I live in a big city where I always see both nearby pokemon and pokemon sightings. I'm visiting a city of 23,000 people right now, and only pokemon sightings show up even though there are pokestops a block away. Is this typical of small cities?

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The below screenshot is what I normally see in San Francisco:

nearby and sightings

  • Which city? It all depends on the number of people who were using phones back when Niantic had cellular usage data.
    – aytimothy
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 5:03
  • Don't know what to tell you; I live in a city of a little over half a million, and I have never seen the "nearby" heading, only ever "sightings" no matter how many pokestops are nearby. (Although I don't often head downtown, so...) Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 5:08
  • Aytimothy I'm in Eureka CA right now. I live in San Francisco.
    – Miuyin
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 5:27
  • I even heard the only place where the the app shows Nearby is San Francisco (and a little down south like SSF) Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 16:02
  • @太極者無極而生 You're right (and you should submit your comment as an answer). It's confirmed on TechCrunch - techcrunch.com/2016/08/08/…
    – Miuyin
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 7:33

2 Answers 2


Yes, cities can have more Pokémon than more rural settings. And more pokestops. The earlier Niantic game "Ingress" influenced the structure of Pokémon go, such that a local popularity of Ingress last year makes for more pokestops and Pokémon go in the area. Pokémon go where Ingress was played, which means population centers, Main Street, colleges, attractions like amusement parks, shopping centers and malls, tourist traps, etc.

I believe that up-to-date software versions no longer call it "nearby".

  • I have heard that about small towns as well. I've attached another screenshot above showing Nearby and Sightings to clarify. I have v0.41.4, the latest for Android. Would you know if only certain metropolitan areas have the top Nearby section?
    – Miuyin
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 7:23
  • Ok, 太極者無極而生 was correct— >Yeah — that’s the catch: it’s only been rolled out to that aforementioned “subset” of users. For now that seems to largely mean people in San Francisco — though some players in other major cities also report seeing it. Most people outside of a few major cities just see the “Sightings” section, even if they’ve got Pokestops nearby.
    – Miuyin
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 7:29
  • That quote is from TechCrunch - techcrunch.com/2016/08/08/…
    – Miuyin
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 7:30

I wanted 太極者無極而生 to post an answer based on his/her comment, but since I haven't heard back, I'll answer this. TechCrunch confirmed that the Nearby feature (seen in the screenshot above) is only available to a subset of users including San Francisco and a few other major cities, for now. https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/08/this-is-the-new-nearby-tracker-in-pokemon-go/

  • Don't give TechCrunch all the credit, this information is all over the internet.
    – scenia
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 7:01
  • 1
    @scenia I certainly don't think of them as knowledge gods, but I gotta cite some kind of source.
    – Miuyin
    Commented Oct 25, 2016 at 7:06

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