If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently then you’ve probably heard of Pokémon GO. Pokémon GO is a new game available on mobile devices that is taking the world by storm!
Currently the game has only officially been released in Australia, New Zealand and US but this hasn’t stopped people from getting it in the UK. Although the game is currently not available on any UK app store there is a way around it. But don’t worry if you’re not too tech savvy just follow the simple steps below and you’ll have it up and running in no time.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon GO is a new augmented reality app that was released on 6th July. Based on the very successful Pokémon franchise that has been around since 1996, the game features all the Pokémon from the series.
The main aim of the game is to travel around your local area and collect Pokémon. As the game's title suggests you’ve “gotta catch ‘em all”. Once you’ve collected a large army of Pokémon you can duel other players to win prizes. The game involved lots of travelling (hence the name go), with rare Pokémon being found at points of interest in your area. The points of interest may be local landmarks, popular meeting places, memorials, parks or tourist attractions. So as you can imagine these places attract a lot of avid Pokémon hunters!
How to Download Pokémon GO
Depending on what device you have there are several ways to download and install it if you are in the UK. The app itself is available on both Android and Apple devices. Follow the steps below for your device to get the app up and running.
iOS (iPhone and iPad Devices)
Due to Apple’s restrictions of installing app to their devices the only way to get the app is through the official US App store. However it is still possible to do if you like in the UK. Here’s how.
- First log out of the App store on your iPhone by tapping the Apple ID button and tapping Sign Out
- Next you must change your region to the US in Settings > General > Language & Region > Region
- Go to the official Pokémon GO store listing and tap Change store
- Install the app as normal, the same way you would with any other app
- A popup should appear asking you to create a new US iTunes account
- Follow the steps required and select none for the billing information
- You will then receive an email from the store asking you to verify your email address
- Once verified go back to Pokémon GO store listing link and install the app using your new account
- When the app has finished installing you can now log out of the App store in the same way you did before and switch back to your normal account
The app should now be installed and show up on your home screen.
UPDATE: Pokémon GO has now officially been released in the UK and can now be downloaded from the Play Store (click here). We have left the guide below as reference in case the Play Store isn't working for you.
For Android users the process is slightly different. This process involves downloading the actual app to your computer / Android device and installing it directly. By doing this you skip out the Google Play store completely.
- Download the official verified app from this website
- Once downloaded you need to go to Settings > Security > activate Unknown sources
- If you visited this web page on your device and downloaded it directly then you just need to open the file and it will
- If you downloaded it to your computer instead then you can either visit this page on the device and download it again, or just transfer it over to your device.
- Once you have the file on your device, simple install the app and you’re ready to go
How to Play It
Once you first install the app on your device you will have to either register a new account or sign in using your existing Google account (or buy a Pokemon Go account). Once in the game you will be able to make and personalise your in game avatar. You can customise them in game and change all aspects including the hair, colour and clothes.
When you first get into the game you will be able to choose one of three starting Pokémon. Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle are the three starting Pokémon and you simply throw your Pokéball at the one you want to catch. Once you’ve done that, congratulations you have your first Pokémon!
Now you must venture around your area to find other Pokémon and view areas of interest. Once you reach level 5 you can battle at a local Pokémon gym and join one of the three teams (red, blue, yellow). These teams act as large factions throughout the game and influence gyms in your area.
If you enter a gym that is controlled by a player not on your team you can challenge the leader to lower the gyms ranking. Once a ranking becomes too low then another player can take over the gym and convert it to their team instead.
Of course this is just a teaser of all the things you can do in the game. To find out what else there is to do you need to play the game for yourself!
The Benefits of Playing
Since Pokémon GO involves lots of travelling and walking there have been many reports of the numerous health benefits. Nowadays children (and adults) are glued to their TVs and computers indoors. For once there is a game that actually involves walking around and getting outside in order to progress in the game.
Many users have noticed a sudden increase in exercise as it gives them motivation to leave the house and play the game. Some players have reported walking 10 times their average daily distance since the release of the game. All because they want to collect as many Pokémon as possible.
So what are you waiting for? Now you know how to install the app, get out there and join in the fun!