Niantic is rolling out the Nearby feature in some more cities besides San Francisco, so instead of seeing up to 9 Pokémon, you see some selected Pokémon near the Pokéstops nearby, but only 3 Pokémon in the Sightings tab.

Example screenshot I found online:

Pokemon Go Nearby feature

In some cases, in the top 6 slots, I have seen multiple Tentacools (three of them) at somewhat far away Pokéstops (in some cases, up to 2km away), even though Tentacool is a Pokémon I may not even catch if it were to pop up on my screen.

Thus, there are only 3 spots left for the wild Pokémon. If there is a Lapras or Snorlax, couldn't the fact that there are only three spots prevent the Lapras or Snorlax from showing up? (For instance, it might be showing Paras, Rattata, and Weedle with only three spots available but randomly assigned).

In fact, it might even be worse if I am hunting for a Snorlax I see in one of those three spots, but then a Paras (or something) comes into range of me and replaces Snorlax in my Sightings, making the Snorlax disappear from screen as if I'd walked further away from it, even though I did not.

Also, if this new feature really can prevent a Snorlax or Lapras (or Dratini) from being found, is there a way at all to disable this new "Nearby" feature? I might have to travel to a different city to play, which would make it more troublesome to play than it used to be.

P.S. some update on a real situation: I clicked on the Pokemon Go Plus device, and then saw on the phone that it was a Porygon, and too late... I already clicked and the Porygon wasn't caught and ran away. So my friend opened up his phone, entered the app, but cannot see any Porygon in the "Nearby" or "Sightings" because we already moved some 50 feet or so. The Porygon in fact was just 50 feet away and we could not see it. Instead, we saw only Pidgey, Rattata, and some other common Pokemons in the "Nearby" and "Sightings". So we walked 50 feet back, and the Porygon popped up for him to catch, and he caught it.

  • 5
    You're over thinking this long before you can even test it.
    – Frank
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 1:26
  • no, it is in my city. I saw a Dratini today in one of those 3 spots, and then it disappeared, and then I thought, have I walked the wrong direction. It just so happened I stayed at that place some 20 seconds longer, and the Dratini actually popped up near the edge of my detection circle, for me to catch. But many thanks for the downvotes from the astute downvoters Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 7:33
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    I'm not clear on how this problem is new or unique to the new Nearby beta feature. The wild pokemon Sightings feature before (and that most people still have) worked exactly the same and had the same problem with some pokemon “hiding” other pokemon by taking up spots. This also isn't specific to Snorlax or Lapras — it can affect any pokemon. Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 18:50
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    @SevenSidedDie It's slightly more problematic than having 10+ Pokemon in Sightings. As shown in the screenshot, multiples can exist in this new Nearby feature, if they're at two separate PokeStops. This leaves even less real estate for Pokemon to be in Sightings. In a busy metro area, you could be surrounded by 6 or more Pokestops. If all of these stops had Rattata at them, then 6 of your 9 possible spaces are wasted on Rattata. This would make it harder to tell if something rare happened to be actually nearby, as OP has observed already with their Dratini.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 19:02
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    @SevenSidedDie Ah, I see what you're saying. I believe this is a re-emerging problem, rather than a new problem. At release, duplicate nearby Pokemon were the bane of the existence of all Pokemon trainers. However, when "Sightings" was first introduced, duplicate entries were e-RATICATE-d (sorry). That said, this new Nearby feature can bypass that fix by allowing duplicates. If two users were in the same place with 9 Sighted spawns and at least 6 at stops, but only one user (A) had this beta Nearby feature, user A would see the 6 from stops but only 3 of the others, while user B sees all 9.
    – Vemonus
    Commented Nov 7, 2016 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


Theoretically, yes, you are right that this new implementation could hinder your ability to catch rarer Pokemon.

However, this is a beta feature and Niantic is specifically looking for feedback like what you have posted above. While there is not a way to disable this new Nearby implementation currently, you should definitely submit this feedback to Niantic so they can take it into account before they introduce this feature universally.

Here is the link for submitting a bug report.

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