Pokémon Go: How to track and catch Pokémon

Pokémon Go: How to track and catch Pokémon

So since the update we’ve seen a lot of people complaining about how “it’s changed nothing”, “you still can’t track anything”, and so on. That’s not correct, we successfully tested two working methods on how to track and catch Pokémon. The increased refresh accuracy of the Sightings list has made it very possible to track Pokemon, it just requires a bit of thought. But how do you actually track and catch Pokémon in Pokémon Go now? We explain the two working methods for you below that work absolutely 100%.

#1 Method to track and catch Pokémon

Take this diagram as a reference to the explanation below for the first method on how to track and catch Pokémon.



  1. You, a trainer out on a walk, check your Pokemon Go app at point A. “Hot damn, a Pidgey!” you think to yourself as you look at your Sightings list. You now know that you are some point within 200m of a Pidgey, but not exactly where that Pidgey is. Time to start tracking.
  2. Keep walking straight ahead. Eventually, you will get more than 200m away from the Pidgey, and it will disappear from your Sightings list. This is Point B. Stop here, and take note of where you are as accurately as you can, you’ll need to use this point later.
  3. Turn around and go back the way you came. The Pidgey comes back into your Sightings list. Keep walking in as straight a line as you can, past point A, until the Pidgey disappears again. This is Point C, on the other side of the Pidgey’s “detection circle” to point B.
  4. Find the halfway point on the line you walked between points B and C (this is why you had to pay attention at B), and go there. This is point D. When at point D, make a turn and start walking at right angles to the line you just walked between B and C.
  5. One of two things will happen. If you chose correctly, you’ll walk right into the Pidgey. If you chose poorly, you’ll end up moving away from the Pidgey and wind up at point E, where the Pidgey will disappear again. No problem there, just turn around and walk back the way you came, and eventually you’ll hit Pidgey.

Why is this different to what we had previously? Well before, the Pokemon didn’t disappear from your nearby list until they were either replaced or you force closed and restarted the app. Now we can accurately tell whether we are within ~200m of a Pokemon or not, which lets you reliably map out the edges of it’s detection circle. Once you’ve found three points on the edges of a circle (B, C and E in this example), you can find the middle. Easy.

Of course, doing this before it despawns can sometimes be a challenge, especially in places where their might be buildings in the way to mess with your straight lines. But in a lot of ways, we’re back to where we were on launch week with regards to tracking Pokemon. This triangulation process is exactly the same as we were using when the steps worked, but instead of marking the difference between 2 steps and 3 steps, I’m marking the difference between “there” and “not there”.

#2 Method to track and catch Pokémon

While the first method on how to track and catch Pokémon will 100% work, assuming you do it fast enough, we prefer the following method:

Instead of thinking “I am within 200m of the pokemon,” think “the pokemon is within 200m of me”. This is the player-centered method of tracking using the “sightings” screen, and we can verify that it works like a charm.

Step 1. Visualize your search area

If a ‘mon is on the tracker, but it hasn’t popped up, then it is within 200m of you and outside of 50m from you. Pinch the screen to zoom all the way out. 200m is roughly 75% of the way up the middle of your screen.


Swivel the screen around at max zoom-out level to get a sense of your search area.

Step 2. Walk to a point ~150m away from your starting point


Walk to any point 150m from you. This point will likely be determined by the configuration of roads around you. When you walk to that point, one of three things will happen. at some point, the pokemon will disappear from the tracker, leaving you a crescent of possible locations to sweep out, or the pokemon will still be on the tracker, leaving two trianguloid areas to search, or the pokemon appears, in which case, catch it.

150m is about 66% of the way up the center of your screen. Over-estimate to be safe.

The point you walk to will likely be determined on the configuration of roads within your search area.

As you walk to that point, 150m away, one of three things will happen. Either the pokemon will appear, it which case, catch it. Or it will remain on the tracker, or it will disappear from the tracker at some point, in which case, go to step 3.

Step 3. Sweep out the refined search zone

Refer to the above image on how to track and catch Pokémon. If the pokemon disappears from the tracker, you are left with a crescent to sweep out (a thinner crescent, if it disappears early), and if the pokemon remains on the tracker, you have two trianguloid regions to sweep out. Of course, you’ll be estimating the geometry of these regions, but because you have visualized your search area to begin with, and you know how to roughly measure distances on a zoomed out screen, it shouldn’t be too hard to do.

We’re loving this new “sightings” screen. Caught most of what we went after, today.

Good luck out there!

Thanks to user ‘Zakrael’ and ‘MAZ3R’ for help creating this guide.

We hope this guide on How to track and catch Pokémon was helpful for you. Don’t miss our other guides on Pokémon Go. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment.

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