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Home / News / Drop everything and download: Pokémon Go

Drop everything and download: Pokémon Go

Catch 'em all - in real life. Get walking and fill your Pokédex - Pokémon Go is the business

You’ve always wanted to be a Pokémon trainer, right?

Pokémon Go might just be the closest you’ll ever get to actually being Ash ketchum. It’s been breaking the internet all week, and now the UK can finally get in on the action.

Been living under a Geodude and somehow missed out on all the hype? It’s the mobile game that’s going to kick Clash of Clans to the kerb, the app that’ll actually get you up and out of the house for once.

If you haven’t discovered your Pokémon addiction yet, you will now.

What does it do?

1) Choose Pikachu instead

From Red and Blue on the Gameboy to Black and White on the 3DS: it doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’ve ever owned a Nintendo console, there’s a good chance you’ve played a Pokémon game.

We’ve been roaming around Johto, Kanto and Sinnoh for years, catching and training Pokémon. Now though, Niantic has brought a whole new meaning to the term "open world".

Using a combination of GPS, mobile data and your phone’s camera, it’ll get you walking around the real world hunting for new ‘mon to add to your collection. The aim is the same: Catch ’em all.

That’s not all, though. Real world locations have been tagged as Pokéstops, dropping bonus items whenever you get close enough to activate them. You level up with your Pokémon, until you’re strong enough to take over the local Pokémon gym and face off against other trainers in Pokémon battles. Then you’ll really be "the very best".

Expect to see plenty of friendly trainers while you’re out and about – it’s rapidly turning into a social hub for players to meet up and become freinds. Plus you’ll be getting some exercise – that burning sensation in your leg muscles is a good thing, honest.

Any downsides?

3) Use the tracker

Well, you’re getting an entire Pokedex to fill absolutely gratis, so it’s a bit harsh to moan too much – but there are still a few things that are more Pika-chump than Pikachu.

First up, it hammers your phone’s data and needs a constant GPS connection, plus it uses your camera for putting Pokemon in the real world. Using one of these on their lonesome can be a bit of a battery hog, but combine all three and you’ll rapidly run out of juice.

There was also a bit of a privacy problem at launch, with the iOS version demanding access to the entirety of your Google account. That basically gave Niantic free reign to spy (and change) your account info, all the way from passwords to Google wallet.

You don’t have to reach for the tin foil hat just yet, though; the most recent update dialled down the requirements to just your Google ID and email address. Panic over.

Where can I get it?

5) Turn off AR mode

Who are we kidding? True Poke-fans got their download on last week when it launched in the US. Australia, Germany and New Zealand all got in on the action before us too (but oddly not Japan), so we don’t blame you if you indulged in a cheeky bit of APK side-loading.

If you’ve been holding out for an official UK release, though, now’s the time to start spamming that download button.

The app finally hit the Google Play and iOS app stores for us Brits this morning. It’s available for any Android phone running v4.4 or higher, and will play nicely on iPhones running iOS 8 or newer.

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