Big 'Pokémon Go' Update Weakens Vaporeon & Breaks Tracking Cheats

Pokemon Go

Thanks to being relatively easy to get, and being a freaking beast when battling at Gyms, Vaporeon has largely dominated Pokémon Go. But now, a huge software update this weekend appears to balance -- or as they say in gamer parlance, "nerf" -- the Water type Pokémon's powers, along with several other significant changes to the game. Hold on to your Bulbasaurs, folks.

As explained in a report by Kotaku, Pokémon Go players took to Reddit on Saturday after the game's developer, Niantic Labs, quietly reduced the power of Vaporeon's killer Water Gun attack from 10 to 6 and increased -- or "buffed" -- its Hydro Pump attack by 50%. The change effectively erases much of your Vaporeon's badass edge over other Pokémon in battle, although it looks like its other stats like stamina remain the same. Unfortunate as it may be, the tweak to Vaporeon appears to be just one of many changes to several Pokémon in the game, as detailed in a helpful chart by Archangelus on Reddit.

Worse yet, Kotaku reports that another quiet change under the game's hood appears to have broken Pokémon tracking maps and tools like Pokévision, which basically use the game's raw data to help players pinpoint all the nearby Pokémon real time. The most recent tweet from Pokévision is, well, not very promising:

Just last week, Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke told Forbes that such third-party Pokémon tracking tools would soon cease to work, which really shouldn't come as a surprise considering they likely violate the game's terms of service and are widely regarded as cheating. But seeing as the in-game Pokémon hunting tool is basically useless, you really don't have much help on your quest to catch 'em all.

In addition to the quiet updates to the game's inner workings, the actual software update available for the game via Apple's App Store and Google Play brings several more changes, such as the ability to finally edit your avatar, among others. Here's a brief summary of the changes via the update release notes:

The bottom line: just a few weeks after Pokémon Go first launched, it looks like Niantic is finally making some serious changes to the game, now that it appears to have the server crashing issues under control. And, well, it's safe to say that like Pidgeys and Rattatas, you can expect many, many more.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and was not pleased when he noticed the Vaporeon change. Send news tips to news@thrillist.com and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.