Pokémon Go (stylized as Pokémon GO) is a free-to-play augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. The game was released in July 2016. The game allows players to capture, battle, train, and trade virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world. Although the game is free-to-play, it supports in-app purchases. An optional wearable device that works alongside the game, called the Pokémon Go Plus, will be released in the future as a separate purchase. The device uses Bluetooth connection to notify users when a Pokémon is nearby with an LED display and light vibration.
After logging into the app for the first time, the player has the opportunity to create an avatar. The player can choose the avatar’s gender, hair, skin and eye color and can choose from a number of outfits. After creating the avatar, it will be displayed at the player’s current location along with a map of the player’s immediate surroundings. Features on the map may include a number of Pokéstops and Pokémon gyms. These are typically located at popular meeting places, such as memorials, places of worship, parks and tourist attractions.
Players have to walk around in the real world to move their avatar in the game. Different Pokémon live in different areas of the world; for example, water-type Pokémon are found near water.When a player encounters a Pokémon, they may view it in either Augmented Reality mode or with a pre-rendered background. AR mode utilizes the camera and gyroscope on the player’s mobile device to display an image of a Pokémon as though it were in the real world. Players can also take pictures of the Pokémon using an in-game camera that they encounter both with and without the AR mode activated.
Unlike other installments in the Pokémon series, players in Pokémon Go do not battle wild Pokémon to capture them. Rather, the game relies on a unique capture system where the player must throw a pokéball with the right force and at the right time to make a successful catch. After capturing a wild Pokémon the player is awarded two types of in-game currencies: candies and stardust. The candies awarded by a successful catch depends on what evolutionary chain a Pokémon belongs to. A player can use stardust and candies to raise a Pokémon’s “combat power” (CP). However, only candies are needed to evolve a Pokémon. Each Pokémon evolution tree has its own type of candy which can only be used to evolve or level up. The player can also transfer the Pokémon back to the Pokémon Professor to earn one more candy and create room for more Pokémon.
Players earn experience points for a number of in-game actions. As the player earns experience points, they will raise in level. At level five the player is able to battle at a Pokémon gym and join one of three teams (red, blue or yellow) which act as larger factions within the Pokémon Go world. If a player enters a Pokémon gym that is controlled by a player that is not part of their team, they can challenge the leader to lower the gym’s “prestige”. Once the prestige of a gym is lowered to zero then the player will take control of the gym and is able to deposit one Pokémon to defend it. Similarly, a team can upgrade the prestige of a gym under their control by battling the gym leader
Pokémon Go Plus
The Pokémon Go Plus is a Bluetooth low energy wearable device that allows the player to walk without looking at their smart device.The Go Plus was designed to allow a more “heads-up” experience than Ingress. When the player is near a Pokémon, the Plus vibrates. The player can then press the buttons to capture the Pokémon. The player cannot check what they’ve caught until it is connected to a mobile device or a tablet. It is set for release sometime in July 2016. The device’s teardrop design is similar to that of the Google Maps pin.