Pokemon Go players were welcomed after updating their mobile game this week. Niantic rolled out their latest update, implementing their still under development in-game tracking system. We’ve covered how the Pokemon Go tracker works, and today we are looking at the Pokemon Go sightings tab.

The return of in-game tracking is a huge relief for most players, especially ones that don’t live in huge cities. The inability to track Pokemon, and the shutting down of third party Pokemon finders like Pokevision had trainers up in arms.


Backlash was so severe that Niantic had to release an official statement. In fact many trainers flat out demanded refunds, which probably helped spur the developer into action.

But for good or bad the all new Pokemon Go sightings gives you a way to see what’s nearby. Learn all about how the sightings tab works by reading below.

How Pokemon Go sightings work

While it’s not quite as good as the tracking system that will show you which Pokestop the Pokemon are nearby, the Pokemon Go sightings menu looks promising enough. Now when trainers tap on the “nearby” tab, it will bring up the Pokemon Go sightings tab.

The old Pokemon Go tracking system was extremely problematic
The old Pokemon Go tracking system was extremely problematic

The new Pokemon Go sightings tab works a lot like the old tracking system did. Pokemon that are spotted through the sightings view shows you the monsters nearby. As a complete overhaul of the old “nearby” tracker, sightings gives you an idea of what Pokemon are close.

Basically the Pokemon Go sightings view shows you what Pokemon are nearby, but little else. On the surface this doesn’t seem like a huge improvement from the old system, but Niantic promises added functionality. If you are trying to track and catch Pokemon using the Pokemon Go sightings tab, keep in mind it shows Pokemon in a 200 meter radius.

Does Pokemon Go sightings work?

Sort of.. It’s important to realize that this is more of a stopgap measure. Niantic is testing the in game tracker currently, and hopes to have it released soon. When it’s finally rolled out, the Pokemon Go sightings tab will give you more information.

Hopefully trainers will be able to use this data to track down and catch the specific Pokemon they are after. The new sightings menu is far better than the old broken three step nearby tab by a long shot, here’s why.


How is Pokemon Go sightings better than Nearby?

Refresh rate – The sightings tab is better because the refresh rate seems significantly faster. When the popular third party Pokemon locator Pokevision was working, we learned that Pokemon spawn in 10 minute intervals. This faster refresh rate gives trainers a better chance to catch Pokemon they are after.

No more duplicates – Pokemon trainers that live in rural areas know all too well about duplicates. The new Pokemon Go sightings tab does away with dupes. No longer will you see a screen full of Pidgeys or Rattata, only Pokemon that are nearby.

Proximity is gone – The old Pokemon tracker used to display the closest Pokemon in the upper left hand corner. That’s not the case with the new sightings tab, and Niantic promises that this will change for the better soon. Although the Pokemon Go sightings tab shows Pokemon could be any relative distance from you, this should be changing soon.


How can I track using sightings? – Although it’s not a tracker in the truest sense, you can use this tool even in it’s early stages. If you notice a Pokemon showing up in the sightings tab, try walking in one direction.

If the Pokemon you want to catch disappears off the sightings tab, you’ve walked the wrong way. This is a crude way to track Pokemon at the moment, but it’s better that what players had before, which was nothing.

Hopefully this article answers the question what is the Pokemon Go sightings tab. Have any questions about this guide or the new Pokemon Go update? Let us know in the comment box below.