How Sightings Work in Pokemon Go

Pokémon GO has captivated millions with its blend of augmented reality and the beloved Pokémon universe.

One of the core elements of this game is finding and catching Pokémon, and a crucial aspect of this is understanding how sightings work.

In this article, we delve into the intricacies of the sightings feature, offering players, whether new or seasoned, an in-depth understanding of how to maximize their Pokémon-hunting experience.

Understanding the Sightings Feature

Sightings in Pokémon GO refer to the game’s mechanism of showing nearby Pokémon.

This feature is accessible through the game’s main screen, represented by a small tab displaying a few Pok√©mon silhouettes or images.

When you tap on this tab, it expands to show a list of Pokémon that are close to your current location.

Each Pokémon in the list is accompanied by a number of footprints, indicating their proximity to your position.

No footprints mean the Pokémon is very close, while three footprints suggest it is further away.

How to Interpret Sightings

Interpreting sightings correctly is key to finding Pokémon efficiently.

The list is updated in real-time, meaning Pokémon can appear or disappear from the list as they spawn or despawn in the game world.

The order of Pokémon in the list can also provide clues to their relative distance, with Pokémon positioned higher on the list generally being closer.

However, it’s essential to note that this system isn’t foolproof and sometimes requires a bit of exploration and guesswork to track down the Pok√©mon.

Tracking Pokémon Using Sightings

Tracking Pokémon is a bit like a hot-and-cold game where moving in the right direction will bring you closer to the creature, while going the wrong way will increase the number of footprints.

When a Pokémon has three footprints, it is within a 300-meter radius.

Two footprints suggest it is within 200 meters, and one footprint means it is within 100 meters.

No footprints indicate that you are within 30 meters of the Pokémon.

Strategies for Successful Tracking

To effectively track a Pok√©mon, select it from the sightings list. This action doesn’t lock you onto that specific Pok√©mon, but it helps keep track of its footprints.

Start walking in one direction and observe if the number of footprints decreases.

If it does, continue in that direction. If the footprints increase or the Pokémon disappears from the list, turn around and try a different direction.

Utilizing the Sightings Feature in Different Environments

The effectiveness of the sightings feature can vary depending on your environment.

In urban areas with many streets and paths, it can be easier to pinpoint the location of a Pokémon as you have more defined routes to follow.

In contrast, rural or natural areas can be more challenging due to fewer pathways and open spaces.

Tips for Urban and Rural Pokémon Hunting

In urban settings, use the grid layout of streets to systematically check each block.

In rural areas, try to move in straight lines, using landmarks as reference points to maintain your direction.

Remember, Pokémon tend to spawn more frequently in areas with higher cellular activity, so places with more foot traffic might yield more Pokémon.

Advanced Tips and Tricks

Maximizing your use of the sightings feature isn’t just about understanding distances.

It involves a combination of strategy, knowledge of Pokémon spawn points, and sometimes, teamwork.

Spawn Points and Timers

Every Pokémon in Pokémon GO has a spawn point where it appears and a timer dictating how long it stays visible.

Understanding where spawn points are in your area can significantly help in tracking.

These points are usually static, meaning if you find a Pok√©mon in a specific location, it’s likely that you or other players will find Pok√©mon there again in the future.


Mastering the sightings feature in Pokémon GO can greatly enhance your gameplay experience.

By understanding how to interpret and use this feature, along with employing effective strategies for tracking and locating Pokémon, you can become a proficient Pokémon trainer. Remember, the key is patience and persistence.

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By day he's an engineer and by night (well, evening or very early morning but night sounds way cooler) Alex runs the Apps UK ship. He has a keen interest in language, fitness & especially social media - he is always on the lookout for the next hot platform.

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