After hitting other parts of the globe last night, Pokémon GO has officially made its way to the U.S.
Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game that tasks you with walking around the real world and using your smartphone’s camera to find and capture Pokémon. You’ll see Pokémon randomly pop up on your smartphone’s display, though you’ll have better odds of finding some Pokémon at certain locations. For example, water Pokémon will likely appear near a lake or ocean.
You can also join one of three teams and then battle your Pokémon at gyms, which are also found in the real world. If a gym belongs to your team, you can help defend it. If it doesn’t, you can fight to defeat the gym. There are also PokéStops in the real world that you can visit to buy Poké Balls for catching more Pokémon, and other items for your journey.
Later this month, Pokémon GO users will be able to buy a Pokémon GO Plus. This device connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth and can be worn as you’re walking around the world. When you’re wearing it, it’ll alert you when a Pokémon is nearby without requiring you to be looking at your smartphone.
Pokémon GO requires an Android smartphone with 2GB of RAM and Android 4.4 or higher. It won’t work with Intel Atom-based devices, and compatibility isn’t guaranteed for Wi-Fi-only devices, tablets, or devices without GPS. The game is free-to-play, but there are in-app purchases that’ll let you buy PokéCoins, which can be used to buy more Poké Balls, an incense lure, and other items.
Pokémon GO is made by Niantic Labs, which you may remember as the group behind Ingress. Because of this, you know that the game is coming from some folks with AR chops. Pokémon GO looks like a pretty fun game, especially for anyone that’s played the Game Boy or DS games. If you’ve got any interest in trying Pokémon GO, visit the Play Store and give it a try!