Pokémon Go expands 'Nearby' test areas, rolls out daily bonuses

Players in the Bay Area, Arizona and Seattle can see if this is a worthy tracker replacement.

Reuters/Mariana Bazo

Every time there's a Pokémon Go update, the number one thing its remaining players ask about is access to a tracker to help locate the little critters. This weekend Niantic Labs announced it's expanding the test area of its Nearby Pokémon feature from San Francisco to parts of Arizona, Seattle and the rest of the Bay Area. While we wait for that to roll out nation and world-wide, an update that adds the previously-announced daily bonus/streak bonus scheme is about to arrive on Android and iOS.

Beyond the bonus, it also fixes an annoying aspect of Pokémon Go, where once a gym was defeated, anyone nearby could quickly take it over, even if they didn't defeat the previous owner. Now, the person who defeated the gym will be the only one who can insert a Pokémon and take it over for their team "for a short period of time."

Also, in a move that probably serves to balance out recent changes that make training at friendly gyms easier, now defeating a gym member will take away more Prestige points, and the amount of Prestige gained from training has been lowered. The cumulative effect is that while it's easier to get a Pokémon into a gym, it will also be easier to take down gyms maxed out by other teams. If players can actually get some bonuses without using up all of their items or wasting an hour sketchily posted on a street corner, maybe they'll stick with the game. Maybe.