During preparation for the games, a tracking device is injected into participants.

During the games Katniss seems to assume she is fully tracked at all times, and on video at all times. Yet on returning to her home district, she seems to assume that sneaking off to obscure place gives her the freedom to talk.

Thus, what limits and capabilities do the injected trackers have?

  • 4
    Correct me if I'm wrong , but wasn't the tracker removed after each hunger games, because at the quarter quell Katniss has another tracker placed within her. If this is so then yes her sneaking off would give her privacy to talk etc. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 9:08
  • @MafaldaHopkirk I don't think it actually stated anywhere that the tracker gets removed. It's just implied by the fact that she gets a new one. Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 3:07

3 Answers 3


From the first book (emphasis mine):

the needle inserts the metal tracking device deep under the skin on the inside of my forearm. Now the Gamemakers will always be able to trace my whereabouts in the arena. Wouldn't want to lose a tribute.
-- The Hunger Games

So presumably the tracking device is designed to have a maximum range at least the size of the arena. It's probably actually much larger than that, since the whole point of Johanna Mason cutting the tracker out of Katniss in Catching Fire was so that the Gamemakers wouldn't be able to track her after she was rescued, i.e. outside the arena.

  • Plus the signal has to penetrate several layers of infrastructure. Unencumbered the range could be even greater. Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 1:37

They work as long as you are in the Arena, since this Arena was man-made, right from the trees to the clouds to the lightning etc. Watch Catching Fire if you are not convinced. Under this Arena, the tracker acts a tracking dot due to the infinite number of cameras and sensors fitted on various tress and rocks; and the entire jungle wired for the sole purpose to rig the Games or "cause" calamities to keep the Games exciting. This can only happen if the player is traceable. But once out of the Arena, without the sensors, the tracking dot is a waste.

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    That makes sense, but do you have any citations that can verify your answer? Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 9:13
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    In Catching Fire, Johanna Mason specifically cuts the tracker out of Katniss shortly before the escape. If the trackers didn't work outside of the arena, they wouldn't have had to remove the tracker.
    – phantom42
    Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 11:46
  • Well on top of my head I would say one of the moderators would have found out that she was trying to blow up the force feild, as you might have seen in the movie the player's physical representation is also displayed in real time. So her actions could have been spotted and they could have unleashed the death fog or carnivorous monkey on her to prevent her. Johanna Mason knew the Doctor had failed and it was upto Katniss to blow up the force feild as Johanna knew the plan. This was Plan B. Commented Nov 17, 2014 at 11:53

There are 2 instances when the tracker is used, in the first games katniss is given a tracker, and that tracker is able to find her anywhere in the games (what becomes of this tracker is unknown). the second instance is in the 2nd games where katniss again is given a tracker before the games. We know that they were worried about the tracker in the second book, so all of the "rescued" tributes have their trackers removed. This leans towards the trackers ability to have a range longer then the arena, however it also could simply be that they didnt want them to actually know where katniss was in the arena and see her getting rescued. Onto the first tracker, it may have been removed at the end of the first games(as leaving foreign objects in the body is generally a bad idea) if not, it could have also been right next to the new tracker from the second book and both could have been removed at once. a third option is that the tracker has a limited battery life, and that by the second games the battery failed.

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