Pokémon Go recently released update 0.275.0, which apparently doubles the radius at which obtainable Pokémon spawn. Meanwhile, player frustration is building with Niantic’s historic lack of communication. These disgruntled players are so impressed with the update, they’re assuming it was deployed on accident. But Niantic reportedly confirmed with Poké content creators that it was, indeed, on purpose.
Then Niantic walked it back. The developer redirected Kotaku’s request for comment to a “clarifying” tweet posted on June 27.
“Some Trainers may have experienced an increase to the current interaction radius,” it said. “This was the unintended effect of a bug fix intended to improve the Pokémon encounter experience when your device is experiencing GPS drift. While we’re reverting this change, we will take your feedback into consideration as we look to optimize the Pokémon encounter experience in the future.”
It’s easy to see why some hopeful players might have thought otherwise. The App Store “patch notes” for update 0.275.0 kept things close to the chest, describing it obtusely as “quality-of-life updates; minor bug fixes and performance improvements.”
Initially, the bug—which bumps the augmented reality mobile game’s spawn radius from 40 meters to 80 meters—seemed like more than a simple quality-of-life update; it made it easier than ever for players to capture Pokémon while standing in the same spot. “Shiny hunter” players, who seek out the franchise’s pocket monsters in rare colorways, known in both Pokémon Go and everywhere else as “shinies,” could have benefited from this.
Niantic improved the rural game experience with the onset of covid-19 and global travel restrictions, making it so that players could temporarily interact with Gyms and Stops from 80 meters away instead of the original 40 meters. Once restrictions subsided, the developer went back and forth on keeping the change, but ultimately made it permanent in 2021 after plenty of community outcry.
Even sunnier fans knew not to get too excited. “This is a huge win for the community!” an enthusiastic post on update site Pokémon Go Hub said. “In the event this is something Niantic will fix in a future update, we’d recommend turning off automatic updates for now, and not updating the game past version 0.275.0 until there is a new forced update.”
Update 6/27/23 3:00 p.m. ET: Article updated to add statements developer Niantic made on Twitter.