The Pokémon GO Plus has had a bit of an iffy run to market, getting delayed initially and generally proving to be rather elusive even when it is meant to be on sale. There are also nitty-gritty questions over the fine details of what it does, as the included instructions are 'succinct', to put it politely. The more blunt description would be "practically non-existent".
One of our Pokémon GO Trainers, Damien, had a go at breaking it all down in our Hardware Review of the accessory. Now our video man Alex has worked on clarifying everything you need to know about the little gadget, including the fact you probably shouldn't succumb to scalpers on eBay. He also does a good impression of its buzz / vibrator, to be fair.
Do you have a Pokémon GO Plus, or have you put it on your wishlist along with hen's teeth and a unicorn while we wait for more stock?
How far can the Go Plus be away from the phone/tablet/etc?
Is it using a standard battery?
Does the catch rate with Pokemon seem better or worse given you only have one chance?
How heavy is the darn thing?
Is the strap that keeps it to your wrist pretty sturdy cause it looks flimsy?
I probably have other questions, you missed a lot. Hope you can answer these to start.
bloop bloop bloop
Did Alex get a haircut? It's a little bit Shaun Cassidy w/ that part. Guess what happens on holiday doesn't always stay on holiday.
My sister had pics of him all over her room when we were kids.
@XCWarrior, I'll try to answer all of your questions. It's bluetooth so it can reach bluetooth-ish distances, I'd say 10-20 feet reliably. I feel like the catch rate is better. I'm getting perhaps 50% (just a guess, no analysis), but keep in mind, that's with just one attempt. That means I'm using a lot less balls when I'm using it! It also means, if you miss once, you're outta luck. It's not heavy at all- it's very lightweight. The wrist strap is extremely sturdy. It's a bit of a pain though because if you want to use the wrist strap instead of the clip, you have to unscrew the back with the clip and screw in the back with the wrist strap. What I've done is leave the clip on. It has a small hole so I've added a tiny key ring to that and then I added a swivel and a quick-release wrist strap. That way, I can easily attach other straps, such as a neck strap, etc.
btw: I love this thing- I'd definitely buy it again knowing what I know now.
I would've instead wanted a Samus style visor/helmet with a HUD. Think anyone would look at me funny as I kneel and tap the side of my helmet to catch Pokémon? YKnow.. kneeling like Logan in Syphon Filter when he accepts incoming calls.
@SuperC142 THanks. Now just wish it was easier to run with a phone. But I might get it in the future.
I have two Pokémon GO Plus.
The speed at which it loads Pokémon is actually kind of hit and miss, based on my own observations... sometimes it loads so quickly you can catch a Pokémon that the app would completely miss, while other times you can go straight past a Pokémon that is shown in the app without the GO Plus responding at all (this also applies to PokéStops).
I'm hoping that they do update it to give you more chances to catch a Pokémon before it flees, and allow you to use other balls... the current restrictions don't ruin it, but it would be a lot better if they were fixed.
I got my Pokémon GO Plus the day before release (thanks to the Nintendo UK Store) and I honestly find it really handy... I'm level 27 now, and am running out of new stuff to catch, so I'm mostly just catching evolution fodder at this stage, which the GO Plus is great for, and I can still pull my phone out if it does find something new, or if I just want to check the area for anything specific... but the biggest benefit is the distance tracking, which also seems to work a lot better with the GO Plus (it didn't seem to always track my distance properly before)... thanks to that I've been able to hatch more eggs in the past week than I usually would have, including a Charmander, Chansey and Hitmonchan in just the past few days (with another 10km egg almost ready to hatch as well).
Legit crush on Alex
The PokeGo Plus is such a super helpful little device, and really helps cut down on the grinding! If you're one of those people who is really set on playing Pokemon Go while driving, this seriously is for you, since it's just a one button press and you're done.
I went from level 13-14 to level 19 in the space of a week, so I'm gonna say this little bugger has already paid for itself!
Is it really that hard to find still? I went to GameStop.com the day of launch and bought one no problem (picked slowest shipping so it isn't here yet but it shipped). I assumed they had a ton extra at that point, I didn't even make the purchase right away...
One more LED color information: if you get white LED and vibration after pushing the button for pokestop - it means that your bag is full.
Hey, Alex has ears! Who would've thought!
This honestly seems like a total and utter pointless waste in my opinion. What . . . you pretty much do nothing apart from press a button when it lights up and it catches Pokemon for you, or something like that? What's even the point of considering this "playing" a game at that stage? Might as well just have someone else go play a totally random game and tell your friends you've been playing that game vicariously through them! The whole point of games is to actually play them, to see the action happening onscreen, to properly interact with it and make decisions that can affect the outcome, and all that lovely stuff. I do not "get" this device; it just seems like a way to fleece kids and parents.
Note: I've not played Pokemon Go beyond literally the first few minutes, so maybe I'm missing something crucial here about what this bit of plastic is actually bringing to the table. . . .
Hi @impurekind6 - there are a few scenarios where I find it useful. If I'm in a restaurant which is also a pokestop, I can spin it without being rude/antisocial and pulling out my phone during dinner. When I'm a passenger in a car and moving quickly, I can use my phone to spin pokestops while using the button to simultaneously catch Pokemon. Also, when I just want to go for a walk and not stare at my phone the whole time, I still get credit for the distance I walk (for hatching eggs). It's still fun and I'm still playing, but it augments the game in a helpful way.
I don't have it because I stopped playing GO three days after launch to start a new adventure in Hoenn!
Thanks for the info in the previous article, the video, and the comments by @Shikinouta @DragonEleven @SuperC142
I'm convinced to pick up one and share it in the family. It's actually much more useful than I at first imagined. Wish I'd pre-ordered.
@impurekind I think you are missing the element of travel, timing, and persistence that is necessary to play the game. It's actually more active and engaging to physically move your body than it is to use a control pad or analog stick to move an onscreen avatar for instance.
Not suggesting it's the same thing, but it's an element that many outsiders seem to miss when they evaluate the game. Like an RPG that feels rewarding from making simple choices over and over and all you ever get is increased numbers or new images to see. The difference here is that physical location matters so you have memories of meeting people, being in actual different locations to accomplish some things and associating real areas with value in the game.
There is this one main street in a town near me with several gyms that my family actively participates in winning over for team Valor, for instance. Long after I've stopped playing the game I'll remember where those gyms are/were and what we did there.
Not better or worse just a different experience that some will prefer or not.
The fascinating part to me is how the potential is there to add so many more features over time to a relatively new (at least in popularity) base play style.
@aaronsullivan Yes, but how does that make this Go Plus accessory worth it? The game does all that stuff you mentioned; the accessory just seems like buying the game for all the stuff you said and then sort of removing half of the stuff and hardly even playing the game at all. I'm not questioning the merit or appeal of the game here, just the point of the Plus.
@impurekind Hmm... I guess I could restate the fact that traveling around is a core part of the game. The Plus accessory doesn't remove that part of the game. The other part of the game is managing your pokemon making plans on how to level up or where to spend resources. None of that is taken away either.
You'll still want to manage catching the more valuable Pokémon as well, because you can only use the basic kind.
Hope that helps you see what I'm saying.
@aaronsullivan But why do you need the actual Plus?
What is that adding here?
As opposed to just hiding away even more of the game part of this game and turning it largely into an outdoors excursion that you could kind of do without the game part at that point: Go out and pretend you're catching stuff you can't really see (because you're using the Plus and the actual phone/game is hidden in your pocket) and talk to some like-minded people.
Honestly, I may be missing something really important but it seems to me that the Plus just turns Pokemon Go the game into Pokemon Go the "let's play pretend" and wear and wristband with a button that lights up that we can press.
Again, I may be missing something real important here but I'm about actually playing video games when I play video games, not poking a button on a wristband that ultimately isn't a proper video game in and of itself in any single way, shape, or form; that's a toy to me.
And, I know you can use the phone in conjunction with the game, and actually have to for many of the features, but why not just do all this stuff on the phone then as per normal? Why bother with the Plus at all? What's the Plus actually making better and improving in the experience?
Other than maybe some people using it so they can kind of still play a little bit when driving or when in a situation where they don't want to make it too obvious to others that they're playing Pokemon Go, I don't see the point, and I actually think it kind of defeats the point at that point.
But, once more, I may be missing something real crucial here.
Basically, I'm looking for someone to genuinely sell/convince me on the idea/point of this thing, because I'm clearly not getting it at all.
@impurekind I think at this point the upsides and downsides will be pretty clear to players of the game, though it won't be for everyone, and I think the reasons are well laid out by me and others here. Your interest seems disingenuous, at best, honestly.
So, if you really want to be sold on it, I'll just let you re-read for homework and you can write a report about your discoveries if you'd like.
@aaronsullivan I've read about it a few times and I simply do not get it, as I have tried to explain in my previous comments. And, so far, you've not really made any [meaningful] benefits clearer to me, although I know you're trying to and you think/assume you must already have done so.
And my interest is not "disingenuous", so don't try to start creating false truths that don't exist here and derail the conversation just because I have my doubts about such a device and I'm trying to ask people like you, who seem to be totally sold on its amazing benefits, to simply try and explain what those are to me who does not get or see them.
If the device is so amazing and not just a bit of plastic where you press a button, but where you really might as well just get your phone out and actually play the game, then I'm only asking you or whomever to help me understand that better.
But, you don't have to bother explaining anything to me if you don't want to; I'm not forcing you. Don't, however, try to make this about me being some kind of hater or troll—"disingenuous"—if you are failing to do that. Just tell me you are unable to convince me of the benefits and virtues of such a device, if that's the case, and leave it at that.
In fact, I tell you what, I'll leave it at that. You've not managed to convince me. Fine. We're done.
When I wrote the disingenuous thing I thought you didn't even have the game (or even intend to get it), so my apologies. I see now that you are just starting to play.
Let me tell you my experience when I first played. I thought having AR on all the time was the only way to play because I had the misperception that the fun in the game was in the actual catch. Well, you can guess I have AR off all the time now unless I want to take a cool picture.
My perception of the game has changed over time and the fun is found in many different places. It's mostly resource management and decisions about how to advance that I'm enjoying. Yes, the catch is still a point of fun. Will I or won't I get it? How many poke balls will I lose on this silly weedle. But that doesn't go away with the Plus. None of it does. And when I'm looking in nest spots or for particularly tricky ones to find, I won't be using the plus for that.
A summary from previous comments:
"I feel like the catch rate is better. ... I'm using a lot less balls when I'm using it"
"sometimes it loads so quickly you can catch a Pokémon that the app would completely miss"
"and I can still pull my phone out if it does find something new, or if I just want to check the area for anything specific"
"the biggest benefit is the distance tracking, which also seems to work a lot better with the GO Plus ... I've been able to hatch more eggs in the past week than I usually would have"
"If I'm in a restaurant which is also a pokestop, I can spin it without being rude/antisocial and pulling out my phone during dinner."
"really helps cut down on the grinding!"
"... Pokemon Go while driving, this seriously is for you, since it's just a one button press and you're done."
"Also, when I just want to go for a walk and not stare at my phone the whole time, I still get credit for the distance I walk (for hatching eggs)"
Add to those my suggestion that it doesn't "defeat the point" because the point isn't always looking at your phone and flicking the ball.
Hope that helps. Oh, and honestly, I wouldn't get one when you are first playing. I'd wait until you are a higher level and the basic pokemon are more for lucky egg evolution runs. Stock will be better and you might see the use of it better as well.
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