There are some aspects of Pokémon GO that are not explained in the tutorial at the start of the game, and this is one of them. As you are walking around, you may see green leaves rustling around. Does this mean Pokémon are definitely in that area? This commonly held theory has been debunked.
The short answer is no. It does give you an idea of where Pokémon are likely to spawn, though. This is one clue that can help you track them down. The second clue is found on the lower right corner of your screen. Click that box to see the Pokémon that are nearby. The footprints under each Pokémon indicate how far away they are.
Footprints-to-Pokémon Distance Conversion
- 0 footprints = should be visible
- 1 footprint = within 10 meters
- 2 footprint = within 100 meters
- 3 footprint = within 1 kilometer
Wait – They All Have Three Footprints
This sounds very helpful, but there’s a problem. You may have noticed that all of your nearby Pokémon have three footprints. This is due to a bug in the game. So, at this point, the footprints are not a reliable way to determine the location of Pokémon. Some have advised that the Pokémon in the top row are closer to you, which would make sense. But, players are reporting Pokémon farther down the list are appearing first, so this does not appear to be a reliable indicator.
For the time being, we may all have to wander around a bit more to find the Pokémon we’re looking for. But, hey, there’s a bright side – you’ll hatch eggs faster because you’re walking more!