If you were worrying that the skills you’ve acquired in all your weeks as a Pokemon trainer suddenly appear to be absent when out catching monsters, don’t – it looks like the game has become much harder.
Niantic Labs’ mega smash hit smartphone game received its first major update recently, which was rolled out by the developer as part of a longer-term strategy to make the game run more smoothly.
Millions of people have been out and about with the game since its July launch, but since the update the game’s average review score on the iTunes store has dropped down to two measly stars.
Here’s one reason why.
Most people seem to be forgiving about the fact that Niantic removed their initial footprint-based tracking system from the game; it was pretty buggy after all and needs to be improved. What users are a lot less okay with is that the new version of the game has reportedly made it more difficult to nab even the low-level Pokemon.
As reported by Kotaku, users are complaining that they’re going through way more Pokeballs than before. Pokemon are running away more, breaking free more and are much trickier to hit. Even Pidgey is putting up a fight, and apparently it’s worse the higher level you are. How demoralising.
PIDGEY RAN AWAY
There, just saved you from having to open #pokemongo
— Michael Cacace (@gnarlycupcakes) August 3, 2016
By making it harder to catch Pokemon, Niantic have arguably made it more rewarding to see an attempt pay off. But the more cynical players reckon it’s just a ploy to make people desperate for more Pokeballs.
So Pokemon Go got harder after the last update, right?? I've gone through more pokeballs and had more low levels escape. #NotARealProblem
— Chris Hardwick (@hardwick) August 2, 2016
I'm being told @NianticLabs secretly made it around 50% harder to catch pokemon with the latest Pokemon GO update. Jesus christ.
— Sam Thorne (@Strippin) August 1, 2016
— Wyatt Kane (@ohmywyattkane) August 3, 2016
— Kekki (@KekkiGaming) August 3, 2016
So disappointed in #PokemonGo Made it harder to catch Pokemon, took away the map, and took away battery saving.
— selissa rodriguez (@srodriguez9211) August 3, 2016
Sad about all the Pokemon Go changes. It's been a fun game to play with my kids, but the changes make it harder and harder to play together.
— matt (@still) August 3, 2016
It's bizarre to me how much effort the creators of Pokemon Go are going through to make their game harder to play.
— Cal (@Ikiruined) August 3, 2016
We would add, however, that pissed off Poke-players should maybe try and cut Niantic a teeny bit of slack if they can find it in their hearts. Nobody expected the game to be this much of a success story, so they were always going to have a tough time dealing with the server pressure. Judging by the game’s unrelenting popularity you can pretty much guarantee that people will be working around the clock to get things right.