Pokemon GO players have noticed PokéStops disappearing
One of the few things that have remained consistent since Pokemon GO launched in 2016 is the inclusion of PokéStops, which would encourage players to walk around their area to find points of interest which would reward them with items.
Some players have recently noticed that PokéStops they have set up in their local area have been disappearing from the map.
A Pokemon GO player has noticed most of his PokéStops have vanished
Reddit user u/Lechonkje took to the Pokemon GO subreddit on 9 November to share that they had noticed a lot of their local PokéStops had disappeared.
They said: “So I lived in a rural place and worked hard to get to level 37, when I did get that level, other players and I started creating PokéStops around to make this less rural. However, in recent events PokéStops have been disappearing rapidly and it hurts to see something you’ve worked on for over a year dissolve in front of your eyes.”
Lechonkje included pictures with circled areas showing where PokéStops used to be, and asked players if they had any information about why this was happening.
The player claims that over 10 PokéStops have been removed recently, suggesting that this is more than just a few stops being randomly removed.
Players have been theorising as to why the PokéStops are disappearing
While Niantic has not come out and said that they will be removing stops, some players have been theorising on why this may be happening.
One player commented: “There’s been an overhaul of stops and the guidelines in the past few months, including appeals. I’ve gotten some old rejected stops approved and some old ones have disappeared like what you’ve seen here. Some shouldn’t have been stops to start with, but it still sucks to see them go.”
Given the huge number of PokéStops Lechonkje and their friends seem to have put up around their area, there is a good chance that many of them are not actual points of interest.
This could mean that Niantic have just removed them because they shouldn’t have been PokéStops in the first place.
Other players corroborated this theory, saying : “Honestly those first few pics look like a VERY high stop density for a rural area.
“I live in the suburbs and only have six stops visible on the entire map, I mean like all the way to the horizon.”
Another commenter suggested that due to the player being based in Belgium, the disappearing stops could be attached to a wider issue regarding botting.
They said: “A few months back, someone released a bunch of bots onto Wayfarer that approved many submissions rapidly, without filtering out bad submissions.
“Botting in itself is against what Niantic wants, so after getting rid of the bots, players and Niantic started working together to get rid of the unlawfully accepted stops/entries in Wayfarer.
“Maybe some players went overboard and reported stops that had been there a long time, but aren't valid anymore, and they got swept away in the same process.”
There has been no official reason for Niantic removing PokéStops, however if they are cracking down on what can qualify as a stop then players may be seeing more changes to their Pokemon GO maps in the near future.