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Niantic has stated that they’re working on a fix for a new bug in Pokémon GO related to throw accuracy according to a tweet from the app’s official account.

The bug is stated to increase the odds of escape and omit the XP bonus (likely referring to the “Nice”, “Great”, etc. bonuses for on-target Poké Ball throws).

Some trainers have suspected that a bug or undocumented change had changed the capture rate. Multiple anecdotal threads on the /r/pokemongo subreddit as well as more detailed analysis (such as this one on /r/thesilphroad) have presented conflicting information as to whether or not the capture rate had changed. Some players reported low CP Pokémon were escaping from Poké Balls at an unusually high rate while some others had no problem whatsoever.

Landing a Poké Ball in the colored interior circle used to net you bonus XP in Pokémon GO. This bonus has not been applying for the last few days.

Landing a Poké Ball in the colored interior circle used to net you bonus XP in Pokémon GO. This bonus has not been applying for the last few days.

Another issue that was confirmed by many (including myself) was the removal of an experience bonus for throw accuracy. Capturing a Pokémon requires that you throw a Poké Ball into a superimposed white circle. A second interior circle is colored to indicate the capture difficulty (on a gradient from green for easy captures to red for difficult captures). This interior circle gradually shrinks until it reaches the center and the loop begins again. Three bonuses were previously available for landing a thrown ball into the circle depending on its size: Nice (10XP) for the largest size interior circle, Great (50XP) for a medium-sized interior circle, and Excellent (100XP) for the smallest size interior circle. These bonuses have not been properly applying for the last few days. The 10XP bonus for throwing a Curve Ball still functions properly.

The tweet follows a Facebook post from Niantic regarding the current state of Pokémon GO. The game has had a tumultuous week which included the removal of the “three steps” portion of the tracking system in a patch as well as the closure of third-party tracking sites. The creator of the Pokévision tracking site responded with an open letter to Niantic over the closure.

Quick Take

I noticed some degree of capture issues myself. I had the whole “10CP Weedle takes four Poké Balls to capture” problem a few times but it wasn’t consistent – I also had plenty of captures that provided a reasonable level of difficulty. Some people are speculating that the change in capture difficulty and the removal of XP bonuses for precision throws was Niantic intentionally making the game more difficult in order to sell more Poké Balls. However, the inconsistency I personally experienced leads me to believe that a bug is a much more likely scenario. I’m keen to see how soon they fix it!

What do you think of Niantic’s statement regarding this bug? Have you experienced difficulties capturing Pokémon or have you not had any unusual problems? How do you feel about how Niantic has been communicating about their game to the community? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!

  • Eli Wintercross

    Their biggest mistake was not launching with trading and 1v1 battles along with the constant bugs… By the time they fix these bugs and add features they will have lost the buzz and a lot of customers.
    They had a golden goose and they’re throttling it to death.

  • Nekotan

    And don’t even get me started on the whole “fuck tracking and tracking sites/apps, we need to release this mess in more countries” thing.
    I mean wtf, fix the game first

  • Nekotan

    It’s a bug or.. A very randomized trial of an f2p feature~
    I’ll believe them if they fix all their bs instead of making the game worse

  • Kev Lew

    they are really trying hard at this point to mess up the good thing they had going. mass launch over server stability/fixed, tracker disabling to close down people who want to do a quick walk directly to a rare/wanted pokemon (rng is not much fun when you have limited time), the insane attack spam and capture escapes that mean I have had low and high CP pokemon jump and attack 2-3 times each before I even get one pokeball thrown. game is heading down the tubes fast.