Dear Niantic, AR is Broken, Again!

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Hey Niantic, it’s the AR Community here. We want to talk!

I recently got a tweet from a fellow AR photographer on twitter who mentioned that they were having issues with AR when the Pokémon they were photographing wasn’t their Buddy. Now, this isn’t the first issue AR mode has had in recent years, and in fact, we reported the first major issues with AR back in June 2021, which have still not been fixed. But this new bug is even worse, as it isn’t a problem with animations being limited, but instead completely absent!

At present, if you are not using Buddy Mode, and are using Niantic AR, the attack and idle animations for your Pokémon are no longer working. Your Pokémon will walk out to the spot you pick, but will then simply stand there, no matter what you do. It makes them a lot less fun to photograph, with a lot less options for concepts and motion.

Buddy Mode seems to be working correctly at present, but there are reasons it is easier to use Niantic AR/GO Snapshot modes over Buddy Mode. For starters, you can only swap out your Buddy 20 times per day, so if you are an avid AR photographer who has gone on an adventure in order to take photos, you have to be very careful with your choices of Pokémon because they are limited. The other issue with Buddy Mode is that your Pokémon will always turn their head to look at you, which isn’t always ideal for taking photos that feel natural, or like you are photographing wild Pokémon.

For example, ideally when photographing Clodsire here I wanted them to stay looking in the direction I placed them, while I photographed them from the side. However because I only had Buddy Mode as an animated option, they looked up at me wherever I moved.

Using the standard AR (without the footprints, where the Pokémon just stays fixed in the middle of the photograph), does have functioning animation, but it is arguably the worst option for taking AR photographs. It is really limited due to the fixed positioning, making it much trickier to take creative photos with.

If you want to have access to any animations, you can’t take a photo like the one above, because Galarian Rapidash would look to the camera in Buddy Mode, limiting your options.

At present Niantic haven’t acknowledged the AR issue, and given that it’s been almost three years since the problem with Buddy Mode started with no fix or acknowledgement, the AR community doesn’t hold out much hope for a fix here either! We know that we are one of the smallest communities in GO, but with AR being such a key part of Niantic’s vision for GO, it seems odd that it is so neglected and forgotten about.

We’ve already lost Shared AR in recent months, so Niantic please, at least let us know you hear us and are aware of this error!

Author & tags

Turtwig obsessive, real life Psyduck, Pokémon GO AR Photographer, found footage horror fan and Pokémon GO Hub AR Queen

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