If you’re dealing with Pokémon GO problems we’re here to help. In this guide we go over a list of the most common Pokémon GO problems, errors or bugs and offer tips on how to fix them. Whether you just started playing again for the release of Gen 5, trainer battles and the new buddy system, or have enjoyed it for years, here’s what you need to know.
Now that Pokémon GO has been out for several years Niantic has fixed a slew of problems. Almost all the little glitches from 2016 or 2017 are a thing of the past. However, recent updates like PvP Trainer battles and the AR buddy feature have introduced new Pokémon GO errors that continue to plague players at the end of 2019.
Whether that’s Error 0 when you start the game, Pokémon GO unable to authenticate, the game won’t load, buddy AR crashes, GPS not found, force closes and more. Here is a run-down of any and all problems that users have reported so far. If Niantic or the Pokémon GO community has a fix or workaround, we’ve included it too.
Pokémon GO Problems
- Blue Screen When Loading
- Battery Drain Caused by the Game
- No Pokémon GO Near You
- Pokémon GO Won’t Install
- Pokémon GO Won’t Open
- Pokémon GO Says GPS NOT FOUND
- Deleting Your Pokémon GO Account
- Trainer Back at Level 1
- Missing Items Purchased with Gold
- Freezing When Capturing Pokémon
- Pokémon Don’t Look as if They’re Around You
- Pokémon GO Server Issues
- Can’t Change Your Trainer Name
- You Are Going Too Fast
- You’ve Been Banned from Pokémon GO for Cheating
- Unable to Authenticate
- Trainer Battles Problems
- Pokémon GO Errors
Blue Screen When Loading
Some players noticed the game freezing when first opened. These users get a bluescreen, but nothing else happens. Or, it simply opens to a screen where it’s half blue sky and half green with a line down the middle.
To get past this, try holding down the multitasking or recent apps button on your phone. On Android, this is the square button on the right/left side of the home button. On iPhone, double tap the Home button. This puts the game into memory and as you prepare to switch to a different app, and it refreshes when you re-open the game. Now, just tap the square or tap Pokémon GO and open the game again.
Battery Drain Caused by the Game
Pokémon GO works by using your device’s Wi-Fi and GPS sensor to learn where you are in the world. Your data connection, GPS, WiFi, sensors, and sometimes even your camera run non-stop while you play. Because of this, the game is a battery life hog. Did you know you can keep the screen off and save battery life while you play and walk around? Here’s how:
Tap or click on the Pokeball at the bottom of your screen. Tap Settings on the top-right. Now tap Battery Saver. This setting should help your phone consume a little less battery power when you’re enjoying the game by turning the screen 90% off. It still runs, you’ll hear spawns, but your phone will last longer and it won’t get as hot. Or, Gotta Be Mobile’s 14 Best Smartphone Portable Battery Chargers round-up is full of chargers that can extend the life of your phone when playing any game.
No Pokémon Near You
Some gamers don’t see Gyms and PokeStops on the map around them, despite having the game installed correctly. When this happens, there’s nothing you can do. PokeStops and Gyms get put on the map by the game itself, not randomly. People who live in low population areas tend to have fewer Gyms and PokeStops near them.
In the early days, you could request a Pokéstop in your location or place of business, but that’s no longer an option. Instead, select players that are level 40 can do portal and Pokestop submissions. However, these must be public places, not businesses, away from housing developments, and get confirmed by the community. We’re glad they re-introduced submissions in 2019, but most of them still get denied.
Pokémon GO Won’t Install
Pokémon GO has some very specific requirements. Your phone needs at least 2GB of RAM and Android 4.4. If your device doesn’t meet those requirements and Pokémon GO won’t install. The game doesn’t work on anything with an Intel processor inside. Also, the game has trouble working with some Android tablets as many don’t have built-in GPS. You can still play on an Android tablet though, you’ll just need a good WiFi connection so it can get location data. Otherwise, your character won’t move and nothing will spawn.
Pokémon GO Won’t Open
Randomly, Pokémon GO boots users or fail to log them in. That’s despite it being available in their territory. This happens when the game’s servers get overloaded. You’ll have to wait for the number of people trying to access the game to fall before you can get in.
Recently this only happens to those signing in with a Pokémon Trainer Club account. Niantic’s servers constantly go down during busy events or Community Days. We recommend linking your PTC account to Facebook or Google to prevent these login issues.
Another reason the game won’t open is if you don’t have the latest update. For the Generation 5 release in October, Niantic made the latest update a requirement, and more and more updates lately are required. Furthermore, the late December buddy system update broke the game for hundreds of players. Pokemon GO gets to the loading screen and never starts, especially for people with old phones or tablets running Android 6.0 Marshmallow, like those old Galaxy tablets. Niantic is aware of the problem and will hopefully fix it before 2020.
We did hear that uninstalling and re-installing the game worked for people with newer iPhone or Android devices.
GPS Not Found
Pokémon GO uses internet connectivity and GPS technology to pin down where you are in the real world. When GPS location isn’t present, the other picks up the slack. At least, that’s what should happen.
Some users get error notifications saying “GPS Not Found.” Some old Android devices don’t come with GPS technology turned on; you have to activate it. Look in Settings to enable GPS tracking. In Android 5.0, the switch for GPS is in the Privacy and Settings area inside the Settings app.
If you still get a GPS Not Found error in Pokémon GO you should update your location settings on your phone, at least for Android. Go to Settings > Security & Location > or just tap the search magnifying glass and type in “Location”. That’s the easiest way.
Turn on location, then look or search for “Location Mode” or Locating Method. This is very important as it controls how your phone (and Pokémon) finds your location. A lot of phones are set to WiFi only to preserve battery life. Choose “High Accuracy” or the top option as shown above. You want to use GPS, WiFi and Mobile Networks for the best gaming experience. This is still one of the most frustrating Pokémon GO problems for me.
Deleting Your Pokémon GO Account
Not everyone is comfortable with the amount of information that Pokémon GO tracks. It doesn’t appear that Niantic is using data, but some would rather be safe. In How to Remove Your Pokemon GO Account, we walk you through the process of removing your account from the game.
Trainer Back at Level 1
If you log back into the game and your progress is gone, you may have two accounts, according to Niantic. Try logging out of the game, then logging back in using a Trainer Club Account or Google Account, depending on which you’ve already tried. This was an issue a few years ago, but we started seeing reports surface again in March of 2019 after an update.
If you continue to have this problem we recommend you unlink your account from Facebook or Google, or similar, and only sign in with a Trainer Club login, or only your Google account.
Missing Items Purchased With Gold
If your account is missing things that you’ve purchased through the Shop, Niantic recommends signing out of your account from the Settings area and signing back in. If that doesn’t work, try restarting your device. This is one of the more frustrating Pokémon GO problems.
Freezing When Capturing Pokémon
On Apple’s iPhones, users report that Pokémon GO freezes consistently when trying to complete a capture. Why this happens is unclear, but Reddit users report that switching their LTE connection in the Cellular settings from on to off solves the problem. Without LTE the game can still use the rest of the cellular network to connect. Here at the end of 2019 were still seeing this occasionally, especially with egg hatches.
Android has this issue too. Force closing the app adds the creatures to your inventory. Tap on the icon in the bottom-left corner. Next, open the Journal to see if your capture was successful after the freeze.
Pokémon Don’t Look as if They Are Around You
If your device is powerful enough to run Pokemon GO but is missing some essential hardware, the game downgrades itself to allow you to play. For the full experience, your phone needs an internet connection, a GPS sensor and a compass. Without the compass and GPS sensor, you end up with a paired down version of the game that doesn’t require you to look around a room and search for the creatures.
Pokémon GO Server Issues
Frequently, Pokemon GO suffers from huge server outages as millions try to log into the game at the same time. Before planning to go on the hunt for new creatures, go ahead and use the Pokemon GO Sever Status website to see if others are having problems. Again, this usually only happens to PTC accounts. If you sign in with Google you probably never deal with this. If so, try playing the game a little later or in a few hours.
Can’t Change Your Trainer Name (Update)
If you frequently get errors when trying to change your account name, it’s because that name is already taken by another Trainer. The game tells you if that’s the case.
If the game doesn’t allow you to change your account name at all, it’s because you already changed your name too many times. You can only change your Trainer name in Pokémon GO once. That said, we’re hearing a few reports that people can change it more than once. Additionally, there’s a scary Pokémon GO glitch after a June update where the game asks you to change your name, and some people lost their account. So, only change your name if YOU want to. If you see that popup just close the game and re-open it later.
You Are Going Too Fast Error Message
Pokémon GO detects how fast you are moving. This feature allows it to lock the game down when you’re riding in a car or biking, saving you on wasted battery and data. It’s also so you can’t hatch an unlimited amount of eggs while you drive. If you have the “Going Too Fast” error message, it’s because of this. You can override this feature with the I’m a Passenger button underneath the error message. Only do so if you really are a passenger. Seriously, your life isn’t as important as an invisible monster, even if it’s a 100% IV. Be smart, don’t play and drive.
You’ve Been Banned from Pokémon GO for Cheating
Some players use GPS tricks to make the game think that they are in a different location than they actually are. Others created bots to capture more creatures in the game. Using either can and will get you permanently banned from Pokémon GO.
Niantic shared its banning policy on the Pokémon GO website in 2016 but updated it in July of 2018 with a new 3-strike rule. At first, you’ll get a warning, then a red banner popup. The 3rd strike is a permanent ban and you’ll lose everything forever. The game looks for cheaters and specific apps during startup, so if you have them on your phone you’ll get caught. At launch, this wasn’t the case. In addition to issuing bans for common cheating methods, Niantic blocks the game from working on rooted Android smartphones. This isn’t a Pokémon GO problem, it’s a you problem.
Unable to Authenticate. Please Try Again Error
Another common issue that started in mid-2018 and still happens today, over a year later, is the unable to authenticate glitch. When players try to sign in (or re-sign into another account) on Pokémon GO they get an “Unable to Authenticate. Please Try Again” error and cannot log in. This is extremely frustrating and we’ve only found two potential fixes. And you can’t even call these fixes.
For one, simply close the game and re-start and this fixes it almost every time. Don’t just hit home and go back. We mean tap on recent apps (on Android) and swipe away to close and clear the game. Or double-tap the home button on iPhone and close Pokémon GO. Then reopen the game and try to log in. If you get your password wrong, you’ll probably get this error again, too. So, close it again, and restart the app.
This is extremely frustrating and we believe Niantic isn’t fixing it to deter cheaters who sign in on multiple accounts at a time. If you’re still experiencing this on Android go to Settings > Apps > All Apps > Pokémon GO > and hit Force Close or Force Stop. This manually closes the game completely. Now start the game and log in.
Trainer Battles Problems (PvP Problems)
One of the latest and possibly most exciting new feature in Pokémon GO is Trainer Battles, also known as PvP attacks. Taking the idea behind raid battles, making it better, and letting players battle other players and friends. PvP got added in December 2018, but it’s causing tons of problems for gamers. Here a year later, and they’re still changing and trying to improve this system.
If you’re still having a hard time with the Trainer Battles, you’re not alone. This somewhat new feature is still incredibly buggy, laggy, and often fails. We’re hearing reports of the entire game freezing, error popups, PvP battles ending early, erroring out completely, or simply being unable to get into a PvP battle to begin with. Especially those with Galaxy phones.
While Niantic eventually fixed the early issues, the PvP system is still pretty terrible so we have a few tips. For one, make sure you both have a good internet connection or a solid signal. Then, we recommend both players restart the game, then start the Trainer Battle. Irritating, but that’s the only way mine aren’t failing.
Then, with all the sync and lag issues, don’t just random tap the screen. Wait, be patient, and only tap when you’re supposed to, or tap the shield button. These PvP battles are fun, rewarding and exciting, just know that you might have a few problems along the way.
Pokémon GO Errors (Error 0, Error 12, Error 33, etc)
We could make an entire article about Pokémon GO problems or errors, but today we’ll just focus on the biggest or frequent ones. Some of these include Error 0, Error 11,12 (for GPS failure) and even Error 33.
Lately, we’re seeing a ton of reports about Error 0 on login. This relates to the “Friends” feature in Pokémon GO and usually surfaces when the game cannot find or fails to get the friends list. Niantic is still slowly working out any remaining bugs or glitches with the new Friends feature, so we have no fix for this right now. The only way around it is to simply close the game and re-open it. The second time it’ll load your friends and work as expected. If not, try force closing it.
Error 11 or Error 12 relates to your GPS signal, so scroll back up to that section and try those fixes. Another common glitch is the Error 33. This happens when you try to start a raid, during gym battles and is known as the “can’t get past the GO” text on battles. The error is from time-sync issues between your app and the game servers. A prime example is if you try to join a Raid right when the timer runs out, or try to join friends to take down a gym right as they defeat a monster. The game servers are rotating to the next Pokémon for them while serving you the guy they just took down. That small window of lag causes the error. Just try again and you’ll get in without any problems.
As we said earlier the game is pretty good these days. Thankfully 2019 was a big year. Players finally had a chance to catch Celebi and Deoxys, we got a shiny MewTwo, buddy system, and Niantic released Gen 5. Now, the developers are still finishing the last few Gen 5 releases, wrapping up 2019 full of December events, and has already announced the first January 2020 community day. Get ready for tons of exciting features in Pokemon GO throughout 2020, GO fest in the summer, and much more.
While we still encounter bugs here and there, the rest of the experience is pretty great unless you’re trying to use a Go Plus or Go-tcha. For whatever reason whenever I try to connect the Go Plus the game force closes on Android. It still works, it’s just a hassle. Hopefully we helped you enjoy the game a little more with these tips, fixes, and suggestions.
We’re expecting some friends lists, buddy, and AI fixes shortly, and likely some new bugs as they continue to release gen 5 monsters. Gotta Be Mobile will continue to add to this list of Pokémon GO problems and fixes as new issues arrive. Anyone with a compatible phone can download the game from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.
PokeStops & Gym Locations
A recent question and answer session on the Silph Road confirms that Pokémon Go currently uses 30% to 50% of portals that were present in Niantic’s last game, Ingress. Pokémon Go maps these over real-world landmarks that players have to walk to.
PokeStops and Gyms are real-world locations that players go to pick up items and battle the creatures left behind by other trainers. Police departments are already warning players of the game to stay away from their stations, according to VG247.