Changes to AR may have made Pokemon Go worse according to fans

Nathan Ellingsworth
A mobile phone is pictured with a person playing Pokemon Go on the screen

A major change to how Pokemon Go handles AR is being celebrated by some members of the community, but for others, it represents a major step backward.

Niantic has introduced a major change to Pokemon Go, this time affecting the way players interact with the mobile title’s AR features. As detailed by Niantic themselves in a blog post, trainers will soon only be able to use AR+ instead of getting to choose between regular AR and AR+.

Thankfully, players will still have the choice between AR+ or a static background, so devices without AR capabilities won’t be left out, but many players are annoyed about the loss of basic AR features, which were used by the community for many things.

Pokemon Go player u/NinsMCD has shared a Reddit post on the subject, with the comment “New Buddy AR options!” This post shows off the new static background that players can use when interacting with their buddy, saving the time it takes to interact with the AR features.

While the original post and sentiment are fairly positive, the implications of these new changes have soured community opinion further down the thread.

One comment says, “Lost the ability to AR catch now unless you do AR plus”. Meanwhile, another comment adds, “This is such a letdown. I can’t take quick photos to get the daily Smeargle anymore.”

The main issue with fans is the demands of AR+, compared to the simple way that regular AR worked. One person adds, “Its so dumb that you now HAVE to use advanced ar to take pictures with your camera. I enjoyed having a small groudon riding on my cats back”.

Finally, another person shares how the added steps to AR+ will cost time on important days, saying, “You have to find a flat surface and find Pokemon in tall grass. No more last-minute fast shiny checks on Comm day”.

The addition of static backgrounds for buddy encounters is a great change, as now players can quickly and efficiently play with buddies to complete tasks and earn hearts, without having to wrestle with AR. But, it seems baffling to not continue to offer the choice between A and AR+ everywhere else.

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About The Author

Nathan is a Senior Writer at Dexerto, leading our Pokemon coverage. They got their start with print magazines ranging from Switch Player to lock-on, before writing Nintendo & Pokemon-focused pieces for The Gamer, Nintendo Life, Pocket Tactics, and more. They're obsessed with Shiny-hunting, Pokemon TCG, rhythm games, and RPGs.