The Pokmon Go Plus is, at last, available to purchase now, and despite some anecdotally waning interest in the mobile phenomenon, Pokmon Go itself still boasts a vast amount of players – so much so that, outside of Nintendo’s official store, the Pokmon Go Plus is selling for as much as two to three times it’s standard 34.99 price.
What you’re probably wondering, though, is what the Pokmon Go Plus actually does. Can you activate Pokstops with it? Does it count your steps towards hatching Pokmon Eggs? Does it drain your battery even more than Pokmon Go (even after our own battery saving tips…) and is it really worth thirty five quid?! Tom Phillips looks at that last question in particular in his three-day hands on with the Pokmon Go Plus, but for the rest, you’re already in the right place.
What is the Pokmon Go Plus?
The Pokmon Go Plus is a peripheral for Pokmon Go which can be worn either on the provided bracelet band, or as a pin on your clothes. Shaped like a combination of a Pok Ball and the Google Maps pin – because, you know, Pokmon Go is essentially Pok Balls plus maps – it’s around the size of a large smartwatch, although of course only provides functionality when used with the Pokmon Go app.
The main point of the Pokmon Go Plus is to enable you to enjoy the game – or if you’re anything like us at times, compulsively obsess over the game – without having to use your phone. It connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, and will notify you of a nearby PokStop or wild Pokmon with a vibration and blinking LED.
The greatest benefit, really, is the fact that you can do these things without draining your phone’s battery life at quite the same rate as doing so normally – helpful since battery drain in Pokmon Go is a recognised issue. That is, unfortunately, mitigated somewhat by the fact that it’ll be using your phone’s Bluetooth however.
Pokmon Go Plus – LED colour meanings, how to pair Bluetooth, attach wristband, and more
Nintendo being Nintendo, things aren’t always completely obvious when using the Pokmon Go Plus, and as such we’ve put together a few simple tips for getting the best out of the device:
- How to pair Bluetooth – to connect the Pokmon Go Plus with Bluetooth and start using it, first make sure Bluetooth is, of course, switched on on your mobile. Then pull the plastic tab out the side of the Pokmon Go Plus and head to the Pokmon Go app, select Settings in the top-right of the menu page, and select Pokmon Go Plus from there.
- How to switch the Pokmon Go Plus to a new phone – To switch devices, you’ll need to unpair the Plus from the current one, before pairing again (as per the steps above) with the new one. Head to your device’s settings first, and unpair the Plus from there. Then, on the Pokmon Go Plus, hold down the central function button for five seconds, until the LED itself turns blue. If it flashes, instead of being a solid blue, let go of the button and try again. Then, within 10 seconds of the LED turning a solid blue, hold the button down again for another five seconds. The Pokmon Go Plus will vibrate when it’s been successfully unpaired.
- How to replace the Pokmon Go Plus battery – you’ll need a small, cross-head screwdriver to replace the battery. Remove the single screw on the back, place it somewhere safe, and remove the battery. The new battery can then be slid in fairly easily, but make sure the positive side (with the + symbol) is facing up.
- How to attach the Pokmon Go Plus to the wristband – Surprisingly, you’ll need that screwdriver again if you want to attach the Plus to the wristband, or remove it to reattach the clip. That’s because you have to physically unscrew the battery cover (as per the advice above) and then attach it to the case which is already stuck to the wristband, screwing it back on from there.
- Catching Pokmon – Sadly, the Pokmon Go Plus will only use standard Pokballs, will fail if you’re out of them (even if you have Great or Ultra Balls in stock) and won’t let you throw a Razz Berry.
- Does the Pokmon Go Plus track steps? – There’s been a little confusion over this, but after some testing it appears the Pokmon Go Plus does in fact track your steps, meaning that both hatching eggs and the new Buddy system are supported.
- You only get one shot at catching a Pokmon – if your thrown Pokball fails, that’s it, the Pokmon will flee instantly and you won’t get another chance to catch it. We recommend keeping your phone to hand to check what’s actually appeared, so you can insta-chuck balls at Pidgeys for the XP levelling trick, whilst rarer Pokmon you want the Candy for can be caught the manual way.
Pokmon Go Plus LED colour and vibration meanings
There are a few different LED and vibration functions for the Pokmon Go Plus – and for some reason they aren’t featured in the packed-in insutrctions – so we’ve rounded them up for you below:
- LED turns red and vibrates quickly – The Pokmon Go Plus has been disconnected from your device, so try re-pairing it with the steps above, and make sure your device is connected to both the internet and Bluetooth.
- LED flashes blue with three pairs of vibrations – You’ve encountered a Pokstop: press the button to collect items and XP.
- LED flashes green and vibrates three long times – A wild Pokmon (which you may or may not have caught before) has been encountered: press the button to throw a Pokball if you haven’t caught one before.
- LED flashes ‘rainbow’ colours and a long vibration – You’ve successfully caught the Pokmon or gathered the Pokstop loot! (It vibrates three times briefly to simulate the Pokball wobbling when catching Pokmon, too).
- LED flashes red and vibrates – The Pokmon escaped and has fled.
Want to get the most out of Pokmon Go? These guides can help.
Pokmon Go server status – check Pokmon Go servers are down in UK, US, Europe and more
Pokmon Go isn’t the most reliable game right now, so here’s now to navigate its various errors.
Pokmon Go: Best Pokmon with the highest HP, Attack, Defence stats revealed
Where does Charizard stack up against Dragonite, Lapras and the Legendaries?
Pokemon Go Team – Valor Mystic and Instinct, which team is the best and which team to join?
Is there a benefit to choosing one team over the others?
Want more Pokmon Go strategies? Read our Pokmon Go tips, tricks, cheats and guides page for things you didn’t know about the game, and how to find nearby Pokmon, throw the perfect Curveball, when to evolve Pokmon and much more.
Pokmon Go Plus Android, iPhone support and compatibility – what does it work with?
The Pokmon Go Plus is compatible with iPhone 5/5C/5S/SE/6/6S/6 Plus/6S Plus and operating systems iOS 8 – 9, following an update to the Pokmon Go app.
Fortunately for Android users, Adroid OS versions 4.4-6.0 are supported from launch, and you’ll also need Bluetooth Smart capability – (Bluetooth version 4.0 or higher) and 2GB of RAM for the Pokmon Go Plus to work. If in doubt, we can also recommend a particularly cheap phone for Pokmon Go that costs less than 60 / $99.
Finally, it’s worth noting that Nintendo has placed a one-per-customer restriction on the Pokmon Go Plus at launch, likely due to their anticipation of high demand, and as an attempt to counter reselling at crazy prices through auction sites. If you’re keen, be sure to get an order in soon to avoid any disappointment!