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(Pocket-lint) - Help! Pokemon Go isn't working - what is wrong with it?

With every craze comes a backlash and for Pokemon Go, the many of the problems stemmed from server demands. This was very common when the game first launched in 2016 and much came down to popularity of the game. Many of the serverside problems were resolved in 2017, but some issues still crop up.

Here's a run-down of some of the common problems with Pokemon Go and what you might be able to do about it. 

1. My Trainer is just walking on the spot

You might be playing the game and notice your Trainer is just walking on the spot and nothing seems to be happening. Firstly, tap the Poke Ball at the bottom of the screen to access the menu. If the menu doesn't open, the app has crashed. 

Close the app and restart it. Then reopen the app and resume playing.

2. Pokemon Go is slow and crashes a lot

This was a problem with early version of the game, but were ironed out in updates to Pokemon Go through 2016. Now, if your game isn't running as slick and fast as you'd like, there's a couple of things that could be going on. Firstly, a poor server connection can cause this, and that's likely to be because of your data connection.

It could also be the demand on your phone. A top tip here is to turn off the AR side of things. When you go to catch a Pokemon, tap the toggle switch in the top right-hand corner. This reduces the work that your phone has to do and can speed the experience up.

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3. I keep seeing the spinning Pokemon ball

If you keep seeing a spinning symbol in the top left of your screen, that means that your phone is trying to connect to the Pokemon Go servers. The demand on the servers due to the game's popularity can be really high following updates, and server connection issues account for most of the problems with Pokemon Go, although has now mostly been resolved.

You can either wait - sometimes it will only be a few seconds - and then start playing again. Or you might find the app becomes unresponsive and it crashes, as above in point 1, so restart the app again. 

4. Pokemon Go says GPS signal not found

GPS is needed to tell the Pokemon Go app where you are. It tracks your movement for hatching eggs (although you can also use Adventure Sync for that) as well as keeping you in the right place on the map.

If you see a signal that says "GPS signal not found" all the time, check that your phone has "location" switched on. On some phones you can switch this off manually and that will stop you playing the game. Location is also drawn from your data connection, so you'll need to be connected to a network.

5. Pokemon Go says No internet connection

If you get the "no internet connection" message across the top of your phone, that's the fault of your phone or network, not Pokemon Go itself. Check the obvious things - that your phone isn't in flight mode, that data is turned on, and that you haven't run out of data. 

Pokemon Go doesn't use a lot of data, but for those with a limited data package, you could easily run out after a lot of playing.

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6. Pokemon Go freezes mid catch, or mid raid

The most exciting parts of Pokemon Go are when you're trying to catch a rare Pokemon, or when you're in the final stages of battling. It's also a point that's prone to failure, because it's so dependent on a good connection to the server.

Often the app becomes unresponsive when catching a Pokemon because of server connection issues. If the app stops responding - your Poke Ball isn't moving and there's no longer a symbol telling you it's trying to connect - you'll have to restart the app as in point 1. If you're lucky, the Pokemon you were trying to catch might still be there. 

The same applies to battles. We've lost battles for the same reason, having to wait for the server to connect. You can also try turning off the data connection and back on again, to see if that jolts it back into life. Again, in battles, it's worth turning off AR, because it just slows things down.

7. I keep getting kicked out during Raids

Raids are a great part of the game, taking over Gyms and letting you battle as a team. This can also throw up a problem, when you can't enter the Raid, or you find that you keep getting booted out. This can happen if it's an easy battle and the enemy is defeated before you get in the arena, because your teammates are too good. 

In this instance there's nothing you can do - just wait for the next Pokemon to appear, or ask them to slow down so you can play a part yourself.

8. My Pokemon eggs are not hatching

To hatch a Pokemon egg you have to put them into an incubator and walk. When you've covered the distance needed, that egg will hatch, giving you a new Pokemon. Originally you had to have the app open for this to happen, but in 2018, Pokemon Go introduced Adventure Sync, which could get the information from your phone, rather than from tracking distance covered in the app itself. 

Enabling Andventure Sync means the distance you travel with your phone (when walking) is still registered in the game, so that distance is registered even when you're not playing the game. You can find Adventure Sync in the settings and it's definitely worth turning on.

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9. Pokemon Go is killing my battery

Pokemon Go uses your phone to the max. It wants the screen on, data connected and regular GPS points, as well as the AR view through the camera. If you're walking around for an hour with the screen on, that will kill the battery. It's part of the game, and part of having a smartphone, so it's completely normal. 

You can try reducing the brightness, closing other apps that might be running in the background, or the safest bet, is to get a battery case or external battery to recharge your device so you can keep playing. There is a battery saver mode, however, and that's well worth using.

10. Pokemon Go won't work on my phone

Pokemon Go, like other apps and games, needs specific minimum hardware to work properly. Here are the details of the supported devices:

Pokemon Go iPhone requirements: iOS 12 or later.

Pokemon Go Android requirements: Android 6 or later.

11. Pokemon Go won't open

If the app won't open at all, or you open it and found you've been logged out, that's caused by server issues - like a number of other problems on this list. All you can do is close the app and try again. 

If you're logged out, don't worry, when you sign back in, all your game progress will be there. 

12. Purchased items are not appearing

If you buy something with Coins and that doesn't appear in your inventory, then you might have to try logging out of the app and back in again. If that doesn't work, try restarting your device too.

14. PokeStops appear empty

If you find that PokeStops are empty, this is a classic slow-loading data error. You'll know it's happened, because you'll walk up to a PokeStop and tap on the swirling icon. When it opens, there will be no name and no picture. If you stop and wait, it will slowly load, but you'll also see that spinning loading icon in the top left-hand corner. Eventually the content will appear and you can try to spin it and collect, but often this again takes a long time waiting.

Sometimes, if you encounter this error, the Poke Stop will think you've already collected and you'll have to wait for about 5 minutes before you can spin again.

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Writing by Chris Hall. Originally published on 15 July 2016.