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It's Not Just You: Pokémon GO Update Has Broken Curveball Throws

There's a temporary fix, but it means running the game at far worse quality

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A Charizard breathes fire to melt snow, with a phone playing POGO to its right.
Image: Niantic

If you’re a regular Pokémon GO player, there’s a good chance in recent days that you’ve wondered if something’s wrong with your phone or your fingers. As you spin the Poké ball ready for a curveball, it suddenly pops back to the bottom of the screen right as you attempt to throw. I’m relieved to tell you, it’s not you—it’s a glitch in the updated game.

The good news is there’s a fix, although one that’s not ideal for those who use the native refresh rate option.


Folks on the Pokémon Go-focused Reddit The Silph Road have been reporting the problem, which until now I had thought was a problem with my phone. (My Pixel 6 Pro had a massive crack across the screen, and the responsiveness was getting dubious as a second crack was attempting to join it. So it made sense that the issues were related to that. I sent the phone off for repairs last week, and then on its return at the weekend, I was saddened to discover the issue remained despite a shiny new screen.)

Pokémon GO players use curveballs to improve their catching chances when lobbing Poké balls at wild creatures, and to boost the XP haul gained for grabbing them. Also, when you get familiar with the game, it proves a far more instinctively accurate method to land “Excellent” throws by pinpoint-aiming for the tiniest shrinking circle in front of the pocket monster. They’re achieved by holding your finger on the ball, then swooshing it around in a diagonal ellipse before releasing. This causes the ball to curve in like a bowling ball aiming for pins. Except, since the game’s update to include fancy new biome backdrops, it’s become infuriatingly unreliable.


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This appears to be an issue with “Native Refresh Rate”—an option that promises “smoother and more responsive visuals” for the price of even greater battery drain from an already power-hungry game. Switching it on really does make an enormous improvement, with the jittery animations significantly smoothed out (albeit with something of a Soap Opera Effect) and menus running vastly better. So needing to switch it off again to fix the glitch is a bummer.


To do this, you need to tap the ball bottom center of your screen, choose Settings top right, and then find Advanced Settings in the list of options. In there, under Quality, is a toggle for Native Refresh Rate. Tap that off, and your curveballs should come back to normal (it’s worked so far for me), at the grim loss of the game running without looking like it’s struggling. (I switched it back on for the prettiness, and instantly my curveballs were failing if my finger went anywhere near the bottom of the screen.)

We’ve contacted Niantic to ask if there’s a fix rolling out any time soon, as the refresh rate loss is a tough one to swallow given how big of a difference it makes. But if nothing else, I hope it’s good to know it’s nothing you were doing wrong.