The AR Mapping Task Issue

Pokemon GO Spiritomb
Pokemon GO Spiritomb

With the introduction of AR mapping quests, a lot of people found that they were quite abundant! Not many people are particularly interested in doing them, and we know popular Pokémon GO YouTuber trainertips has reached out to Niantic to clarify why they want us to do AR mapping, and what they intend to use that information for before he is happy to encourage his audience to partake in it.

But with the newest update during the Halloween event, another big issue has arisen with the AR mapping tasks, and that is what we are here to talk about today.đ

The prelude

Halloween brings with it time-limited Pokémon Yamask and Spiritomb, and for the first time ever, we had the opportunity to catch multiple Spiritombs thanks to research tasks given out from Pokéstops.

Many of us shiny hunters were incredibly eager to hunt out these tasks because with only a short period of time to get these Pokémon, and the shiny for Spiritomb released for the first time, time was of the essence!

Partway through the Halloween event, the new update 0.191.0 dropped that brought with it many brilliant quality of life updates (you can read all the details for the update here).

Along with all the QOL updates, it also brought with it an increase in AR mapping tasks, as well as new and better rewards for those tasks, including Pokémon encounters and Poffin berries. However, it also brought with it a new issue that was picked up upon within a day or so that made the hunt for Spiritomb and Yamask even harder.

Image of a Research Reward box in grass

The problem

It became clear over time that what task you got from spinning a Pokéstop depended on whether or not you had an AR mapping task already in your task tab.

Many trainers will keep hold of an AR mapping task so that they don’t continue to get them from spinning other stops when they have no intention of doing AR mapping just yet.

Having one in your task list means you won’t pick up another one. But the problem was and still is, that the AR mapping tasks seem to be affecting the research tasks you are given. If you spin a stop without an AR mapping task, you may be given an entirely different research task from someone who spins the stop with an AR mapping task in their task tab!

While the AR mapping tasks stop you from picking up other AR mapping tasks, they also seem to change the task you can get from a Pokéstop, even if the task the stop was originally going to give you wasn’t an AR mapping task.

I tested this one night and found that without an AR mapping task, all the Pokéstops local to me were giving out either AR mapping tasks, Stardust rewards, or Berry reward tasks. However, with an AR mapping task in my task tab, I suddenly got 3 Spiritomb tasks! This meant I had to spin each stop twice to check if it was actually a Spiritomb quest or not, once with an AR mapping task, and once without.

It was incredibly frustrating and I am sure a lot of people missed out on their chance for more Spiritomb encounters because of this problem. One stop initially gave me a stardust reward for great throws, but on the second spin with the AR mapping task, I suddenly got the “Catch 18 Ghost type” quest. If I had completed the stardust reward quest I would have missed out on the Spiritomb quest!

Our thoughts

We completely understand that many people don’t want to spend the time doing AR mapping or are concerned about what the data is being used for. We also think that AR mapping tasks should not change the potential tasks that a Pokéstop can have.

AR mapping quest stops have a ‘real’ research task underneath their AR mapping task if you keep hold of the AR mapping task and spin again when it refreshes, but now it seems they are impacting on all research tasks, making finding those rarer tasks even more difficult.

It does give you the chance to technically check more different tasks, but having to wait for the stops to refresh and check them with and without an AR mapping task is a lot of work!

You also end up having to make judgment calls on whether or not you think a research task is potentially going to be better on the second spin or not, because sometimes a Pokémon reward quest that you are less interested in, like “Catch 10 Pokémon for a Magikarp”, suddenly becomes a 2 Pinap berry reward, and I know which quest I would rather do.

It also makes it harder for local communities to report tasks in Discord servers because you have to take into consideration what other tasks you have.

Along with this issue, there have also been a lot of reports of Pokéstops giving out AR mapping tasks for a different Pokéstop. I spun one that gave me an AR mapping task for a different Pokéstop that was across a busy main road and around the corner, that got sent to the trash for sure.

Have you noticed this issue in your local community? Let us know in the comments!