My Pokemon Go has been running on iPhone for an hour, and it shows a nearby Pikachu (top-right at the 3 x 3 popup).

But if I start up Pokemon Go on my iPad next to my iPhone, and after a few minutes and now half an hour, it still doesn't show a Pikachu nearby.

So how come they can show different Pokemons, and which one should I look at? If I do activate an Incense, hoping to catch Pikachu, I might be activating it for nothing?

  • Well I'd activate it on your phone, where the Pikachu is nearby....but I have to say, I've had Pokemon nearby and activated an incense, and it didn't draw said pokemon to me, just so you know.
    – New-To-IT
    Aug 1, 2016 at 21:02

1 Answer 1


There seems to be a bug that sometimes a Pokémon is shown in the nearby section while it is already gone. To check this you can kill the app and start it again and see if it's still in the nearby section.

Furthermore a spawn Pokémon stays a maximum of 15 minutes so if you see a Pokémon in the nearby section for longer than that you also probably in the situation described in the first paragraph.

Finally you seem to misunderstand how incense works. It has absolutely no effect on the nearby Pokémon. Incense makes the game spawn new Pokémon (and also just for the user of the incense), and does not attract the already spawn Pokémon there, although if you're in a area that has regular Pikachu spawns it would possibly help.

  • are you sure about how Incense works? I can stay home and start an Incense, and in 30 minutes, 2 Pokemons came out. While if I am in the park, with a lot of "leaf" flying up indicating a Pokemon nearby, if I start an Incense, then there can be 6 or 7 Pokemons surrounding me in a minute. Aug 2, 2016 at 4:27
  • I'm pretty sure about it. With an incense activated you can roughly expect one extra pokemon every 5 minutes. If you had that many pokemon within a minute then that was probably just pokemon that would have been also there without the incense. You can see which pokemon is there because of the incense because they also would have the incense glow, see also gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/278054/…
    – Ivo
    Aug 2, 2016 at 7:01
  • Incense is an extra personal spawn, and this spawn rate seems to go up much higher if you are moving. Stationary it is about 1 every 5 minutes, but if moving, say on a bus, there is literally a spawn right after catching a Pokémon, even without any breakouts. I can confirm it is the incense spawn because it has a pink swirl around it.
    – Nelson
    Aug 17, 2016 at 1:08

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