It must be 1996 again, because the Pokémon craze is back. It's been less than a week since Pokémon Go's release, and there are more memes, weird news, and accidental discoveries (like the game leading people to strip clubs and churches, for instance) than you can throw a Pokéball at. The game is still in its stages of infancy, and Niantic and Nintendo have plans to add more features to the app to keep players hooked. So keep up with all the latest updates and take a look back on all the stories that developed along the way, starting from two years ago. Remember when we all thought Pokémon Go was nothing but a big April Fools' joke from Google Maps?
Jul 21, 2016
Nintendo's value is soaring like an uncaged Zapdos from the success of Pokémon Go, but some small business owners are also reaping benefits from the game. The owners of a number of restaurants and retailers labeled as pokéstops have claimed an uptick in interest, and others, like this coffeeshop owner who drops lures all day long to attract more customers, have found ways to outright exploit the game's mechanics for personal gain.Read Article >
Our favorite of these creative business owners, however, is Miranda, a 10-year-old entrepreneur from Elizabethtown, KY, who has been turning a profit at the pokéstop located outside her older sister's house.
Jul 19, 2016
The project emerged from a subreddit dedicated to developers playing with Pokémon Go. In there, someone figured out how to pull raw data out of the game, including the locations of gyms, the items at individual pokéstops, and where pokémon are appearing.Read Article >
Developer Ahmed Almutawa began playing with that access on Saturday and within a few hours had plotted the data onto a map. He posted the project on GitHub and Reddit, then went to bed. When he woke up, people had already begun swarming to it. "There's been like 46 contributors, and this is over just two days," Almutawa tells The Verge.
Jul 19, 2016
The last time Herman Cain and Pokémon shared headlines was 2011, when the politician, announcing the termination of his campaign for Republican presidential nominee, quoted an entire stanza of the theme to Pokémon 2000. Five years and another botched presidential campaign have passed without so much as a comment on the series from Cain, but today the silence ends. Thanks to the popularity of Pokémon Go — and the cold fact that time itself is just an interminable feelingless Vine — Cain has a new message for the kids.Read Article >
"The Pokémon Go game that they have — be careful out there," says Cain in a video published by Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale. "That’s all I can say. Because it’s been used to lure people into situations where they’ve been robbed. So be very careful out there. I think it is an excellent, brilliant, entertaining concept, but people have to be really careful.
Jul 19, 2016
Whoops! What with all this frenzy to "catch 'em all" and make 'em fight and beat Team Mystic and — if you have time —not get hit by the B-44 bus, it seems like you may have been so distracted by Pokémon Go that you completely forgot about your Neko Atsume cats. This is why your parents never let you get an actual kitten! It's the Tamigotchi / Neopets / Webkinz debacle all over again.Read Article >
Please stop abandoning your old fake pets in deference to new fake pets. It is very heartless, and only a slight variation from the plot of Toy Story, which certainly moved you to emotion at some point in time, or have you forgotten that too, you godless monster?
Jul 19, 2016
While much of the world has been enjoying the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go, Japan — the country that spawned Pikachu and its pocket monster peers — has so far been left out. But, according to TechCrunch, that's about to change, with Pokémon Go reportedly launching in the country tomorrow.Read Article >
Jul 18, 2016
As every seasoned Pokémon Go player came to realize last week, the game is a major drain on your phone's battery. You can carry around a portable battery pack to solve this issue and look like a nerd, or you can cop this pokédex battery case and still look like a nerd, but really own up to it.Read Article >
Sparkfun user Nick Poole has created a 3D-printed pokédex that adds an extra 2600mAh to his Samsung Galaxy S4 (and leaves room for more):
Jul 18, 2016
SpaceX just launched and landed another Falcon 9 rocket, the fifth time the company has pulled off the feat. But this launch was different from the others — not because it was the second time the company landed a rocket back at Cape Canaveral, and not because the company was helping to deliver a crucial docking adapter to the International Space Station. This, my friends, was the first time SpaceX broadcasted a rocket launch in the post-Pokémon Go era, and the company did not waste the opportunity.Read Article >
Right before the very end of the rocket launch broadcast, a cartoon version of the company's Dragon capsule appeared on the screen, surrounded by the Pokémon Go interface that many of us are now oh so familiar with. All three hosts mocked swiping pokéballs at the spacecraft until the video feed cut off. It was a decent gag, or at the very least it was no worse than the myriad jokes the rest of the internet has been making over the last two weeks. (If you listen closely, you can hear one of the hosts celebrate the gag a bit early. "That was money," he says, just before the broadcast really ends.)
Jul 17, 2016
So you've been playing Pokémon Go and you've been walking a lot more than you usually do. Maybe your legs and feet are tired, maybe you have blisters, maybe you're sunburnt, maybe that really awesome Pikachu (CP ??, which means it's beefy as heck) slipped away. I can't fix the elusiveness of Pokémon, but I can probably give you some tips on how to cut down on some of the other things. Most days I walk for at least five miles, sometimes with a big pack on my back that contains all my survival gear; I may have some solutions to your physical problems.Read Article >
Make sure you're wearing appropriate footwear. Sneakers or walking shoes are ideal. If you're going to do a lot of walking, you need something that won't rub or pinch.
Jul 15, 2016
Pokémon Go, as one of the most popular mobile games ever released, is a fascinating test case for observing just how taxing a single app can be for an entire network's performance. In an analysis of a small European telecom performed by California-based networking company Procera Networks, Pokémon Go was accessed by about 7 percent of the total 2 million users over a three-hour period. Those sessions were found to take up only a small amount of bandwidth in comparison to other apps like Facebook and Spotify. However, because the app was being used by such a large number of users simultaneously, it resulted in adverse affects on network performance.Read Article >
"Bandwidth is just one factor on a network. One usage parameter often overlooked is the number of sessions that the application generates, which affects 'stateful' network elements (analytics, charging, and security among them), have to deal with 'chatty' or 'noisy' applications as they consume system resources," writes Cam Cullen, Procera's vice president of global marketing, in a blog post.
Jul 15, 2016
Over the last week, Pokémon Go has virtually taken over the world with over 20 million active users in less than 10 days — despite the fact that it’s currently only officially available in a handful of countries. Even with its mammoth early success, the game has proved to be surprisingly divisive.Read Article >
Many fans and critics are praising its ability to bring gaming into the real world, forcing Pokémon fans to go outside and socialize. But a vocal number of players have some serious complaints about the actual game portion of the experience. Twitter and other social media platforms are checkered with complaints about how Pokémon Go lacks some of the core features you’d expect from a Pokémon game — like the ability to raise your little pocket monsters or trade them with friends — and that because of this, it’s unlikely to have lasting appeal.
Jul 14, 2016
As if the surreal events surrounding the stratospheric spread of Pokémon Go could not get any more ludicrous, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is holding a campaign event at a Pokémon Go gym. The area is Madison Park in Lakewood, OH, and it doubles as a Pokéstop as well. "Join us as we go to the Pokéstop in Madison Park and put up a lure module, get free pokémon, and battle each other while you register voters and learn more about Sec. Hillary Clinton!!! Kids welcome!" reads the Clinton campaign website. The event takes place this Saturday, July 16th, from 1PM to 2PM ET.Read Article >
For residents of Mars, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game that overlays a virtual world over our real one, letting players travel to locations in their cities and towns, catch the virtual creatures, and battle them against one another. Pokéstops can be at any location really, from cafes and parks to monuments and graffiti walls. Gyms are less common, and are typically at notable land marks. It appears Madison Park has both, and any Clinton supporters and/or avid trainers will likely be aggressively throwing down to take the gym for their respective team.
Jul 14, 2016
Pokémon Go isn't available in South Korea because the game uses data from Google Maps, which is restricted by the South Korean government due to security concerns. South Korea is still technically at war with North Korea, and the government has stated that it could release its map data only if Google deletes information on key security locations like military facilities. It's unclear whether the game will ever be made available, but in the meanwhile, South Korean gamers have found a loophole.Read Article >
The rhombus-shaped cells below show the areas that Niantic has labeled in its mapping system as restricted areas, and Sokcho just barely makes it out:
Jul 14, 2016
I used to think nothing of importing games from Japan. Treasure just released a new Bangai-O for the DS? And it has a level editor? Sure! It didn’t matter that I didn’t yet speak the language, nor that I could probably get an English version for less money in less than a year. If anything, the layer of mystique and exclusivity added to the appeal — that’s something countless Neko Atsume players discovered last year before the addictive cat-collecting game was localized into English.Read Article >
The ability to play obscure Nintendo DS games before the rest of the world wasn’t exactly why I moved to Japan in 2008, but let’s say I figured it’d be a nice bonus. And for a while, it was. Somewhere in a box in my closet you’ll find esoteric delights like Slide Adventure: MagKid, which came with an optical mouse-style sensor-equipped stand that moved your character around as you slid it across a table, for example. But as the Western games industry overtook Japan’s in global prominence, I ended up finding myself doing the unthinkable and importing games in the other direction.
Jul 14, 2016
I've spent the past week wandering around my local park in London staring at my phone and catching monsters, and now you can, too. While Pokémon Go launched in the US last week, Brits across the pond have had to resort to sideloading the game on Android or using a US iTunes account to get early access. Pokémon Go is now officially launching in the UK on Android and iOS today.Read Article >
Following the German launch yesterday, it's clear the UK addition means more European countries will get access to the hugely popular game this week. A large number of British players have already been playing the game, so the vast majority of gyms have already been secured by pokémon trainers. If you did use a US iTunes account, you'll need to delete the app and reinstall it from the UK App Store to continue receiving updates to the game. If you've waited for the official launch, now is the time to read up on exactly how to play Pokémon Go, and get those walking shoes ready because you're going to need them.
TRNDlabs, (which, it should be noted is an actual drone company), released a video today announcing their attempt to cash-in on the Pokémon Go craze with the Pokédrone. Now, while using a drone to cheat at Pokémon Go is (sadly) nothing new, the Pokédrone earns some serious style points for it’s promise of a simple, all-in-one package.Read Article >
Jul 13, 2016
Pokémon Go is family friendly entertainment, while also being the latest popular video game about life after the apocalypse and nature’s inevitable reclamation of our planet. At least, that’s my theory.Read Article >
Unlike the series of roleplaying games that precede it, Pokémon Go doesn’t bother with dialogue and story. Why are we fighting one another? Why have we been forced to take one of three sides in a war for territory? Why is it that our world and the game’s world have been bonded through our smartphones? Who's to say!
Jul 13, 2016
Pokémon Go has already brought in millions of users and tons of money to Nintendo. Now, just a week after its release, developer Niantic is preparing for its next big move. Financial Times reports that the company plans on letting advertisers create sponsored locations to drive both foot traffic and revenue. The aim is to cash in on the flood of Go players hunting for pokémon out in the real world, while advertisers promote their brands within the game.Read Article >
Jul 13, 2016
So you wanted to check out what all the fuss was about and downloaded Pokémon Go. The game is intuitive enough, but it doesn't go out of its way to hold your hand and explain all of its features to you. But we will! Sorry for the sweaty palms.Read Article >
We're not kidding around. You think this is some kind of game? Well, yes. Yes it is. But it's a game that we here at The Verge take very seriously.
Pokémon Go is finally here. After a few delays, the augmented reality-infused Pokémon app launched last week, and spread like wildfire over the weekend, with hordes of eager pokémon trainers taking to the streets to try to catch ‘em all. Confused about how it works? Need a few tips on your way to becoming a pokémon master? Read on.Read Article >
How do I get started?
Jul 13, 2016
Pokémon Go originally launched in Australia and New Zealand last week before eventually arriving in the US. While the game has generated a massive following worldwide, it hasn't been officially available in Europe until today. Game developer Niantic Labs has experienced a variety of server issues, and has been actively limiting accounts and the worldwide availability of the game as a result. That's starting to change, albeit slowly, and Pokémon Go is launching in Germany today on both Android and iOS.Read Article >
It signals a wider European launch expected over the coming days, and will allow pokémon trainers to start securing gyms and visiting pokéstops in Germany. Of course, many Pokémon Go players have already been playing across Europe by sideloading Android APKs or using a US iTunes account to obtain the game early. An official launch simply means more people can get actively involved in the latest cultural phenomenon, and swam around noteworthy buildings, public parks, and landmarks hunting wild pokémon. If you're not familiar with pokémon, or you need some tips and tricks then check out our helpful Pokémon Go guide right here.
Jul 13, 2016
The first major update to Pokémon Go has broken the app, a number of iOS users are claiming, with many unable to log in to the wildly popular monster-hunting game. As reported on Reddit, the 1.01 update to the iOS version of Pokémon Go bars users who have been connecting to Niantic Labs' servers using Pokémon Trainer Club accounts — rather than Google accounts — from logging in.Read Article >
An apparent bug in the update means the app no longer sends an HTTP request when users try to log in with their Pokémon Trainer Club accounts. Dogecoin founder Jackson Palmer and Reddit user borgopants spotted the problem by debugging network traffic and using proxies, identifying a pretty major oversight in the first major update to one of the world's biggest apps. Players are advised not to update their iOS app if they use their Trainer Club account to log in — like The Verge's own Tom Warren, who is currently unable to access the game — although people who log in using their Google account appear to be unaffected.
Jul 12, 2016
Nintendo and Niantic are likely raking in enormous sums of money from in-app purchases in Pokémon Go, their new smartphone game that, seriously, I'm sure you know all about by now. That's exactly why it's unlikely that Pokémon Go will ever start charging a monthly fee — but scammers are trying to make people believe that's about to happen.Read Article >
Multiple publications report an email going around, allegedly from Niantic, claiming that the "overwhelming response" and "need for more powerful servers" have led to the instatement of a $12.99 monthly fee to play Pokémon Go. Accounts will be frozen within a day if a player doesn't pay to upgrade, the email warns. Deadline even ran a story, now changed, saying all of this was about to happen.
Jul 12, 2016
You can't accuse Hollywood of not striking while the iron is hot: a Pokémon Go movie may soon be in the works. Deadline reports that Legendary Pictures — the company behind The Dark Knight trilogy, Godzilla, and Warcraft — is close to sewing up a deal for the live-action film rights for the newly invigorated gaming franchise.Read Article >
Talks about the movie rights for Pokémon have been in progress for some time, with The Hollywood Reporter noting way back in April that an auction was underway. (Warner Bros. and Sony were both reportedly interested at the time, though Legendary was said to be in the lead even then.) Of course, the insane success of Pokémon Go has no doubt made studios that much more interested in the franchise, though Deadline's report is careful to note that an official deal has not been closed just yet — nor has there been any indication of what specific games a Pokémon movie would be drawing from.
Jul 12, 2016
Remember Twitch Plays Pokémon? That bizarre experiment to play through the Pokémon games using only Twitch chat, which turned into a surprisingly insightful take on anarchy, democracy, and religious iconography? Oh and it actually beat all the games? Well now there's one of those, but for Pokémon Go.Read Article >
Players can enter commands in chat like "move n," "scroll up," "spin left," or even tap on a specific coordinate of the screen using a Battleship-like notation like "tap d 12." For movement, the player's GPS coordinates are spoofed, but at what the creators call a "realistic" speed. Touch events are also simulated. The whole setup is automatic, just like the original Twitch Plays Pokémon — although it has enslaved one of the creators' jailbroken iPhones.
Jul 12, 2016
While Pokémon Go is still in its infancy, it's becoming more and more clear that the game's approach to creating in-game hotspots is posing some serious problems. In addition to the influx of aspiring pokémon trainers flooding the 9/11 Memorial in New York, the US Holocaust Museum, and Arlington National Cemetery — both located in Washington, DC — have acknowledged the game on Twitter this afternoon. The museum is asking its visitors to be "respectful of our role as a memorial," and the cemetery is a little more forceful: it's asked its guests to refrain from playing Pokémon Go on its grounds, noting it's not "appropriate decorum."Read Article >
The game is even having an impact on solemn landmarks in countries where it hasn't been officially released. "Allowing such games to be active on the site of Auschwitz Memorial is disrespectful to the memory of the victims of the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp on many levels," said Auschwitz Memorial spokesperson Pawel Sawicki to The New York Times in an email. Pokémon Go still hasn't been released in Europe yet.