Categories: News

New in Pokémon GO 0.161.2: Platypus rising

A new Pokémon GO update is rolling out, version number 0.161.2, and data miners are having a field day cracking through the APK. Although the version bump is minor (0.161.1 > 0.161.2), there are some interesting tidbits in the APK. Let’s dive in!

🚨 Disclaimer 🚨

Please be aware that everything posted here has been publicly reported by data miners. Information shared through these channels is not affiliated nor approved by Niantic, and is always subject to change. Do not take it for granted, features change and get scrapped all the time. It is very important that you are aware that these things CAN and WILL CHANGE.


What’s new? Here’s a summary of discoveries, plus bugs that were fixed in this release:

  • Switch button no longer disappears when a Pokémon faints in Trainer Battles.
  • Switching during charge moves should be fixed in 0.161.2, but it can be blocked by actions that are already queued for execution.
  • Unity location service is now used in conjunction with Niantic’s existing location provider
  • ARDK framework is being updated in preparation for the upcoming Buddy 2.0 feature, code-named Platypus
  • Platypus (aka Buddy v2) seems to be using a new peer-to-peer networking service called Wallaby. So many animal references! We don’t know much about Wallaby, but it does exist.
  • Niantic is starting to using their own Monodepth framework for Platypus. Monodepth is a framework that provides “monocular depth estimation from a single image”. For those of us that understand images better than sentences, this is how it works (image from Monodepth2 Github repository):
Monnodepth framework in action

Location Service

Pokemon GO usually relies on Niantic’s Fused GPS provider and their own location service to detect player location. It seems that they’re switching (or combining) the one built in Unity Engine to enhance location precision. The service tracks player latitude, longitude and altitude.


The new Location Service could boost location accuracy and enable advanced AR features that require high precision.


ARDK toolkit is used to render various AR elements, place anchors, estimate world and light alignment. Niantic has heavily updated the AR toolkit in 0.161.2, and the changes constitute the majority of changes introduced in this update.


Removed unreleased shadow forms

A massive amount of shadow forms has been removed from the APK. We won’t be sharing the entire list, as it’s really… massive. You can find the list on this Pastebin link.


It looks like Platypus is the code name for a set of upcoming Buddy Pokemon features that rely heavily on AR.

As mentioned above, Platypus seems to work on top of a new peer to peer service called Wallaby. We’re quite curious to see how BuddyV2 is going to work, but also curious to see how the peer to peer networking will be implemented.

Platypus will most likely be rolled out in stages, as the new APK code literally says that:


Parting words

0.161.2 is not a game changing update, but we’re more than happy to see Niantic pushing their technical expertise forward. As a leader in AR space, we expect a lot from Platypus / BuddyV2, and we think this is not the last update to come in this space. Stay tuned for updates!


Antonio started the Hub in July 2016 and hasn't had much sleep since. Software developer. Discord username: Zeroghan. 28 years old.

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