Pokémon GO is out in the UK now! Here's our complete guide to Pokémon GO: how to get Pokémon GO in the UK, plus how to play Pokémon GO, Pokémon GO trailer and Pokémon GO gameplay. We also explain what is the Pokémon GO Plus. You can jump straight to how to play Pokémon GO and Pokémon GO first impressions.
Top tip: If you are going to be playing Pokémon GO you are probably going to need a power bank - it is a battery killer even when you turn on the Battery Saver in the Settings. We highly recommend the Anker PowerCore 10,000 or Zendure A2 - pocketable, high-capacity power banks that charge your phone fast and are also pretty tough. If you're taking out young kids who have tablets but not phones, it's also worth considering Mi-Fi (mobile Wi-Fi routers).
Last updated to include information on a new Pokemon app, along with the news that the Pokemon GO Plus accessory release date has been pushed back
Pokémon GO is out in the UK now!
Pokémon GO is now available in the UK via the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. If for whatever reason you cannot access it here, click here for advice on how to get Pokémon GO in the UK now.
If you have already downloaded and installed the Pokémon GO APK file, you should find the official app in the App Store or Google Play and click Update. This will ensure you automatically receive later updates.
Six interesting things have happened since Pokémon Go launched:
• Nintendo's value has more than doubled to over $42bn making it more valuable than Sony.
• Such is the popularity of Pokémon Go, people are buying and selling high level accounts for hundreds of pounds.
• Hacking group OurMine has claimed responsibility of taking servers down, but we (and Niantic) are not sure it has been anything other than the sheer demand from millions of users. Another hacker group, PoodleCorp, has threatened to take down Pokémon Go on 1 August.
• The Pokémon Go panel at San Diego Comic Con gave us more insight into what to expect from the future of Pokemon GO.
• You can now use crowdsourced Pokémon Go maps to find out where to catch the Pokémon you want - see more.
• Somebody has already caught all available Pokemon (142 of 150) in game - see the screenshot below for proof.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO - Pokémon GO release date: When is Pokémon GO coming out?
Pokémon GO initial release date: 6 July 2016
Pokémon GO UK release date: 13 July 2016 Android, 14 July 2016 iOS
Pokémon GO began rolling out to devices in Australia, New Zealand and Japan on 6 July 2016, on 7 July to the US, and on 13 July to Germany. As of today it is now also available in the UK via Google Play and the App Store. If it isn't appearing for you, you want to install it in a different country or it is showing the message 'this app is incompatible with all your devices', click here for details on how to get Pokémon GO now.
If you're trying to install Pokémon GO on an iPhone, also see our sister site Macworld for instructions on How to get Pokémon GO on iPhone.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO - Pokémon GO UK price: How much does Pokémon GO cost?
Pokémon GO is free to download and play, but it is possible to buy PokéCoins that will unlock special items within the game. PokéCoins are the in-game currency, and they are available without handing over real cash, but you'll pick them up at a slower rate than you might like during the early stages of Pokémon GO.
You can buy PokéCoins at the following prices:
100 PokéCoins: £0.79
550 PokéCoins: £3.99
1,200 PokéCoins: £7.99
2,500 PokéCoins: £14.99
5,200 PokéCoins: £29.99
14,500 PokéCoins: £79.99
We debated Pokémon GO in the UK Tech Weekly podcast, and you can listen right here below!
Before you try any of the below, visit Google Play or the App Store to see whether you can find Pokémon GO. If you can't, read on for details of how to sideload and install the Pokémon GO APK.
Once the official app does become available to you in Google Play or the App Store you should go to it and click Update. This will ensure you automatically receive later updates.
The quick route to install Pokémon GO APK:
This is the fastest, easiest way to install Pokémon GO via an APK file. However, there are concerns that malware has been found in some Pokémon GO APK files available online. Click here for a slightly longer method that lets you download the Pokémon GO APK from Google Play.
Download Pokémon GO from APKPure.com or another APK download site, either directly on your phone or on a PC (it's a 58.1MB file).
Pokémon GO has reportedly received its first update to version 0.29.2, but many players are reporting that it includes a bug that is locking them out of the game. This won't affect UK users who have already downloaded version 0.29, but those who are downloading the Pokémon GO APK now should look for this older version until the bugs are ironed out.
If you're using a PC then attach your phone to the PC via USB and drag the downloaded file to your Downloads folder. On your phone go to Settings, Security and enable the installation of apps from unknown sources. Now tap on Pokémon GO in your Downloads folder to install Pokémon GO. Also see: Pokémon Co-Master UK release date, Pokemon Sun and Moon UK release date, and Best Android games 2016.
If you'd rather avoid downloading and installing an APK file from a third-party site, there is an alternative that lets you download it directly from Google Play, but it's a little more long-winded.
If Pokémon GO isn't displaying in Google Play on your device, click here in a desktop browser - we're using Chrome since it supports extensions.
If you don't already have one you will need an APK downloader extension, for example Direct APK Downloader. These are regularly removed from the Chrome extensions store, so if you can't find it just search for 'APK downloader' and pick another one.
This particular APK downloader requires you to install a Device ID app on your phone or tablet in order to log into the service. You can download this from Google Play. Open the app and note down the Android Device ID displayed in the top line.
Return to the new window that has popped up in Chrome and enter your email, password and the Device ID you just noted down to add APK Downloader to Chrome.
Now refresh the Google Play page in the your browser and you'll see a new 'Download APK' button. Click this.
Connect your phone to the PC via USB and drag the downloaded file to your Downloads folder.
In order to install this APK on your phone you need to go to the Settings, Security menu and enable the option to allow installation of apps from unknown sources.
Now open your downloads file and tap the Pokémon GO APK to install it on your device.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO: I can't access Pokémon GO
Pokémon GO is insanely popular, and its servers appear to be struggling with demand at peak times, often giving the error message 'Our servers are experiencing issues. Please come back later'. Things seem to be getting easier, but as a tip, we've found it easier to get online in the morning while the US is still asleep. You can check the status of Pokémon GO here.
If you'd like something a little more in-depth than a yes/no answer, you might want to take a look at ispokemongodownornot.com - we know, what a name! The site provides users with information such as whether Google/PTC are down, and in what region, along with an estimate of whether it's worth activating a lure at any given time.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO: What is Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO is a mobile game for Android and iPhone developed by The Pokémon Company and Niantic, a former Google startup that has since branched out on its own and is known for its earlier augmented-reality mobile game Ingress. Nintendo is also contributing with the development and manufacture of the companion Pokémon GO Plus (see below for more details on that).
John Hanke, founder of Niantic, said: "For the first time, Pokémon will roam free in the real world. Pokémon GO will allow players to capture Pokémon who inhabit parks, shopping areas, sidewalks and the countryside all around the world. Imagine discovering a Squirtle hiding along the waterfront in San Francisco, a Bulbasaur at Shinjuku Station or a Pikachu beneath the Eiffel Tower."
In Pokémon GO the aim is to locate, catch, battle and trade Pokémon, and you are encouraged to connect with other nearby Pokémon GO players as you do so.
"Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you're near a Pokémon. Once you've encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone's touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items," writes The Pokémon Company on its official blog.
Also see the Pokémon GO video trailer at the top of this page.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO: How to play Pokémon GO
• When you first launch Pokémon GO you need to select the clothing for your avatar. At the moment there is no way to alter this later, so pick carefully.
• You are then offered three Pokémon, of which you get to choose one to try to catch. Tap on the Pokémon and your camera app will open showing the Pokémon somewhere near you. Find it, then try to catch it. This is achieved using a PokéBall, which you flick at the Pokémon aiming at the circle that appears over its head. The smaller the circle the easier the Pokémon will be to catch, but the better your aim will need to be. A green circle means the Pokémon is relatively easy to catch, orange is medium difficulty and red is hard. Top tip: You can get Pikachu as your starter Pokémon if you are the patient type. To do so, ignore the starter Pokémon you are offered and walk away. Do this four times and you should eventually be offered Pikachu.
• Now it's time to go out and about to find Pokémon in the wild. Pokémon GO displays a map of your surroundings, and nearby Pokémon are shown as leaves rustling on the ground. A bar at the bottom right shows which Pokémon are nearby, and just how close they are is represented by the number of footsteps displayed beside them. If there are no footsteps you're basically sitting on top of a Pokémon. If the Pokémon is greyed out then it is one you haven't seen before and is not yet in your PokéDex.
• You'll find different Pokémon in different areas. For example, near a lake or river you might find water Pokémon, and in towns and rural areas you'll likely find a lot of normal Pokémon. In our experience some of the most common are Pidgeys and Rattatas, but both can become quite powerful when powered up fully and then evolved.
Android users can take it one step further - PokeDetector, an app available right now on Google Play, will run in the background and will send you a notification whenever a Pokemon is in your vicinity - functionality that many expected the official Pokemon GO app to have. The app itself is free, but users have to fork over £2.49 in in-app purchases.
• It's not just for Pokemon either - Yelp recently launched a new feature/filter allowing users to browse for local businesses that double up as Pokestops. This allows users to comfortably relax at a shop like Costa or Starbucks and regularly cash in on new Pokeballs, Razz Berrys and more - and is even more rewarding when a Lure is active, drawing Pokemon to that Pokestop for 30 minutes. Simply access Yelp via the app or desktop and toggle the 'Pokestop Nearby' filter on to access the feature.
• For every Pokémon you catch you'll get 100 stardust and 100 XP points. If it's a Pokémon you haven't seen before you will get an extra 500 XP when it is added to the PokéDex. You can also earn extra XP by completing a nice throw. You also get a number of candies which are required when you power up or evolve a Pokémon; the exact number depends on the Pokémon you catch.
• Soon enough you will run out of PokéBalls. You can collect more from PokéStops, which are usually found in towns and cities or places of interest. Alternatively, PokéBalls are among the items you can buy with coins in the Shop; you will receive some coins for levelling up, or you can make an in-app purchase.
• You can see which Pokémon you have at any time by clicking the PokéBall at the bottom of the screen and choosing Pokémon. The aim of the game is to power up your Pokémon so they are sufficiently powerful to win gym battles, which become accessible from level 5.
• Our best tip is to power up Pokémon in their first stage as far as you can before you evolve them, and you will get a much higher combat rating in return. If you have a Pokémon with a low combat power that has already been evolved it's not worth keeping. You can power-up, evolve or trade a Pokémon by selecting the PokéBall icon, tapping Pokémon and then choosing the Pokémon in question and scrolling down to choose one of those options. If you trade a Pokémon you cannot get it back later, though you will get one candy in return.
• Until you hit level 11 the number of XP you need to progress through each level goes up in increments of 1000XP. After level 10 you need 10,000 XP to progress to each new level.
• Once you hit level 5 you get to choose your team: Team Instinct (yellow), Team Mystic (blue) or Team Valor (red). You will be prompted to do so when you first visit a gym. Choose carefully: you can't change your mind later.
• You'll see four types of gyms on the board: grey, yellow, blue and red. Grey gyms are unclaimed, and you can walk straight up to these and add a Pokémon, although the game has proved so popular you'll be very lucky to find a grey gym.
• If a gym matches the colour of your team you can enter and train your Pokémon in order to increase the Prestige of the gym (which makes it more difficult for rival teams to win). If you level up the gym through training you will also be able to leave behind one of your Pokémon to help protect that gym from rival teams.
• To begin training in a friendly gym you enter and press the glove icon. Battle will commence, and you will use a single Pokémon to beat as many of the Pokémon defending that gym as possible, so it makes sense to choose your strongest Pokémon. Tap your opponent to fight (but be careful not to tap too fast or the game may glitch), and long-tap to perform a special move. If you know your Pokémon you'll know some types are better at fighting certain types than others - you can pick which Pokémon you take into battle by tapping on it and selecting a new one before the contest begins.
At the end of the battle, whether you win or lose, the gym's prestige will increase and you will earn XP. However, your Pokémon will also lose HP. You can increase its health with a Potion, Super Potion or Revive, which can be picked up from PokéStops or when you level up and are found in your Items (click the PokéBall and choose Items). If you manage to level up the gym, click the icon with the plus to add a Pokémon of your choice.
• If a gym is not friendly and you want to battle in an attempt to take it over, visit the gym and scroll left and right through the defending Pokémon to see whether your Pokémon are powerful enough to take it on. If you think you can do it, press the star icon to begin. You get to choose six Pokémon to take into battle with you, and if you manage to take out any of the Pokémon defending the gym you will lower its prestige. Again, your Pokémon will lose health, so you may need to revive them in between battles. When the gym's prestige hits level one a win will turn the gym grey, or neutral. At this point it is free to anyone, so get in there quick to add your Pokémon before the rival team beats you to it.
• If you can hold on to a gym for a day you will receive stardust and XP in return. If you don't regularly visit an area where there are lots of Pokémon to catch, for instance a city centre, this is one of the easiest ways to gain stardust.
• The ultimate aim of the game is to catch all the Pokémon. You can hold 250 Pokémon in your inventory without upgrading it; likewise, you can hold only 350 things (such as PokéBalls) in your items without upgrading your bag.
Following the launch, some clever soul indulged in a bit of ‘data mining’ – that’s not a hack, just a way of studying the code of a game to find out things hidden within. Pokémon Fortress reported some of the supposed findings, which may go some way to explain the barriers some players are coming up against, and clues as to why certain Pokémon are proving elusive.
Some of the highlights of the (as of yet unconfirmed) findings are that Trainer levels are capped at 40. Supposedly, it takes five million experience points to go from level 39 to 40 – ridiculous considering 1 to 40 is the amassing of 20 million. Alongside that, eggs cap at level 20, so if you get an egg at a level higher than that, it will hatch at just the same as if you were on level 20. So basically, stop trying so hard.
Interestingly, wild Pokémon were found to cap at level 30, so any players over that level will all find the same max CP critters and you’ll have to spend candy to upgrade them.
On the Pokémon side of things, Farfetch’d is keeping true to its name. It is out there though, along with the famously elusive Ditto, everyone’s favourite shape shifting pile of smiling goo. Mewtwo has a base attack of 284, and there is definitely a Master Ball hidden in the game somewhere. Better keep playing to find out where!
You can read all the results of the data mine here.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO: Pokémon GO FAQ
What is a PokéBall?
A PokéBall is the ball you use to catch wild Pokémon. You can collect more PokéBalls from PokéStops, when you level up or from the Shop.
What is a PokéStop?
A PokéStop is a place from which you can win rewards simply by visiting. You might get PokéBalls, potions and revives, for example. You need to be near the PokéStop in order to access it - a blue circle will appear around it when you are close enough. When you have visited that PokéStop it will turn purple, and you need to wait a few minutes before you can visit it again.
What is the PokéDex?
The PokéDex is a catalogue of all the Pokémon you have caught, plus any that you have seen but not managed to catch. The aim of the game is to catch them all.
What is a gym?
There are neutral, friendly and rival gyms. You can claim a neutral gym by adding your Pokémon. In friendly gyms you can train up your Pokémon to increase the gym's prestige and to earn XP; if you level up the gym you can leave behind a Pokémon to help defend it. In rival gyms you can battle Pokémon in an attempt to lower the gym's prestige and eventually take over that gym.
Why can't I add my Pokémon to a friendly gym?
You need to level it up through training first. A level one gym needs to be level two before it can accept a second Pokémon; a level two gym needs to be a level three gym before it can accept a third Pokémon and so on.
Why can't I win a gym?
If you have all but defeated your opponent but it refuses to die, this is a server issue. If it won't let you walk away, restart the game and try again. Try tapping slower on your opponent to prevent it glitching.
How do you get more PokéBalls?
You can get more PokéBalls at PokéStops, by levelling up or in the Shop.
How do you get more stardust?
Stardust is earned by catching a Pokémon- you'll get 100 stardust for each Pokémon you catch. A faster way to earn stardust is to leave Pokémon in as many gyms as you can. For each Pokémon you manage to keep in a gym for a day you will earn 500 stardust. Note that the time limit is an overall limit - when it gets down to the last few minutes you need to adding Pokémon to gyms everywhere in order to get the most benefit. You can also earn stardust hatching eggs.
How do you get more candy?
Candies are earned when you catch a Pokémon, though the number you receive depends on which Pokémon you catch. You can also earn one candy when you trade a Pokémon. Candies are specific to a Pokémon type, so you can't use Rattata candy with a Pidgey, for example.
How do you get more coins?
Coins are earned by levelling up and by leaving your Pokémon in a gym for a full day. It takes a while to earn them, so you can also buy them in the shop if you're prepared to spend real money.
How do you level up? How do you earn XP?
XP is earned for basically everything you do. You'll earn 500XP for evolving a Pokémon, 50XP for visiting a PokéStop, and a minimum of 100XP for catching a Pokémon (you'll get 500 bonus XP if it's a Pokémon not currently in your PokéDex). When you earn enough XP you will progress a level, and get various goodies in return.
What is Potion? What is Super Potion? What is Revive?
When your Pokémon either train or battle in a gym they lose health. This can be restored using a potion, super potion or revive. A potion restores the Pokémon's HP by 20 points, and a super potion does so by 50 points. A revive restores a fainted Pokémon.
What is incense?
Incense, available in the Shop or when you level up, draws nearby Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. Only you benefit from it.
What is a lure module?
A lure works like incense, drawing out nearby Pokémon. However, it must be used at a PokéStop, and all players can benefit you'll spot one by the pink and purple petals coming out of it. Be warned that the lure will be visible on the map to all players, so for your own safety it's probably not a good idea to use one in a dodgy area when you are alone if you want to keep your phone.
What is a lucky egg?
A lucky egg earns double XP for 30 minutes. For a quick way to level up, collect as many rattatas and pidgeys as you can, then activate the lucky egg and evolve those Pokémon. You'll get 1000 XP for each one you evolve. You can get lucky eggs by levelling up or in the shop.
How do you get more eggs?
You'll get Pokémon eggs at PokéStops and when you level up.
How do you hatch an egg?
To hatch an egg you will need an incubator, which you can sometimes find at PokéStops or you can get them when you level up or buy them in the Shop. Some incubators are three-uses only. To hatch an egg, click the Pokémon icon, choose Pokémon and slide across to the Eggs tab. Pick an egg. To hatch it you will need to walk a certain distance, which is shown below the egg. Longer distances are likely to return more powerful Pokémon. Add it to an incubator, then get moving to hatch that egg. Distance is tracked via GPS, and if you move too fast it won't be counted, so no cheating by getting in the car.
What is a Great Ball?
A Great Ball is like a PokéBall but better, and has a more successful catch rate than a standard PokéBall. If there's a Pokémon you really want to catch, use a Great Ball instead of a PokéBall. This is achieved by tapping the bag icon mid-capture attempt.
What are Razz Berries?
Razz Berries can be fed to tough Pokémon in order to make them easier to catch on your next throw. You can pick them up when you level up and at PokéStops.
Pokemon GO developer Niantic recently unveiled future plans for Pokemon GO during a panel at San Diego Comic Con (or SDCC). Following the world-wide popularity of the app, the Pokémon Go panel had to be moved to a larger venue at the event.
The panel was called “Re-Imagining Reality: Bringing Games Into the Real World With Ingress and Pokemon Go” and the aim was to "examine the past, present and future of extending games beyond the screen and re-imagining reality through the lens of Ingress and Pokémon GO." So what was announced, and what can we expect from Pokemon GO in the future?
First things first, the leaders of the three Pokemon GO teams were revealed – Candela leads Team Valor, Blanche heads up Team Mystic and Spark leads Team Instinct. But why is this so important? Niantic said that the idea was always to have users interact with their team leader, but they weren’t quite ready when the game launched earlier this month. That has changed apparently, and the leaders will be on their way soon, offering advice to players amongst other things.
Trading was a core component to the original Pokemon games as we all know, but it is yet to make an appearance on the app. This is due to change according to Niantic, who referred to trading as a “great social thing” and claimed that the company was working on bringing the feature to Pokemon GO in the future. Hopefully this can be done over large distances, enabling trainers to “catch ‘em all” without having to travel all over the world.
The developer also suggested that Pokestops could be customised in future, although we’re not quite sure how at this stage. McDonalds has struck up a deal with Niantic, changing 3000 restaurants in Japan into gyms, and there could be more deals like this coming in future. There’s also talk of Pokecenters making an appearance in the game, which are essentially Pokemon-orientated hospitals where you can take damaged and KO’d Pokemon for some much needed TLC.
Those who carried on playing Pokemon beyond Yellow, Red and Blue will be happy to know that Niantic also plans to introduce more Pokemon in future, expanding beyond the original 150 Pokemon. The developer also teased that there are still hidden features in the game, and that these are yet to be discovered by users. Exciting.
One thing that did get dismissed was the idea of breeding, possibly by using Ditto – a Pokemon that is yet to make an appearance in-game. Breeding became popular in Pokemon Gold and Silver by pairing up a male and female of the same Pokemon to produce eggs containing that Pokemon, and could have been an interesting form of currency in the game. But no, for now, there are no plans to bring breeding to Pokemon GO.
In other news, the Dubious Pokémon GO Rumour Of The Week Award goes to… this screenshot:
The whole world and his mother are looking for a hot take and a leg up following extreme Pokémania, and this may also be a fake screenshot. An unofficial GO Facebook page uploaded this image suggesting that players will soon be able to battle each other in-game. As of yet, this isn’t a feature. Note the lower case, unaccented ‘pokemon’ – this does smell of fake. Didn’t stop us getting all excited though, so fingers crossed it turns out to be something more.
If there is anything else announced about Pokemon GO in the future, we’ll be sure to update this section.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO: Pokémon GO Screenshots
When you first sign into Pokémon GO you need to pick your avatar, and at the moment this cannot be altered later.
You'll then get a choice of three Pokémon to catch to get you started. And that's pretty much as far as the tutorial goes.
PokéStops are places you can get new items, such as PokéBalls. You need to be within close range of a PokéStop to benefit - when a blue circle appears around it you are close enough. Tap on the PokéStop and spin the wheel to get your goodies. The PokéStop will turn purple for a few minutes afterward, and you need to wait for it to revert to blue to hit it again. A PokéStop with pink and purple petals flying out on it has a Lure Module attached to it - these draw nearby Pokémon to the stop for 30 minutes, so hang around for a bit if you can.
At any time you can tap the menu at the bottom left to see which Pokémon are nearby, and how close they are (shown by one, two or three footsteps). When you spot a Pokémon on the map, tap on it.
To catch the Pokémon you need to throw a PokéBall at it, and hit it within the circle that appears around its face. The higher the CP (combat power) the harder it will be to catch, although your ability to catch better Pokémon increases as you level up, and later in the game you can also use Great Balls (big PokéBalls).
If you don't want the Pokémon you can transfer it to the Professor in return for a candy, although you can hold up to 250 Pokémon so there's no need to decide at once.
An alternative to transferring the Pokémon is to Evolve it - provided you have the required amount of candy to do so. We strongly recommend you power up the Pokémon in its primary stage as far as possible in order to get higher combat power when it evolves.
At any time you can click the PokéBall at the bottom of the screen and choose Pokémon to see your current Pokémon. A slide to the right will also show you any eggs you have incubating.
Other options here include the Shop, where you can buy incense, potions, more PokéBalls and the like, and the PokéDex, which is a catalogue of all the Pokémon you have seen or caught so far.
When your Pokémon are ready you can take part in battles at gyms. You can train in a friendly gym to increase its prestige - if you level it up you'll be able to leave your own Pokémon behind to help defend it. Battles take place in rival gyms in an attempt to lower their prestige and hopefully claim that gym for your own team. You can see on the map when a battle is taking place at a gym by the whirlwhind, sparks and smoke coming out its top.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO - How many Pokémon are in Pokémon GO: The PokéDex
Below is a list of the Pokémon confirmed to be in the PokéDex so far, although there have been no confirmed sightings of Farfetch'd (083), Ditto (132), Articuno (144), Zapdos (145), Moltres (146), Mewtwo (150) and Mew (151).
029. Nidoran F
032. Nidoran M
122. Mr. Mime
Several sites have been posting their first impressions of Pokemon Go.
Slashgear writes: "This game is fantastic. Not in the same way a visually spectacular game like Fallout 4 or DOOM are fantastic, but in a new way. A way that's not like any game I've played before. Pokemon GO is a real game-changer."
Digital Spy was les complimentary, stating: "We can't get away from the fact catching a Pokemon with the real-world surroundings behind it felt awesome – especially as someone who's been playing Pokemon games for 20 years. Hopefully when the game launches in full, there'll be more Pokemon, more trainers and more notifications. Otherwise it's going to take us a very long time to become a Pokemon master."
On the whole first impressions are very good, with some applauding the game for encouraging them to get up and walk around to find Pokémon, but others voicing their concerns about the idea of encouraging children to wander off.
IGN writes: "I definitely agree that this game promotes exploration, but I’m curious to see what that means for a game that’s primarily aimed at kids. And don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean that in a pejorative way. I’m an adult (kind of) and will pour dozens of hours into this game. But for kids, it’s a very different proposition to wander into new areas to try to take down a Gym or catch a Pokemon that popped up at the edge of the map a few streets over. For that matter, even for adults, wandering around with your phone out and exploring streets you’ve never been on can lead to all sorts of problems."
Pokémon GO is to be applauded for its encouragement of people getting up off their backsides and exploring their surroundings, getting some fresh air and some exercise as they do so. However, it's also a concern that it may encourage youngsters to wander off, or lead to an increase in phone thefts as we walk about with them permanently on show.
Darwin police station in Australia, which features as a Pokestop, has already had cause to issue a warning to early Pokémon GO players telling them not to attempt to enter the station in order to catch a Pokémon. It's also requested that they remain aware of their surroundings at all times.
"For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokémon GO - whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don't actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs.
"It's also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn't going anywhere fast," it said in a statement.
Complete guide to Pokémon GO: Pokémon GO Plus
Pokémon GO Plus is a companion device that is either clipped on or strapped to the wrist and worn like a watch. Pokémon GO functions without the Pokémon GO Plus, but the device is expected to enhance enjoyment of the augmented reality game.
Pokémon GO Plus is being developed and manufactured by Nintendo, and will launch shortly after the game at a price of $34.99. It's available to pre-order now on Amazon.com, but is not yet available on Amazon UK - and also the Nintendo store but it says 'out of stock'. Interestingly, Amazon gives a release date of 31 December 2016 for Pokémon GO Plus. We think it'll be here earlier than that - Amazon will often put a later release date if it has not yet been confirmed. Nintendo says deliverys are to begin at the end of July 2016.
Pokémon GO Plus lets you play Pokémon GO without looking at your phone by delivering haptic feedback and flashing LEDs in a series of colours. It encourages players to look not only at their phones and Pokémon GO, but to experience what's going on around them in the real world.
Pokémon GO Plus connects to your phone over Bluetooth and notifies you about events within the game, such as a nearby Pikachu. A button on the front of the Pokémon GO Plus also lets you perform simple actions such as throwing a Poké Ball and catching Pokémon.
Update: While many Pokemon trainers were getting excited about the idea of getting their hands on the rarer-than-charizard Pokemon GO Plus at the end of July, it now seems like they'll have to wait a bit longer - until September, apparently. Nintendo recently announced the hold-up via a less-than-apologetic Facebook post:
"The Pokemon GO Plus accessory will now be released in September 2016 instead of the originally expected end of July launch date. Thanks for your patience, trainers."