Pokemon GO: How To Bypass 3 Steps Glitch For Nearby Pokemon

Pokemon GO users are currently facing an annoying glitch which results in some of the nearby Pokemon showing three steps for them, even if the player is fairly close to locating them on the world map.

While the developer Niantic Labs hasn’t really fixed the issue, there is a trick to bypass the 3 steps glitch until it is officially patched by the developer.

To utilize this trick, you will need to close the Pokemon GO app if your nearby Pokemon still show as 3 steps behind, and open it up again when you are sure to have moved near them. You can follow the handy diagram below to determine the location of each Pokemon that shows up as nearby on the world map.


Forcing the app to close and reopen can often refresh the data gained for each Pokemon resulting in the paw prints data updating on the next boot of the application. If you are stuck with a loading screen that freezes instead, then you can refer to this guide here.

Pokemon GO developer Niantic Labs can hopefully resolve this annoying glitch in a future update. They appear to be quite busy handling the server issues as evident from their latest update, and are releasing the app in more countries worldwide.

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Pokemon GO is available now for the iOS and Android. It was developed by Niantic Labs and published by Nintendo.

Khurram Imtiaz

Editor-in-Chief at GearNuke. I am a hardcore Final Fantasy fan and lover of JRPGs. When I am not posting news, I can be seen sharing my thoughts over at Twitter.

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  • Natasha Katsman Schulte

    Do you by any chance know any other tips to fix this? This one does not work. Thank you

  • ahdok

    This fix doesn’t fix anything. I live right on top of a pokemon spawn, and refreshing my app doesn’t change the tracking at all. Wherever this story originated, all the news websites are just copy-pasting it without actually bothering to check if it works – and the majority of the article is some old instructions on using a feature that doesn’t work.

    Clickbait title, lazy journalism.

  • Jason Smith

    This doesn’t work I have a spawn on my street within range of my house open the app it says range is 3 with a pokemon actively spawned on that location on the world map if that fix worked shouldn’t I have 0 paws when it loads?

  • craig bell

    so there is still hope, the white tracker icon will start blinking blue when you are walking toward the desired pokemon, ive used that and it works like a charm!

    • Aizei

      The list blinks when the order of the Pokemon change, some despawn or new ones spawn it has almost nothing to do with you getting closer or further away. It basically just says ” this list has updated because of one of 12 reasons”

  • truthbetold

    How can they possibly be preoccupied with releasing this in more countries in its present condition? Why do they continue to push limits like this? Fix what you have, then worry about releasing it elsewhere, before MORE problems occur. This is insane.

  • moe knox

    Yea this sucks hope they fix it so i can get back to catching pokemon

  • Watch_it

    No see the problem is that they always show 3 paw prints, it doesn’t go down. how can your diagram help me if you need the paw prints to go down for it to work?

  • Miranda Prince

    Yeah, this tip is just not helpful. I have closed and restarted the app many, many times over the weekend (the three-step glitch started on Friday, for me). It didn’t help at all. I even uninstalled and reinstalled the app. No help.

  • Burstaholic

    This is useless. The tracker is completely broken right now and nothing will ‘bypass’ that. All Pokemon are reported as 200 meters from you no matter where they are, which means you have no useful information.

  • ken

    Your bypass steps are the actual steps taken when the nearby tracking actually works. The problem for most of us, since you seem to be the exception is that all pokemon on the nearby tab shows all of them with 3 paws even when close to them and it does not change after a force close and reopen.

  • Kyle Bowers

    fuck this game until they can fix it indefinitely… this isn’t worth my time right now. i lost a nidoqueen to this shit today.

    • Shermdawg

      I keep seeing Pokemon I’ve been looking for in my nearby box, such as Scythers, Ghastlys, and Ponytas. But because of the glitch, it’s damn near impossible to track them down! I can even manage to get them to the first Pokemon in the Nearby tab, just can’t get them to pop up for me to actually catch.

    • Cory

      I lost a Dragonite. Huge bummer. Not gonna quit playing, but it’s very very frustrating.

    • Cory

      I lost a Dragonite. Huge bummer. Not gonna quit playing, but it’s very very frustrating.

  • Nether Finlarg

    The steps thing was working beautifully a few days ago, we were able to track a whole bunch very accurately. Then this past weekend, everything’s stuck at 3 steps, and it is now just a matter of walking around and getting lucky. Logging out and back in again is not an acceptable option considering how hard it can be to log back in.

    • Aizei

      I think the current way to track Pokemon just doesn’t work at all when you factor in that Pokemon can de–spawn after just 5 minutes. Even a hint of a direction would be helpful. Instead I could see a pikachu, found what direction it was in, got the range to 1 step only to find. A fence in my way, the nearest way around this fence was a 5 min walk down the road – pikachu completely out of range, despawned and gone and leaving me feeling like id just wasted my time

      • WTF

        Had 2 charmanders on the nearby tab 1 despawned after 10 min of looking for it and the second one just got stuck on 3 steps and now i got it forever gg

  • Dondaddachris

    “To utilize this trick, you will need to close the Pokemon GO app if your nearby Pokemon still show as 3 steps behind, and open it up again when you are sure to have moved near them.”

    This makes absolutely no sense. How am I supposed to be sure if I’ve moved near them if the entire point of the glitch is that I can’t know if I’m nearby because it’s always 3 paw prints. The pokemon also jump out of order in the nearby box randomly and isn’t an accurate portrayal of what’s closest. It’s not just the paw prints. Your post is basically saying walk around randomly opening and closing the app hoping you are nearby a pokemon (you can’t tell remember?) and that upon one of those refreshes, the paw prints will be accurate. Not useful at all

    • It means that you need to reset the app if the three steps don’t change even after you move a certain distance.

      • Dondaddachris

        It hasn’t been changing for four days no matter the distance. Don’t you think in that time frame, resetting after going a distance was literally the first remedy everyone, including myself, tried?

      • Dominic

        I don’t get it, the 3 steps glitch means you always only see three “paw prints”. So I’m not sure how this guide makes any sense.

      • Kevin Pierce

        And you don’t know that’s the issue until you’ve walked your ass around a bunch