When Pokémon GO was first released back in July 2016, it quickly became a global sensation. Everyone and their mother got hooked on the thrill of trying to catch 'em all in the real world – not just in a fictional region of the Pokémon world. People would walk kilometers to hatch their eggs, spend hours looking for rare Pokémon, and even trespass into people's gardens in the hope of finding the 'Mon of their dreams. Don't trespass, kids. No Pokémon is worth that much – not even an Arceus.
Nearly three years on from Pokémon GO's initial release, the buzz around the game has quieted down somewhat. Still, it still has a loyal and pretty sizeable fanbase. With new Pokémon being added to the game all the time, and new features cropping up too, there's plenty to keep hard-core Pokéfans entertained. And, now that you can connect Pokémon GO to your Nintendo Switch through Let's Go: Pikachu and Let's Go: Eevee, there's even more reason to go out looking for Kanto critters.
Pokémon GO isn't perfect, though. The casual player might not realize this, but the game is riddled with errors and glitches. While some mistakes have been easy to fix, others have remained in the game for months and even years on end. Needless to say, longstanding GO players have become pretty frustrated at Niantic's many goofs. Here are just some of the ridiculous mistakes that have cropped up in Pokémon GO over the years.
25 The Challenge Of Logging In
One of Niantic's biggest mistakes has to be creating a mobile game that's so freaking difficult to log into. Pretty much every Pokémon GO player has experienced this frustration at some point. Maybe the game's servers were down, making it impossible to play. Perhaps the app decided that your phone didn't have a strong enough Internet signal, even though your phone claims it's got full coverage. Whatever the case, Pokémon GO has so many login issues that it makes the game genuinely offputting. Who wants to spend all of their time stuck on a frozen login screen?
24 The Constant Loss Of GPS
For Pokémon GO to actually work, you need to have a strong GPS signal. It makes sense; the whole game is based around your current location. How are you going to find PokéStops, Gyms, and Pokémon if your phone has no location data?
Thing is, Pokémon GO's GPS capabilities are patchy at best.
A common issue that players face is the game telling them that they have no GPS signal, even when they do. This can happen at pretty much any time, and it's incredibly irritating.
23 When Niantic Started To "Lose" People's Accounts
This has to be one of the most serious Pokémon GO mistakes to date. At the end of 2018, some Pokémon GO users reported that their accounts had seemingly disappeared overnight. There was no explanation for this; the players simply tried to log in one morning only to find that their often very high-level accounts no longer existed. When these players reported the issue to Niantic, it took a while for them to hear anything back. Apparently, Niantic finally fixed this mistake at the start of 2019. Phew!
22 The Rubbish Movesets
Let's be real here: Pokémon's movesets in Pokémon GO have nothing on their movesets in the mainline games. We know, we know – GO has a totally different battling system to that of the main Pokémon series.
Perhaps it's not fair to compare the two.
Still... The moves that some Pokémon have been allocated in GO are lackluster, to say the least. Whether or not your Pokémon gets a decent move is pretty much down to luck. It's disappointing when you find a 'Mon with great IVs, but an awful move!
21 The Lackluster Combat System
We've already mentioned the fact that Pokémon GO has a different battling style to the mainline Pokémon games. It's time to discuss why GO's battle system is the inferior one! To be honest, all of that tapping gets boring very quickly – not to mention you practically get repetitive strain injury in the process. We know that a mobile game couldn't possibly have a battling system as complex as the console Pokémon games. Still, making battling quite this boring was a big mistake on Niantic's part.
20 Making Some Eggs So Annoying To Hatch
While this particular Pokémon GO mistake has now been fixed, it was very annoying when it was active. So, you know how you have to walk a certain distance in order to hatch a Pokémon egg? That was a really annoying system back in the days before Adventure Sync. Having to keep the app open while you walked for – in some cases, at least – 10 kilometers was a nightmare when it came to battery drainage. We're so glad that Niantic listened to players' complaints and changed this system.
19 The Glitched Out PVP Battles
One of the newest features that's been added to Pokémon GO is player versus player battling. That's right – you can finally battle your friends on GO! Unfortunately, when this feature was first rolled out at the end of 2018, it came with a whole host of issues. The PVP battling system was laggy to the extreme for some GO players, making it essentially impossible to use. We know that bugs and glitches are to be expected with new features, but Niantic really should have tested PVP battling more before making it a public feature.
18 Umbreon And Espeon's Catch Rates
Umbreon and Espeon are two of the best-loved Pokémon out there, especially amongst Generation II fanatics. So, you can imagine how excited Pokémon GO users were when these Eeveelutions were added to in-game raids in late 2018. Unfortunately, the hype quickly died down when players realized that these Pokémon had an almost 0% catch rate. This made it practically impossible for players to catch them. As you can imagine, this led to quite a few disappointed GO players and lots of complaints to Niantic.
17 The Ridiculous Pokémon Regions
Real talk: unless you're some kind of celebrity jet-setter who's in a new country every week, the Pokémon GO regions system is a major pain in the behind.
It's a nice idea, for sure.
Different regions of the world could have their own unique Pokémon, just like in the console games! In practice, though, this mechanic is incredibly frustrating, especially for all of the completionists out there. It becomes literally impossible to fill the Pokédex unless you can afford to fly to a different hemisphere. Where's the fun in that?
16 The False Ban Warnings For Let's Go Players
The release of Let's Go: Pikachu and Let's Go: Eevee back in November 2018 added a new dimension to Pokémon GO. You could transfer certain Pokémon from the app to your Switch game! Unfortunately, the introduction of this feature was accompanied by a mistake on Niantic's part. Some GO players who'd transferred Pokémon over to their Let's Go games were accidentally sent ban warnings. Niantic was quick to reassure people that this was an error and that they weren't actually threatening to ban loads of GO players for no apparent reason. Still, this incident scared a lot of unsuspecting Pokéfans!
15 When Niantic Gave Out Moltres Instead Of Shedinja
It seems strange that Pokémon GO players would complain about receiving a free Moltres. That fiery Legendary bird is pretty cool! However, when you're expecting to receive a super-rare Shedinja, getting a Moltres isn't exactly ideal. This is exactly what happened to some Pokémon GO players who completed a research quest at the end of last year. They'd worked so hard for their Shedinjas, only to receive the wrong Pokémon. Niantic managed to fix this error about 10 minutes after it started, but really, it shouldn't have happened in the first place.
14 The Lack Of Pokemon In Rural Areas
Pokémon GO is a super fun game to play in urban areas, where there are plenty of wild Pokémon and Pokéstops to be found. However, if you live in a rural area, GO can be a little painful.
You're lucky if even one Pokémon crops up every few hours.
If you get a research quest that requires you to battle in a gym or participate in a raid... Well, good luck with that. This issue really needs to be fixed so that Pokémon GO players who don't live in big cities can enjoy the game too.
13 The Bad Community Events
Every now and again, Niantic will organize a Pokémon GO Community Event. Usually, these will involve special-edition Pokémon cropping up all over a specified geographical area. It's a neat idea, right? At least, it would be... If any of the Community Days actually went to plan.
They're consistently plagued with issues.
GO will routinely lose connection, slow down, or even break completely during these events. This means that the eager Pokéfans who've gone out looking for their special Pokémon can't actually catch anything at all. This has happened time and time again, and it needs to stop.
12 Pokémon Vanishing Into Thin Air
Every Pokémon GO player must have experienced the agony of a disappearing Pokémon at some point in their lives. You all know the drill: a super rare Pokémon spawns on your map. However, in the 0.00003 seconds between you noticing the Pokémon and you managing to tap it... It disappears into thin air, never to be seen again.
Why does this happen so often?
Is it just another irritating glitch, or a product of GO's shaky GPS capabilities? Who knows. Whatever the case, this mistake is really, really annoying.
11 The Awkward PokéStop Locations
Niantic really should have done a bit more research when it came to the locations of some of their Pokéstops. Some of them are absurdly difficult to get to, while others are just wildly inappropriate. Churches, war memorials, graveyards... Just some of the places that really shouldn't be Pokéstops, but are for some reason.
And let's not even get started on gyms.
Did you know that there are actually Pokémon gyms in Area 51? As in, the super secretive place that's on government lockdown and that you really shouldn't try to enter? Talk about bad planning.
10 Togetic's Impossible Catch Rate
Espeon and Umbreon aren't the only Pokémon who've fallen foul to the curse of the impossible catch rate. In fact, Niantic had already made this mistake a few times before these Eeveelutions were released into raids.
Take Togetic, for example.
Back in 2017, Pokémon GO introduced the evolved form of Togepi. Fans were excited to try and catch it, but quickly became confused when after throwing literally hundreds of Pokéballs, they still couldn't catch their Togetic. It turned out that Togetic was bugged, and had a 0% catch rate. Oops.
9 The Introduction Of The Team Medallion
Now, the fact that Niantic introduced the Team Medallion isn't necessarily the issue here; it's the method of implementation that's the problem. In case you're out of the loop, the Team Medallion finally makes it possible to switch between Pokémon GO teams, something that fans have been requesting for years. Thing is, this item isn't exactly easy to get. It costs a whopping 1,000 PokéCoins, which in turn cost nearly $10. It's not exactly going to bankrupt you, but everyone hates microtransactions. Did it really have to be this way, Niantic?
8 Grimer Making The Game Crash
Back when Pokémon GO first launched, lots of players reported a pretty bemusing error. For some reason, encountering the Poison-type Pokémon Grimer caused the entire game to crash. Even trying to click on it in your list of Pokémon or battling it in a gym would cause Pokémon GO to inexplicably freeze. Who knew that Grimer could be that powerful! Niantic seems to have fixed this error now, since you can, in fact, encounter Grimer without your game giving up the ghost.
7 The Infamous Dodge Glitch
Ah, the dodge glitch. It's one of the most hated Pokémon GO issues out there, and it continues to persist to this day. The dodge glitch can affect your Pokémon when you're in a gym or raid battle. Even if your Pokémon successfully manages to dodge an attack, the game will act as if it didn't. HP will still be deducted from your Pokémon. The game will then return the HP when it realizes its mistake. However, if the damage dealt by this glitch has caused your Pokémon to faint, the game won't bring them back. It's pretty frustrating.
6 When Lugia "Accidentally" Returned To The Game
This Pokémon GO mistake isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it probably brought joy to a lot of players! Back in May 2018, Pokéfans noticed that Lugia had started cropping up in raid battles again. Niantic hadn't announced that they were bringing this Pokémon back into raids, so everyone was a little bit confused. Needless to say, Lugia wasn't actually supposed to be back in the game. Niantic had made a mistake, and Lugia was removed once they realized what had happened.
5 The Ridiculously Difficult Pokémon Evolutions
While the Pokémon GO evolution system is mostly acceptable, there are some Pokémon for which it becomes absolutely ridiculous. Now, we understand that leveling up rare or powerful Pokémon shouldn't be a walk in the park.
It would make the game too easy, and where's the fun in that?
Thing is, some Pokémon are just too difficult to evolve, especially for casual players. If you only load the app up every once in a while, you're never going to get yourself a Gyarados, and it kinda stinks.
4 When Niantic Messed Up Pokémon Nests
If you're wondering what a Pokémon nest is, don't worry – we've got you covered. A nest is a geographical area in which a particular Pokémon is incredibly common. If you find the nest of a rare Pokémon, you've basically hit the jackpot. Back at the start of 2019, some rare Kanto Pokémon began nesting without much warning. Players expected to find Chikorita nests, but actually found Pokémon such as Jolteon, Snorlax, and Porygon. Lots of Pokémon fans were thrilled – until it emerged that this was a Niantic mistake. The nests were quickly removed, and players were left disappointed.
3 Getting No Reward For Your Curveballs
There's no denying it: the curveball system in Pokémon GO was pretty broken when the game first came out. In theory, throwing a successful curveball should have netted you a points bonus.
In practice, though, this was often not the case.
The game would register that you threw a curveball, but choose not to give you the extra points. What's even the point of trying to get a curveball if the game doesn't reward you for it? Niantic did eventually acknowledge that this error existed, and it's now been fixed.
2 The Massive Fail That Was GO Fest 2017
Oh, GO Fest 2017. You were a total failure, and everybody knows it. If you haven't heard about this car crash of an event, prepare yourself - you're in for a wild ride. Pretty much from the outset, GO Fest was plagued with technical issues. People couldn't connect to GO, and if they did manage it, the game would quickly crash. Considering one of the main points of the festival was to use GO to catch rare Pokémon, these issues basically ruined people's days. Eventually, Niantic gave up on trying to salvage the event and closed it early.
1 The Pokémon Level Cap
In Pokémon GO, you can use Stardust and Candies to "power up" your Pokémon. This helps to increase their level, right up to a limit of level 40. Or at least, level 40 is the limit now. For a long time, the level cap was 39 thanks to a Pokémon GO glitch. It was incredibly frustrating for a lot of players who just wanted to get their Pokémon to that next round number. This error remained in the game for quite some time, until it was finally patched out at the end of 2017.