Pokémon GO Routes
Image: Niantic

As of July 2023, Pokémon GO has a new feature: Routes. Part-guided walk and part-trail mapper, the Routes feature is all about finding and sharing new areas to catch Pokémon — and there are some nice bonuses for taking part as well.

With this new part of the mobile app to explore, we have put together the following guide to fill you in on what the Routes feature is all about and how you can use it.

At the time of writing, parts of this feature are still being rolled out to select users, so you might not be able to do everything that this guide mentions just yet. We have flagged all of the areas where this may apply and there are still several aspects of Routes that everybody can get involved with right away, so let's take a stroll into the following guide and see what the feature has to offer.

Pokémon GO Routes

What Are Routes In Pokémon GO?

As demonstrated in the above trailer, Routes is a way to find and share different Pokémon GO walks around your local area. If there is a particular trail that you use for Pokémon hunting, then you can now record and share it with the community.

Alternatively, if you are either new to an area or simply are looking for a recommended walk, you can use the feature to find trails that others in the Pokémon GO community have shared — you might even find Pokémon exclusively from your region along the way.

How To Create A Route

Pokémon GO Routes - Make A Route
Image: Niantic

At the time of writing, most trainers will not be able to create Routes in Pokémon GO. Niantic has stated that you will receive an email when the mode has been rolled out to you, but you can only explore established Routes until then.

Fortunately, we do know how Route creation will work when we do manage to get our hands on it. According to the Pokémon GO website, you will be able to create a Route by completing the following steps:

  • Pick a PokéStop or Gym as your Route start point
  • Press 'Record' to start mapping your Route
  • When finished, fill in more information about your Route and submit it for review
  • Once accepted, your Route will be available for other Trainers to follow

How To Find A Route

Pokémon GO Routes - Find A Route
Image: Niantic

Finding a Route is a much easier process than creating one. Simply, tap the Nearby Pokémon menu in the bottom right of your screen (the image of three Pokémon or their silhouettes), select the Route tab, choose one that appeals to you, then walk to the start area and begin exploring.

As so few Trainers are able to create Routes at the moment, we have found that approved ones in the relevant tab are pretty hard to come by (we found none in our local area). However, as the feature continues to be rolled out and more players submit ones for review, we would imagine that the list of nearby walks will rapidly grow.

When walking a Route, you are able to pause, reverse, quit or even report it to your liking. This means that you can shape the Route to whatever you are after on the day, though bear in mind that prematurely quitting the journey may result in you missing out on some rewards.

Route Rewards And Bonuses

Completing a Route for the first time will reward you with a special Route Badge, which can then be upgraded by completing the same walk several times.

Alongside the badges, there are a few other bonuses up for grabs on completing a Route including increased Candy and Hearts for your Buddy, more wild Pokémon being attracted to your Incense and XP bonuses for the first Route that you complete each day.

Zygarde Cells

Pokémon GO Routes - Zygarde Cells
Image: Niantic

Completing the Special Research Quest 'From A to Zygarde' will reward you with an encounter with Zygarde, the Order Pokémon, whose form can be changed by collecting items called 'Zygarde Cells'.

You can find these Cells on the ground as you explore different Routes — collect enough of them in your Zygarde Cube to continue to improve Zygarde into its completed form (which has the power to overwhelm the likes of Xerneas or Yveltal).

With the Routes feature continuing to roll out, we will be updating this guide with anything that we have missed over the coming months.