Niantic pushes solution for Pokémon Go’s Routes—but a core problem remains

Though this may be vital for much of the playerbase.

Two trainers walk along a blue line known as a "Route" with a Pikachu, Charizard, Leafeon, and Zygarde 10% form around them.
Routes are the only way players can change the form of their Zygrade. Image via Niantic

Niantic is back with another quality-of-life update for Pokémon Go players, albeit one that many won’t see.

This ongoing season of Pokémon Go—other than its major focus on bringing Pokémon from the Paldea region into the mobile title—introduced players to a new gameplay feature known as Routes.” These act as designated paths in-game that can be followed for encounters with rare Pokémon and even Zygarde Cells. Yet while this feature continues to elude a majority of the player base, Niantic has added a feature to the game that will ensure players don’t miss them.

Should players be near a Route, they will now receive a notification on the bottom right-hand corner of their screen above the nearby Pokémon bar that one is nearby, which can be tapped to immediately bring them to the Route selection screen. Previously, there would be no visual indication on the main screen that a Route was in one’s proximity, requiring the access of the Route sub-screen to begin the short journey.

However, players have remained vocal regarding the accessibility of the Routes feature, as they are not widespread and seem to be locked to more densely packed suburban and urban areas. This effectively removes the ability for some to obtain rare Pokémon more easily, complete certain quests, and will completely block them from getting the chance to change the form of their Zygarde, which requires Zygarde Cells that can only be found—very rarely—via Routes.

Niantic announced yesterday that the upcoming “Out to Play” event, centered around the release of Shiny Hisuian Growlithe, will necessitate players to traverse Routes to complete event-exclusive Timed Research and receive bonuses for doing so. However, despite these new notifications allowing players to better locate Routes in their area, it does not appear that the feature itself has been adjusted in any capacity to allow more players to indulge in it.

Author

Ethan Garcia
Ethan Garcia is a freelance writer for Dot Esports, having been part of the company for three years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Magazine Journalism from Syracuse University and specializes particularly in coverage of League of Legends, various Nintendo IPs, and beyond.