Pokémon GO‘s latest update 1.1.0 opens avatar customisation, removes nearby tracking

Mobile gaming success story/genuine phenomenon Pokémon GO has received its latest update today. Version 1.1.0 brings a number of changes to the altered reality Pokémon hunting sim, including avatar customisation and the removal of those inscrutable Nearby footprints.

From the iOS App Store, here are Version 1.1.0’s listed changes:

  • Trainer avatars can now be re-customised from the profile screen.
  • Adjusted some Pokémon battle move damage values
  • Refined certain Gym animations
  • Improved memory issues
  • Removed footprints of nearby Pokémon
  • Adjusted battle damage calculation
  • Various bug fixes during wild Pokémon encounter
  • Updated Pokémon details UI
  • Updated achievement medals art
  • Fixed issues with displaying certain map features
  • Minor text fixes

So, alright, there’s quite a bit to unpack here. Lets start with the stuff people are probably going to like. Re-customising your avatar is something players have been wanting to do since day one, and there really isn’t a good reason not to let them. Let us all rejoice, knowing that we can now dress our characters in our own team’s resplendent colours.

What’s more, Pokémon move sets have seen a rebalancing, as has the way the game calculates damage in battles (which will hopefully bring an end to the tide of unbeatable Vaporeons that have dominated gyms everywhere the last few weeks). Also new, a feature that allows you to lock in your favourite Pokes to keep you from accidentally transferring your prized 2000CP Charizard to the Professor in return for a single, useless candy.

But what isn’t so amazing about this update? Well, for a start it turns out that maybe Niantic was quite fond of the “three-footprint” bug that’s been gleefully trolling players hunting wild Pokes in their area for weeks now. originally the footprints would start at three for Pokes that were further away and reduce to two and then one as you moved closer. With V1.1.0, the developer has removed the footprint indicator altogether. What this means is that there is, as far as we can tell, no way to know which direction you’re supposed to go in to find a specific Pokémon when it appears on your radar. They’re just … out there.

You can’t select Pokémon on the nearby screen anymore either, so this means the unconfirmed “Compass” method of figuring out where a nearby Poke was is completely out the window. Further, it doesn’t appear to matter what order they show up in on that screen anymore either. They could be near you or quite far away indeed.

News on the affect this update is going to have on the game is still coming to hand at this stage, as players attempt to figure out how far reaching the changes really are. Whether this bizarre, directionless method for hunting Pokémon is here to stay or a stop-gap measure until Niantic can figure out something better remains to be seen.