Hunting down Pokémon is pretty frustrating when you know one is near, but can’t find it. That’s because the tracking feature in Pokémon GO is horribly broken and there isn’t any word on when it’ll be working again. To that end, some resourceful Pokémon GO fans put together a site that not only tells you where nearby Pokémon are, but how long they’ll be around.
Just point your favorite Web browser to the PokéVision website and enter your location. I found specific locations never worked, but entering a city name typically did. “Pearl Street Mall, CO,” for example, always failed to return a location. “Boulder, CO,” however, usually did. If you’re comfortable sharing your current location, the geolocation target button next to the search field works perfectly every time.
Pokémon GO, for those of you who just climbed out of your isolation tank, is a new game where players have to go outside and use their iPhone or Android smartphone to track down and catch Pokémon characters. The object is to visit landmarks where you collect the tools to catch as many Pokémon you can, then square them off against other players to take control of Pokémon Gyms.
The game is cool because it’s getting people outside and walking who otherwise would be content to sit inside all day. It also uses your smartphone’s camera and augmented reality to make it look like the characters you’re trying to catch are really in front of you.
PokéVision showed 151 Pokémon near me, including a Pontya and Pikachu. Turns out there was a Chansey in the Starbucks where I was writing, so I snapped it up. Since the site shows how long before each Pokémon disappears I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it the Pontya before it was gone.
Sure, using PokéVision is sort of like cheating, but until Niantic fixes Pokémon GO’s tracking it’s a lot better than roaming up and down streets trying to find that Exeggcute you think should be near by.