How to get Pokémon GO now | Install Pokémon GO now | Pokémon GO APK ban

Here’s how to get Pokémon GO right now, plus information on the Pokémon GO UK release date, Pokémon GO trailer and Pokémon GO gameplay. Plus we explain what is the Pokémon Go Plus, and how to pre-order Pokémon Go Plus now. Also see: Pokémon Co-Master UK release date, Pokemon Sun and Moon UK release date, and Best Android games 2016. Pokémon Go is a free augmented-reality game for Android and iPhone, and it is rolling out now.

You can also jump straight to first impressions

Top tip: If you are going to be playing Pokemon Go you are probably going to need a power bank.

I can’t access Pokemon Go: ‘Our servers are experiencing issues. Please come back later’ error

Pokémon Go is insanely popular, and its servers appear to be struggling with demand at peak times. As a tip, we’ve found it easier to get online in the morning while the US is still asleep.

You can check the status of Pokémon Go here.

Pokémon GO APK ban

We’ve seen reports of some players deleting Pokémon Go in fear of the theory that The Pokémon Company might ban users who install the app via APK rather than through Google Play. We’re not sure where this has come from, since we have seen nothing official from the company and can’t fathom what it would gain by doing so. It may be simply a case of people having difficulty accessing the servers (see above) are worried something more sinister is going on.

We’re not saying it won’t ban users who have downloaded the APK file, but we really don’t know why it would.

What is Pokemon Go? Podcast discussion

Pokémon GO UK release date: When is Pokémon GO coming out?

Pokémon GO UK release date: 6 July 2016

Pokémon Go began rolling out to devices on 6 July 2016, and on 7 July also rolled out to the US. Right now us Brits still can’t get it on Google Play, but scroll down for details on how to get it now if you can’t find it on Google Play or it is showing the message ‘this app is incompatible with all your devices’.

If you’re trying to install Pokémon GO on an iPhone, also see our sister site Macworld for instructions on How to get Pokémon GO on iPhone.

How to get Pokémon GO now

The quick route to install Pokémon Go now

Download Pokémon Go from or another APK download site, either directly on your phone or on a PC (it’s a 58.1MB file). If you’re using a PC then attach your phone to the PC via USB and drag the downloaded file to your Downloads folder. On your phone go to Settings, Security and enable the installation of apps from unknown sources. Now tap on Pokémon Go in your Downloads folder to install Pokémon Go.

Pokémon Go Android app

Pokémon Go screenshots

The longer route to install Pokémon Go now

If you’d rather avoid downloading and installing an APK file from a third-party site, there is an alternative that lets you download it directly from Google Play, but it’s a little more long-winded.

If Pokémon Go isn’t displaying in Google Play on your device, click here in a desktop browser – we’re using Chrome since it supports extensions.

If you don’t already have one you will need an APK downloader extension, for example Direct APK Downloader. These are regularly removed from the Chrome extensions store, so if you can’t find it just search for ‘APK downloader’ and pick another one.

This particular APK downloader requires you to install a Device ID app on your phone or tablet in order to log into the service. You can download this from Google Play. Open the app and note down the Android Device ID displayed in the top line.

Return to the new window that has popped up in Chrome and enter your email, password and the Device ID you just noted down to add APK Downloader to Chrome.

Now refresh the Google Play page in the your browser and you’ll see a new ‘Download APK’ button. Click this.

Connect your phone to the PC via USB and drag the downloaded file to your Downloads folder.

In order to install this APK on your phone you need to go to the Settings, Security menu and enable the option to allow installation of apps from unknown sources.

Now open your downloads file and tap the Pokémon Go APK to install it on your device.

Pokémon GO UK price: How much does Pokémon GO cost?

Pokémon GO is free to download from the Google Play Store for Android and App Store for iPhone, but there will also be paid-for content available within the game. It is not yet clear whether the paid-for in-app content will be required to progress within the game.

“For players who want to enhance their Pokémon GO experience even more, certain items and features can be accessed via in-app purchases. Players can spend real money on PokéCoins, the in-game currency of Pokémon GO. PokéCoins can then be exchanged for power-ups, extra items, and other enhancements,” said The Pokémon Company.

Pokémon Go Plus will cost $34.99 and is now available to pre-order in the US. Click here for more details on Pokémon Go Plus.

What is Pokémon GO?

Pokémon GO is a mobile game for Android and iPhone that is being developed by The Pokémon Company and Niantic, a former Google startup that has since branched out on its own and is known for its earlier augmented-reality mobile game Ingress. Nintendo is also contributing with the development and manufacture of the companion Pokémon GO Plus (see below for more details on that).

Pokémon GO is a mobile app that you download to your Android smartphone or iPhone, but play in the real world through augmented reality.

John Hanke, founder of Niantic, said: “For the first time, Pokémon will roam free in the real world. Pokémon GO will allow players to capture Pokémon who inhabit parks, shopping areas, sidewalks and the countryside all around the world. Imagine discovering a Squirtle hiding along the waterfront in San Francisco, a Bulbasaur at Shinjuku Station or a Pikachu beneath the Eiffel Tower.”

Pokemon Go

Pokémon Go gameplay

In Pokémon GO the aim is to locate, catch, battle and trade Pokémon, and you are encouraged to connect with other nearby Pokémon GO players as you do so.

“Get on your feet and step outside to find and catch wild Pokémon. Explore cities and towns around where you live and even around the globe to capture as many Pokémon as you can. As you move around, your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you’re near a Pokémon. Once you’ve encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone’s touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it. Be careful when you try to catch it, or it might run away! Also look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items,” writes The Pokémon Company on its official blog.

Still confused? The Pokémon GO video trailer at the top of this page might help to make things a bit clearer for you.

Don’t miss: Amazon Prime Day deals

Pokémon GO: New details confirmed

Below we detail some new tidbits of information from beta testers, but The Pokémon Company has now detailed some new features in Pokémon Go.

For example, it says that when you launch Pokémon GO for the first time you are able to customise your Trainer, with accessories and clothing to make them look exactly how you like. This Trainer appears on the map and your profile page, and other players will see it when they visit a Gym you control.

The game sees you progress your Trainer through various levels, and the higher you get the more powerful Pokémon you can catch and items you can collect, such as Great Balls that make it easier to catch Pokémon. The Pokémon you catch are added to the Pokédex.

You can also get new Pokémon by evolving them once you have caught the same species of Pokémon enough times. And you’ll find Pokémon Eggs at PokéStops, which  hatch after you’ve walked a certain distance.

Some Pokémon will be rare, and available only in certain corners of the world. Water-type Pokémon may appear only near lakes and oceans, for example. You’ll have to keep your eyes open when you travel away from home, that’s for sure.

You’ll be asked to join one of three teams during the game, and can then assign your collected Pokémon to empty Gym locations (only one Pokémon per Gym) or to a location where a team member has placed one of his or her Pokémon. Gyms will be found at real locations in the world. Good team work will allow you to build up a strong defence, and steal Gyms from other teams using your own Pokémon to do battle.

You can use your Pokémon’s two attacks to battle the rival Pokémon, and dodge their advances by swiping left and right. If you win the battle, the Gym’s Prestige is reduced – when it hits zero the other team loses control of it, and all you need to do to gain control is assign a Pokémon to it. Training your Pokémon with the defending Pokémon allows you to once again build up its Prestige – but the better things get the more Pokémon you will need to defend it. ThePokémon Company says you can also team up with your friends and battle at a rival Gym together to take down stronger Gyms faster.

Challenges also feature in Pokémon Go, and range from catching Pokémon to exploration. Achievement medals that appear on your profile can be unlocked following the successful completion of a challenge.

At E3 2016, Nintendo confirmed it would be developing features to enable trading monsters, but these will come after the launch. There will also be some integration with Pokémon Sun and Moon, it said.

Pokémon GO field testers aren’t allowed to give away details about the upcoming game, having signed a non-disclosure act, but that hasn’t stopped them. Various YouTube videos have been uploaded and then pulled, and one particular Reddit thread has caught the attention of those looking for new information on Pokémon GO. Here are some details we’ve learned:

• The current build of the game has only the original 150 Pokémon

• You can attempt to catch Pokémon when you come across them, and every Pokémon you catch gains you a shard of an evolution crystal. This is used for your Pokémon to evolve

• When trying to catch a Pokémon your Pokéball appears to enlarge and contract. The smaller is the circle the more likely you are to catch the Pokémon

• When you successfully catch a Pokémon you get a XP boost, which can net you between 100- and 500XP depending on its rarity. You can also earn XP for a good throw

• Pokémon that come from eggs are stronger than most wild Pokémon in the Pokémon Go

• Around 30- to 50 percent of Ingress portals have been turned into Pokestops, which act as item portals and are especially important in rural areas

• Pokéballs can be thrown in several ways, including straight balls, curve balls and flick balls, but wild Pokémon can deflect them

• Eevee, Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle are apparently difficult to find and catch

• There is some sort of speed mechanic within the game that notices when you’re going too fast and won’t count your movement as progress toward an egg

• Two Pokémon of the same breed can have different moves

• The time of day does not currently seem to affect the availability of Pokémon

• It’s currently not possible to alter the avatar you design when first launching the game

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go

Pokémon GO first impressions

Several sites have been posting their first impressions of Pokemon Go.

Slashgear writes: “This game is fantastic. Not in the same way a visually spectacular game like Fallout 4 or DOOM are fantastic, but in a new way. A way that’s not like any game I’ve played before. Pokemon GO is a real game-changer.”

Digital Spy was les complimentary, stating: “We can’t get away from the fact catching a Pokemon with the real-world surroundings behind it felt awesome – especially as someone who’s been playing Pokemon games for 20 years. Hopefully when the game launches in full, there’ll be more Pokemon, more trainers and more notifications. Otherwise it’s going to take us a very long time to become a Pokemon master.”

On the whole first impressions are very good, with some applauding the game for encouraging them to get up and walk around to find Pokémon, but others voicing their concerns about the idea of encouraging children to wander off.

IGN writes: “I definitely agree that this game promotes exploration, but I’m curious to see what that means for a game that’s primarily aimed at kids. And don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean that in a pejorative way. I’m an adult (kind of) and will pour dozens of hours into this game. But for kids, it’s a very different proposition to wander into new areas to try to take down a Gym or catch a Pokemon that popped up at the edge of the map a few streets over. For that matter, even for adults, wandering around with your phone out and exploring streets you’ve never been on can lead to all sorts of problems.”

Pokémon GO safety fears

Pokémon Go is to be applauded for its encouragement of people getting up off their backsides and exploring their surroundings, getting some fresh air and some exercise as they do so. However, it’s also a concern that it may encourage youngsters to wander off, or lead to an increase in phone thefts as we walk about with them permanently on show.

Darwin police station in Australia, which features as a Pokestop, has already had cause to issue a warning to early Pokémon Go players telling them not to attempt to enter the station in order to catch a Pokémon. It’s also requested that they remain aware of their surroundings at all times.

“For those budding Pokemon Trainers out there using Pokémon Go – whilst the Darwin Police Station may feature as a Pokestop, please be advised that you don’t actually have to step inside in order to gain the pokeballs.

“It’s also a good idea to look up, away from your phone and both ways before crossing the street. That Sandshrew isn’t going anywhere fast,” it said in a statement.

Pokémon GO video trailer

First Pokémon GO gameplay video leaks

The first sighting of Pokémon Go gameplay footage comes from YouTube user Eric F, and was allegedly filmed during Niantic CEO John Hanke’s SXSW presentation.

What is Pokémon GO Plus? Pokémon Go Plus price, how to pre-order Pokémon Go Plus

Pokémon GO Plus

Pokémon GO Plus is a companion device that is either clipped on or strapped to the wrist and worn like a watch. Pokémon GO functions without the Pokémon GO Plus, but the device is expected to enhance enjoyment of the augmented reality game.

Pokémon GO Plus is being developed and manufactured by Nintendo, and will launch shortly after the game at a price of $34.99. It’s available to pre-order now on, but is not yet available on Amazon UK. Interestingly, Amazon gives a release date of 31 December 2016 for Pokémon Go Plus. We think it’ll be here earlier than that – Amazon will often put a later release date if it has not yet been confirmed.

Pokémon GO Plus lets you play Pokémon GO without looking at your phone by delivering haptic feedback and flashing LEDs in a series of colours. It encourages players to look not only at their phones and Pokémon GO, but to experience what’s going on around them in the real world.

Pokémon GO Plus connects to your phone over Bluetooth and notifies you about events within the game, such as a nearby Pikachu. A button on the front of the Pokémon GO Plus also lets you perform simple actions such as throwing a Poké Ball and catching Pokémon.

Pokémon GO field tests: Who can take part? How to join Pokémon GO field test

The Pokémon GO field tests began in Japan in March and later expanded to Australia, New Zealand and the US. The field trials are now closing in the lead up to the game’s final release.

Pokémon GO UK closed beta access: How to join Pokemon Go closed beta?

Quite simply, you can’t. Google ‘Pokemon Go closed beta’ and you’ll find several sites claiming to offer a download for the Pokemon Go closed beta. Clearly not all can be legit, and it’s worth remembering that the deal with a closed beta is that not just anyone can sign up. To join a closed beta you must be invited. (And if you’ve come to this article wondering how to join then you haven’t been.)

Follow Marie Brewis on Twitter.