect.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Ok, you win, I can't compete with your impressive dedication to believing such weird things.

      • Tallgeese

        Bro, the head of Niantic is a secret lizardman that only I can see, I couldn't reveal him as my source because of our secret alliance with them. I'll probably be killed shortly after sending this, along with Rob L. (the L is obvi for lizardman, that's how you know, I guess some of them are on our side after all, so there's hope) he's a good kid but he shouldna got mixed up with this or revealed his space codes so close to the dark web. After that you and Jared will probably have your minds erased when you go to sleep tonight (prominent social figures in their sphere can't be redacted as easily). But they can't erase the feeling that in our hearts we're all winners because none of us started immediately comparing the other to Hitler. I mean, 3 or 4 back-and-forth posts in? Sure. Let 'er rip. We're only (mostly) human.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        How much did the Video Game Illuminati pay you to say all this?

      • http://codyswartz.us/ Cody Swartz

        The chart I remember seeing showed that 2/3 of the traffic had vanished after their patch and C&D. Other information I remember being was that 5/8'ths of the player base used pokevision; everyone knew about it.

        Even if more than half the user base used it, that does't account for 2/3 of the traffic dispersing. At least pokevision had some proper server-side caching implemented. But one issue was that people could leave multiple tabs open to it, forget about it, and leave it running all day; there were also 3rd party UIs using pokeivision's private open API - I assume the scan limit was only UI based, thus someone could hit pokevision as much as they wanted.

        I imagine there was a large decline in server traffic as they killed off bots when they introduced their encryption scheme, but that only lasted a few days [there's so many data points that are unaccounted for that can surely be used to detect bots, maps, etc; also sounds like they started black listing server clusters and proxies]. Bots hit the server much quicker than a player does - there's no UI involved and the actual game has a time sink in the UI. There's also people who were/are running 100's of bots - I ran into a guy last night claiming to have 1600 accounts; this was surely before they implemented a captcha on the sign up.

        Ultimately it's easier for them to have black & white vs gray zones, even though some of their current bans seem to be falling in such.

  • holliberry

    Neither app shows any Pokemon or stops for me.

  • TJ

    Try pokewhere, they just updated 11 Aug 16 and it seems to work well....and best of all, is free. (You can pay $2.99 for a larger search window)

  • Mayank Rathore

    The best pokevision alternative right now is "pokemononmap" they are fast and very accurate and the biggest thing is that they sill show live pokemon.

  • Zeillusion

    Remember to those bitching: these apps DO NOT work on niantics API and therefore are NOT live. They are crowd sourced. Meaning done by people sending it locations and spots. These apps DO NOT affect niantic servers AT ALL. Do your homework before you go all out blabbing to Eli about how he's a terrible person for posting these, when in reality these won't affect servers & are nothing like pokevision.

  • bifter

    I live in a small town of 15k. I was using Poké Radar. I never found any Pokémon through it though! I was diligently marking the ones a found for others. It seems a kid in the neighbourhood had been using it and reporting many rare Pokémon appearing in their back yard. I guess this is the issue with crowdsourcing apps. I know I can down vote but it feels like dissing a small child's drawing they did. Will be interested to see how GoRadar compares, thanks for heads up.

  • R Haiga

    Pokewhere is working great - the others don't for my area.

  • Tallgeese

    "Pokemon: Uranium"

  • nursethalia

    FYI, PokeAlert is a scam app for ad revenue. The spawn locations are random/made up. Try reading the 5 star reviews. You'll see many variations of "it made me write this to keep using". The app locks you out within a few minutes of downloading and demands a 5-star review or social media shares to unlock it again.

  • Simon K.

    Pokealert is a scam. The app still displays new Pokemon without an internet connection. Try it with flight mode on. You'll see random Pokemon appearing on the map (except the map itself ofcourse won't load since it uses Google Maps).

  • Ryan Wilson

    Not working in Toronto

  • Barry

    Check out Life's Insight on Kickstarter. Using predictive analytics to predict spawns.