The iPhone X may be the latest and greatest device from Apple, with its pretty, button-less screen and its newfound speed and power. But for Pokémon GO players, the phone is something of a headache.
Because of the new screen, Niantic has changed the way the game zooms in on Pokémon as they appear in the wild, as demonstrated by the comparison by redditor Marvel227 seen above. That’s the iPhone X on the left.
What’s the problem? The circle is actually bigger, right? Yes, but if you play the game, you might be able to spot the issue.
The problem is that by zooming in on the Pokémon like this, players have no way to loop around the side of the catchable area to create accurate curveballs that are the key to increasing your catch rate, particularly among legendaries where flawless throws are almost mandatory to get them.
This has been problematic for many Pokémon, but recently players have lamented the fact that Kyogre, which is situated relatively far back, has been incredibly hard to catch on an iPhone X due to the screen layout issues. You can turn on AR mode which allows you to change this up a bit, but any player knows that AR mode is still a way, way worse way to reliably catch Pokémon and hit good throws than it is to just leave it off.
So really, there’s no good fix for this currently, and iPhone X players are seeing their legendary catch rates drop dramatically because of how important the ability to perfectly throw balls is to capturing them. Compounded with how rare it is to even get a chance to catch a Legendary, as setting up a successful raid is its own process, and it’s quite the frustrating issue.
Interestingly, I’ve found that Pokémon GO is not the only mobile game affected by the iPhone X’s new screen and interface changes. While I haven’t played every game out there to know what else might be problematic, the other title I play the most, Marvel’s Contest of Champions, is also a pain to play with the iPhone X. That game is a fighting title between Marvel heroes and villains, where you fight using taps and swipes to hit, block and dodge. But swiping to dodge activates a lot of the iPhone X’s new interface features now that it lacks a home button, and everything is communicated through different kinds of swipes. I’ve seen players annoyed that they lose fights because during a match a swipe will totally screw up the game as it activates one feature or another.
I’m not sure what the fix is. I doubt Apple really cares about whether or not it’s screwing up various features in different games, so it’s probably going to be on the developer to figure out workarounds for this. But for some games, it really is a pressing issue, as Apple’s design innovations have just made some games flat-out worse.