Update also restores tracking, sort of
Pokémon games contain a lot of strange creatures, but few are more bizarre than Ditto. It’s an amorphous pink blob of goo that has the ability to disguise itself as anything it touches. In the handheld games, this ability is provided by the move Transform, which lets Ditto perfectly mimic the opposing Pokémon. There’s a fan theory that all Ditto are failed clones of Mew, the only other Pokémon that can learn Transform.
Starting today, Ditto is now available in Pokémon GO. There’s a bit of a twist though– Ditto don’t look like Ditto when you encounter them. You’ll need to catch other Pokémon and see if they’re actually a Ditto in disguise.
Niantic let us know that if you set a Ditto as a defender at a Gym, Ditto will copy the appearance, types, and moves of the first Pokémon it sees, and it will stay that way through the remainder of those Gym battles. Sounds like a good way to copy a friend’s Snorlax or Dragonite if you’re working as a team.
The new patch also restores the tracking function, though it doesn’t work the same as it did when Pokémon GO launched. Instead of showing what direction a creature is in, the “Nearby” feature now shows what landmark you should walk towards if you hope to encounter a specific Pokémon. Unfortunately, I’ve also noticed it’s much harder to activate Pokéstops while you’re a passenger in a vehicle, and they seem to be locked out if you’re moving more than about ten miles per hour.
It’s unlikely Niantic will ever be able to regain the goodwill it lost after Go‘s launch, but updates are rolling out on a regular basis, and the game is still improving bit by bit. With a double XP event underway, may as well load it up for that post-Thanksgiving walk before coming back for thirds on pie.