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Why Pokémon Go is Suddenly Harder

"Why the **** are you being so difficult?" I recently mumbled to myself, probably for the fourth or fifth time this week. I'm trying to catch a low-level Bulbasaur in Pokémon Go, and the creature is just refusing to stay in my grasp. I swipe my screen endlessly until the critter runs away, and continue walking down the street, feeling defeated and embarrased that I just threw a public fit over a digital monster.

If this scenario seems familiar to you, you're not alone. Niantic has seemingly upped the difficulty of catching Pokémon in Pokémon Go without giving players a heads up, which is the latest of several poorly-received changes that have come to the popular AR game.

Don't just take my word for it — a quick Twitter search reveals that tons of players have been having a harder time with the game, from everyday users to celebrity trainers such as Chris Hardwick. In addition to difficulties catching Pokémon, some fans are reporting that wild Pokémon are spawning less frequently — which makes a stroll down the street much less eventful for those aiming to catch 'em all.

This apparent stealth-update has created even more backlash during a pretty rough week for Pokémon Go. Late last week, Niantic removed the game's faulty three-step tracking system while also cracking down on third-party tracking sites, which has made it very difficult to track down that specific Dragonite or Snorlax you're after.

MORE: Pokemon Go Guide: 15 Tips to Be the Very Best

Niantic has sort-of addressed the game's many issues in its latest Facebook post. The developer noted that its "working long hours to fix many other bugs and bring some exciting new features to Pokémon Go," but that it's current priority is rolling out the game in more regions. Pokemon Go just debuted in Central and South America, just in time for folks to ignore the Olympic games happening in Rio.

It's certainly been a rough week for those trying to enjoy Pokémon Go, but remember — the game was never flawless. Niantic's AR experience was rife with server issues at the time of launch, and its current growing pains could be due to the fact that this type of game has never quite blown up in popularity like this before. Chris Hardwick summed it up best in his tweet with the hashtag #NotARealProblem. It's just a game, one that most of us are enjoying for free. There's nothing wrong with taking a little break from it until Niantic works out the kinks.

  • turkey3_scratch
    I think I've experienced some more difficulty, but then again I feel I am finding higher level Pokemon since I've gotten to a higher level. Maybe that is why it is more difficult.