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Pokemon Go Snapshot update promo image with players and Slaking.
Image via Niantic

Pokémon Go’s AR Snapshot update arrives broken, and no one is surprised at jank ‘reality’

Another broken update that has no immediate fix.

With every Pokémon Go update, it always seems like there’s a chance for the game to break. It has become such a frequent expectation that the community took the janky bugs in stride when Niantic dropped a big AR and Snapshot update.

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As the final part of Pokémon Go’s controversial “Rediscover” series of updates, Niantic updated the AR capabilities to improve the Snapshot feature. With the Pokémon Go “Rediscover Your Reality” update, you can now take a Snapshot with up to three Pokémon while also positioning them, altering poses, and adding extra flair. Unfortunately, not everything is working as intended. 

A Charizard breathing fire while a player play Pokemon Go.
A fire update isn’t looking so hot. Image via Niantic

After the update went live and Niantic began promoting it, the support page for Niantic’s games noted that Pokémon Go’s AR Mode was not functioning properly on any iPhone Pro and Pro Max models, leaving players with Pokémon appearing in “weird spots.” This problem has something to do with “disabled reality blending” and a fix is coming in the next version release. But it is yet another instance of something changing in Go before immediately breaking. 

Just this year, we have seen Pikachu appearing during a Sandshrew Spotlight Hour, Raid Day issues, battle notifications not appearing during Go Battle League matches, exclusive items accidentally being made available, Fast Attack damage nerfed, and more Niantic openly mentioned. If we go back a bit further to December, there was even an instance where Niantic accidentally released Kyurem Black and Kyurem White as GBL rewards and removed them from the game—where we still haven’t seen them released officially. 

Those are also just a few of the problems Niantic has acknowledged publicly. Just recently, an issue with Poké Ball throw distance where some players would have their Poké Balls launch the full capable distance or not being thrown at all was impacting the game. This looks like an issue with recent updates around the game’s AR, with Niantic only noting the problem in replies on X (formerly Twitter), telling players to “disable and re-enable Native Refresh Rate” as the only way around it as it kept multiple people from playing the game normally for over a week—though it might have been patched out in the most recent update.

With recent events like the catastrophic avatar update that rocked the community, we got a bit of insight into some of Niantic’s beta testing tendencies, with some features like the new customization options being tested for just a few months before going live. And, if the “unpolished” avatar changes and comments from an internal tester are anything to go by, even limited testing won’t stop Niantic from rolling out a product—regardless of early negative feedback or potential bugs. 

“Testing for weeks—months even—and yet features like this and the avatars continue to be released broken and fugly,” Pokémon Go journalist JRESeawolf said. “You don’t even listen to your own testers and devs, @NianticLabs. Get it together, please?”

Niantic has not responded to Dot Esports’ request for comment regarding recent updates and community backlash. Nor has the company made any public statement about the avatar controversy or other major complaints, despite the studio responsible for the changes going through layoffs.

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Image of Cale Michael
Cale Michael
Lead Staff Writer for Dota 2, the FGC, Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, and more who has been writing for Dot Esports since 2018. Graduated with a degree in Journalism from Oklahoma Christian University and also previously covered the NBA. You can usually find him writing, reading, or watching an FGC tournament.