Pokemon GO Guide: How To Use Tracker Tool

pokemon go tracking

Pokemon GO's tracker tool is incredibly helpful, but the game doesn't do a great job explaining how to use it. This guide explains how to find 'em all.

One of the great things about Pokemon GO is that the game has different goals to offer different types of gamers. Some players just want to see Pokemon in the real world, some want to battle to hold gyms, and others want to explore and find cool locations in the real world. That said, everyone playing Pokemon GO wants to catch 'em all.

Finding new and exciting Pokemon is one of the most exciting parts of the national phenomenon and seeing a new Pokemon show up in the nearby menu is an opportunity to add a new entry in the Pokedex. Unfortunately, seeing a shadowy new figure on the nearby menu doesn't guarantee that a player will be able to find the new monster.

Like a lot of features in Pokemon GO, the tracking tool is not explained very well and isn't intuitive (here's how to get started in the game if you're stuck). This step by step guide should make it easier to locate Pokemon and get the chance to add them to the collection...


1. Open the nearby Pokemon tracker

The nearby tracker is located in the bottom righthand corner of the map. Once opened, players can see up to nine Pokemon that are nearby. Players have the option of selecting the Pokemon that they want to track and seeing the progress when the menu is closed.

2. Count the paw prints

The distance between the player and the Pokemon is measured in paw prints from zero to three. Pokemon start out at three paw prints and the number gradually is lowered as players get closer. When the prints disappear, the target should pop up nearby.

2. Keep the tracker open

Some players like to close the tracker so they can focus on just the Pokemon that they are hunting, but keeping it open gives a slight edge. As players get closer to a Pokemon, it will climb to the upper lefthand spot in the 3x3 grid. If a Pokemon is moving up the list, then players are heading in the right direction.

3. Process of elimination

The best way to locate a Pokemon is through methodical triangulation. Start walking in one direction and if the paw prints increase or the Pokemon disappears from the list, immediately turn around and head the other way. Walk in the direction that lowers the paw prints until you either find the Pokemon or they start to increase again. If paw prints do start to increase, then head either left or right and repeat the process. Eventually, players will be met face to face with an encounter.

4. Squad up

This triangulation process is way faster if players aren't working alone. The best way to track is to send one player in each direction and have the player shout out when the prints start to decrease. In situations where players walk in the wrong direction, this saves them up to three trips.


There are also unconfirmed rumors that players can use the compass tool to head in the right direction from the get go. Some players are reporting that when tracking a Pokemon, the player can turn on the compass, and slowly spin the avatar around in a 360 degree circle. When the tracking tool pulses a green outline, the player is apparently facing the right direction to reach the Pokemon. We tried this strategy, but it didn't seem like a sure thing. We'll continue testing and update if this strategy is confirmed.

Have you been using the tracking tool? Do you have any tips? Let us know in the comments.

Check out our other helpful guides!:

Pokemon GO is now available in select regions for Android and iOS devices.

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