Tracking Pokèmon in Pokèmon Go was a very buggy feature when the game first launched because the game servers were usually always under immense load and tracking wasn’t very reliable. Niantic responded to the many players complaints directed towards this feature by removing. They instead added a ‘Sightings’ feature to compensate for it and rolled out an experimental ‘Nearby’ feature to select users. The Nearby tracking feature in Pokèmon Go is an improved version of the original tracking feature and it has now been made available to players in other regions. Here’s how it works.
Open Pokèmon Go and tap the Sightings bar at the bottom right. If the nearby tracking feature has been enabled, you will see a new ‘Nearby’ section added at the top of the ‘Sightings’ section.
You might see several Pokèmon nearby or you might not see any. They have been spawning at Pokèstops quite regularly so check near one.
Tap the Pokèmon you want to track in the nearby section. It will indicate how close it is via paw prints; three paw prints mean the Pokèmon is pretty far away while one paw print means it is close. Tap the paw prints and the game will lead you right to it.
You will not need to upgrade the app in order to see this feature. It was blocked/removed by a server side action by Niantic. Your app has long had this feature but Niantic kept it hidden/disabled while they ironed the bugs out.
This new system is exceptionally accurate; if you see a Pokèmon appear nearby, there is a high chance that you will be able to find and capture it, provided it doesn’t despawn. The Pokèmon that appear in the Nearby section are also visible to other players. If another player finds the Pokèmon you are tracking, and catches it then it is your loss.