Pokemon GO: The Biggest Debunked Myths & Rumors We Know So Far

On iOS & Android: See what secrets, rumors, and myths have (and haven’t) been debunked surrounding the massively popular F2P app Pokemon GO.


Schoolyard hearsay is back in a big way thanks to Pokemon GO. The insanely popular app has spawned an endless stream of myths and rumors thanks to its unusual design. The game is getting people outside, and many of its features are pretty mysterious.

At least, they were before fans worked hard to mine Pokemon GO for data on all of its secretive systems. Now we (mostly) know Pokemon truth from Pokemon fiction. There are plenty of rumors still circulating, so we’re here to reveal the truth. Some of these myths might be totally un-true, but they’re all couched in fact. See why these tidbits and tricks are false, then learn the truth behind the rumor with the list below.

Explore the wild world of Pokemon GO news on our anthology with articles and info from all over the internet.

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All the Debunked Myths & Rumors We Know So Far

Dive into the weird world of Pokemon GO with the entries below where we investigate the myths and reveal the truth (if any) in these internet-born rumors.

[More coming soon. There are other myths out there in the wild, but we haven’t totally confirmed or denied those yet. Check back soon for more!]

#1: Eeveelution And You

The Myth: Eevee is one of those unique Pokemon that can take multiple different forms depending on which Evolution stone you give it. That’s how it works in the main series, but Pokemon GO (currently) doesn’t feature anything like Evolution Stones. Pokemon GO does have multiple move sets and unique spawn locations for Pokemon — maybe that’s part of the solution to the Eeveelution conundrum?

The trouble with Eevee wasn’t that evolutions were impossible. Tests figured out early on that Eevee evolved into Jolteon, Vaporeon, or Flareon at an equal rate; 33.33333% — but how to get the Eeveelutions we want every single time? The truth turned out stranger than fiction.


The Truth: By some strange miracle, fans discovered an even weirder method for earning exact Eeveelutions. And it involves, of all things, a reference to the Pokemon animated show. By renaming your Eevee to match the name of one of three animated trainers; Rainer, Sparky, or Pyro — you can guarantee an Eeveelution into Vaporeon, Jolteon, or Flareon respectively. This (reportedly) only works if you don’t have duplicates of the same type. We covered this awesome Easter egg in more detail right here. Not every myth turns out to be false, and this is one of the coolest Pokemon GO tidbits revealed so far.

#2: Shiny Pokemon Are(n’t) Back, Baby

The Myth: Shiny Pokemon are kind of a big deal. Like foil cards in Pokemon’s TCG, wouldn’t it be cool to find Pokemon that are even more rare than the mythic Generation 1 legendaries? Shiny Pokemon have existed for awhile in the main series, and the term was officially adopted in Pokemon Generation IV.

Shiny Pokemon appearances are all about luck, so no one is claiming to know how (or where) to find these colorful, unique Pokemon specimens. Instead, our only proof comes in the form of grainy images and low-quality Youtube videos. Here are just a few examples.

The Truth: Simply put, Pokemon GO does not feature Shiny Pokemon. Rummaging through the code and data mining in beta revealed as much, but some fans held out hope that things would be different for the full release. That doesn’t seem to be the case, but we can still hold out hope that Shiny Pokemon will get their time in the spotlight when future update come rolling down the pipe.

#3: Nearby Green Pulse Means GO

The Myth: Everyone wants to know how to track Pokemon. That’s the whole point of Pokemon GO, but when a Pokemon is “three steps” away, they’re not so easy to find in the wild. While wandering the GPS map screen, fans began to notice something interesting — by tapping the nearby ‘compass’ on the top right and watching a mysterious green pulse, Pokemon GO fans suddenly believed they’d unlocked the secret to tracking Pokemon — a Compass RADAR.

Here’s how the theory goes; select the Pokemon you’re tracking on the map screen, open the compass, then slowly spin in a circle. Watch for the green pulses — those pulses supposedly signal the player that the Pokemon they’re after is found in that direction.


The truth is decidedly less exciting. Reported on Forbes, which also spread more false rumors about tracking, this myth has been thoroughly busted.

The Truth: That green pulse on the compass? That’s a server update signal. A white spinning Pokeball on your screen signifies a server connection, and the green pulse follows every single time the Pokeball disappears.

That means that the Pokemon you’re tracking has moved — the server has updated the status of the Pokemon and its GPS location. Basically, spinning around in circles and watching the pulse has no correlation to Pokemon location.

#4: Hatching Eggs – The Easy Way

The Myth: Placing Pokemon Eggs in the Incubator is a good way to get Pokemon you might not have available in your neck of the woods. To hatch an egg currently incubating, you’ll have to deal with some daunting walks — each egg displays a kilometer requirement. If you ever want to see these eggs hatch, you’ll have to walk those kilometers. Some Pokemon eggs have pretty high KM requirements. How to solve the problem?

By strapping your smartphone onto anything that moves. Players stuck Pokemon GO onto fan blades, record players, or train sets. At lower speeds, players have tried playing fetch with their dogs for the extra KM, strapping their phone onto drones, or running on treadmills.

Then there are the high-speed options. Keeping Pokemon GO running in your car, on a train, or in a bus. There’s a wide variety of tricks, and some even work.


[Image Source: Dogtimes.com]

The Truth: Luckily enough, many of these tricks actually work — especially any that get your phone moving. Placing a smartphone on your dog, on a remote-controlled drone, or on a model train set seem to be the best solutions. Other strategies, like using a treadmill or an old record player work too… if you don’t mind a very slow pace.

What won’t work? Riding in a car, train, or airplane is too fast for the GPS to track. You won’t make any progress at that speed. It seems like Pokemon GO can only handle a runner’s pace. Any faster and all those steps won’t count. And using a treadmill clearly isn’t worth the tiny distance counted in-game.

While not technically used for hatching eggs, some players are hacking their GPS to appear in different places around the globe in search for rare or unavailable Pokemon. Beware, Niantic is catching on and banning anyone caught, making it impossible to catch Pokemon.

#5: Bat Pitch – Recovering Pokeballs

The Myth: Here’s a simple one. When facing off against a wild Pokemon, your finger slips while throwing a fresh Pokeball. The ball bounces left or right and disappears — gone forever. The only option is to grab another Pokeball from your inventory and try another fling.

Or is there another solution? If you’re fast enough, some Pokemon GO fanatics say you can recover that whiffed Pokeball. Just tap it before it disappears and that ball is back in your inventory, ready to go.


The Truth: Not so fast. This strategy appears to be a wholesale myth. It doesn’t work. Not even a little bit. If it ever did work, the common thinking is that players were experiencing server hiccups — because tapping at a wanton ball will not return it to your inventory. Ever. Put this myth under the ‘False’ category.

#6: Google Maps Solve All Your Problems

The Myth: Lots of people experienced server issues and slowdown when Pokemon Go was still slowly rolling out. Just released in North America, fans scrambled for solutions to the constant load time. Not only that, but Pokemon GO drains battery — players found a solution. Download Google Maps of your local area onto your phone.

Having the data readily available was said to be useful for three reasons; it speeds up loading, reduces battery consumption, and use less data. So — what does downloading your local Google Map actually do?


[Image Source: Snopes.com]

The Truth: Claims that keeping Google Maps pre-loaded on your phone will help loading or performance are completely false. Testing Pokemon Go with Google Maps properly downloaded doesn’t seem to help speed anything up, but there are some benefits. First of all, while it hasn’t been thoroughly tested, it does appear to be one way to limit your data usage.

Not that Pokemon GO uses lots of data. Basically, there’s no reason NOT to download your local Google Map data. It won’t hurt, we promise, and it might cut a tiny fraction of data usage off Pokemon GO.

There are plenty more Pokemon GO myths out there, but we don’t have a definitive answer on all of them. Check back here as we discover more all about the many mysteries of Pokemon GO, and drop us a comment if you think we’ve totally messed up somewhere. Now go out there and catch more Pokemon, trainer!