Phantom Vibrations for Pokemon GO Trainers using iPhones – Troubleshooting

Some Pokemon GO players using iPhones have reported experiencing random phantom vibrations from their devices after updating to version 281.0. This appears to be a bug introduced in the latest update by Niantic.


Players have reported vibrations occurring when the Pokemon GO app is running in the background but not actively open. The vibrations seem to be tied to notifications within the app or Pokemon appearing on the map. Frustratingly, the vibrations persist even when the player’s phone is locked and the app has been force closed fully.

Potential Causes

The leading theories on what’s causing the false vibrations point to Pokemon GO staying active in memory when it is closed out. Rather than fully shutting down, it seems to continue running background processes. Features like Adventure Sync or other notifications dependent on constant background refresh may be triggering the phantom vibrations.

Temporary Solutions

Until Niantic releases an official fix, players have found a few workarounds:

  • Turn off Adventure Sync in the app settings. This stops it from pulling fitness data in the background.
  • Disable Background App Refresh for Pokemon GO in your iPhone settings. This prevents unnecessary background refreshing.
  • Force close the app fully when you are not actively using it. This may fully clear it from memory.

Official Status

Niantic has acknowledged the phantom vibration issue on their Pokemon GO Known Issues support page. They have marked it as “Investigating” so a permanent fix should be coming in a future app update.

Redditor Concerns

The phantom vibration issue has been heavily discussed on the PokemonGO subreddit, with players airing grievances:

  • Annoyance over the constant random vibrations distracting them throughout the day.
  • Concern about potential battery drain from Pokemon GO running uncontrolled background processes.
  • Worry about the app accessing the phone’s haptic feedback without clear user permission.
  • Confirming the workaround fixes like disabling Adventure Sync seem to resolve the issue.
  • Apprehension about the next forced app update potentially reintroducing the vibration bug.
  • Eagerness for Niantic to hurry up and release a permanent bug fix update.

Phantom Vibrations for Pokemon GO

Turn off Adventure Sync and Background App Refresh as temporary workarounds until Niantic resolves the phantom vibration bug introduced in version 281.0. Check the Pokemon GO Known Issues page for any updates on an official fix being released.

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