Pokemon GO has experienced its share of problems that have made it unplayable in the past, but some gamers in the U.S. could potentially experience GPS outages that prevent playing the game normally at any time through mid-February. The United States Air Force will be performing its yearly Red Flag combat training exercise on a larger scale than usual, which could temporarily disable the GPS Pokemon GO relies upon to function.
Some U.S.-based cellphone users may experience spotty or entirely unusable GPS at any time from now through February 16th. The Air Force will be disabling GPS to see how pilots react to its tests without access to advanced guidance technology. While the operations will be centered around Nevada, GPS may be shut off at any given point in time for Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming, as well.
Since GPS is used to determine the player’s location and to show nearby Pokemon Gyms, PokeStops, and catchable Pokemon, players may not be able to use the majority of Pokemon GO‘s functionality during an outage. However, even gamers without access to GPS should still be able to view their collections, level up Pokemon, and buy items, as these functions don’t require a location to work.
Unfortunately for Pokemon GO players, there’s nothing Niantic or cellphone service providers can do to avoid this problem from occurring. While Niantic previously improved GPS tracking in Pokemon GO, it’s not responsible for the service itself. GPS is a government service that mobile phones can access, but it’s at the government’s discretion to disable the service whenever it sees fit. Thankfully, the next Pokemon GO Community Day falls outside the window for service outages, so barring any extensions of operations, it should be unaffected.
It’s unlikely that any players will experience a continuous outage through February 16th, as the U.S. Air Force will most likely restore GPS service outside of its operations for the day. If players notice that Pokemon GO can’t find their location over the next few weeks, they will have to keep checking back to see if GPS service is back up. In any case, players may want to hold off on using Incense or berries to improve catch rates in case service drops out while the item is in use.
Pokemon GO is available now for Android and iOS devices.
Source: The Drive