Pokémon GO has just gone live in Australia and Japan, but for the rest of the world, you can't access the app unless you're willing to jump through a few hoops. [Update: it's now also available in the US] Thankfully, we're here to make that process a little easier.

Here's how you can get Pokémon GO on your iOS or Android device right now.

How to install Pokémon GO on iPhone


First of all you're going to need a Mac or PC with iTunes and a little bit of patience. Open the app store on iTunes, make sure you've logged out of your real Apple ID and scroll right down to the bottom right hand corner where you should see a little flag corresponding with your country of residence. Click that and scroll further to select Japan or Australia.

Then you need to find Pokémon GO and attempt to download it. Because you're not logged in it'll ask you to sign into your account, but instead select 'Create New Apple ID'. Agree to the terms and conditions that you've almost certainly read thoroughly and start inputting an email address and password. You'll have to use an email address that isn't registered to a current Apple ID.

Fill in the rest of the page truthfully or however you see fit and then move on. You'll be asked for payment information but because you tried to download a free app 'None' should be highlighted automatically. This is what you want, as otherwise you'd have to input genuine Japanese or Australian credit card details. Under billing address any first and surname will do, but if you're going to use a Japanese account make sure you input some Katakana in the phonetic first and last name boxes, such as 'トクメイ'.

For the billing address you'll need to input a real location and postal code. Taking Japan as the example, we set the postal code to '100-0006', the prefecture as 'Tokyo' from the drop down list, and 'Chiyoda-ku' as the city. The street can be anything you want so '742 Evergreen Terrace' is as good as anything. Lastly you'll need a phone number from the area, but luckily the area code '080' and the number '55555555' work smashingly.

Once you've verified your account you're all done! Simply log into this new Apple ID on your iOS device and download Pokémon GO. When the app requires updating in the future you'll need to sign back into this account so make sure you write the login details down on a piece of paper to be extra safe.

How to install Pokémon GO on Android


Android's open nature means that installing Pokémon Go is a little easier than it is on iOS and doesn't involve creating dummy accounts or making your phone think you're in another part of the world. However, it does come with some risks which have to be considered before proceeding.

On iOS, your only option - unless you're willing to "jailbreak" your phone - is to use the App Store to obtain the game. However, on Android it's possible to download the installation file (known as an .apk) from the internet and "side-load" it onto your Android device - this basically involves disabling the security measure which prevents you from installing apps outside of the Google Play store.

Most Android phones have side-loading disabled by default, so you'll need to go to Settings, then Security (this might be listed as Privacy on some handsets) and tick the box next to "Unknown Sources". You'll get a message which states that the installation of applications outside of the Google Play store comes with obvious risks (such as viruses and malware) - so we'd like to state that we cannot be held responsible for any issues beyond this point.

Pokémon GO requires special permissions to access elements such as your location, contacts and photos, as well as Bluetooth connections (to pair with the Pokémon GO Plus wearable), billing (for in-app purchases) and so on. Your phone (if it's running the latest version of Android) will warn you of this before installation - don't be alarmed, these are the permissions it needs to function properly. For what it's worth, we haven't experienced any issues with the apk we've used.

Various sites online offer apk files for download, and in this case there's no real ethical issue as Pokémon GO is a free-to-play title and doesn't cost money. However, due to the fact that these sites also offer apps and games that are normally paid-for, we won't be linking to any in this guide. Type "Pokémon GO apk" into Google and you'll no doubt find several sites offering the file. Which one you choose is very much up to you, and done at your own discretion.

Even though you've side-loaded the game, when it does eventually become available in your region it will receive updates and your user data will be carried over - you don't have to worry about losing progress by installing the game early. The title is listed on Google Play now but can only be downloaded in Japan and Australia - but by all means add it to your wish list so you can grab the update the moment it goes live.