Fix: Pokemon Go AR not working

There’s no disputing that Pokemon Go is incredibly fun. But the overall experience has been hindered right from the start with a lot of bugs that make it a little less enjoyable.

Although Niantic has already fixed a lot of issues, users are still reporting problems with the AR mode. The error “We’re not detecting your phone’s orientation. Would you like to turn off AR Mode?” seems omnipresent and affects both new and old devices.

We’re not detecting your phone’s orientation. Would you like to turn off AR Mode?

This prevents you from playing the game in AR mode – which is one of the best features of this game. Luckily, some fixes might help you play in AR mode. Please go through each guide carefully until you find a solution that works for you.

Method 1: Updating or reverting to another OS version (iOS only)

If you play Pokemon Go on an iOS device, you might have updated to iOS 10. A lot of users have reported problems when trying to play the game in AR mode after they’ve updated to early versions of iOS 10. Even more, it seems like iOS 11 beta is still vulnerable to this error.

This issue is non-existent on iOS 9 and the latest versions of iOS 10. If you have this issue, you have two ways forward. You either update to the latest version of iOS or revert to iOS 9.

For the sake of being at the forefront of technology, you should start by updating to the latest version of iOS available for your device. Here’s how:

  1. Plug in your device into power and make sure it’s connected to Wi-Fi or Mobile data.
  2. Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
    Update Software on an iOS device
  3. Tap on Download and Install and enter your passcode if you have one.
  4. Once you have the latest iOS, fire up Pokemon GO and see whether AR is working. If it’s still displaying the same error, you should consider downgrading to iOS 9 if you want to continue your Pokemon Go career.
  5. Unfortunately, downgrading on iOS is a lot more complicated than updating. But if you were lucky enough to back up your phone while it was running on iOS 9, reinstalling will be a lot easier. Here’s how to do it:
  6. Open up iTunes and connect your Apple device to your PC or Mac.
  7. Select your device from iTunes and click on Summary.
  8. Hold down the option key on Mac (Alt key on PC) and click the Restore button.
    Restore iPhone in iTunes
  9. In the newly opened window, go to *yourusername*/Library/iTunes and look for a folder named iPhone /iPad Software Updates.
  10.  Look for .ipsw file that has the name of your device and starts with the number 9( the first number signals the iOS version).
  11. Click on the .ipsw file and wait until iTunes reverts to iOS9.

PS:  If you don’t have a backup made by yourself, you can download a reliable one from this website.

Note:  You might get a message saying you’re running the latest version of iOS. In that case, turn off your Apple device and unplug it from your Mac / PC. While holding the Home button, plug the cable back into your PC or Mac. You should be in Recovery mode. Hold down the option key on Mac or Alt on PC and browse to the .ipsw file and install it.

Restore iPhone in Recovery Mode in iTunes

Method 2: Make sure you have a gyro sensor (Android only)

To function properly, the AR feature of Pokemon GO needs to know the orientation of your phone. This is accomplished by a gyroscope which is present on almost all newer smartphone models. While all iPhones 4 and above have it, some Android manufacturers don’t include it

If your device is fairly old, you might not have a gyroscope, in which case there isn’t a way for you to play in AR mode. Luckily, you can check if your Android device has a Gyroscope by using a 3rd party app. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Download Sensor Kinetics from Google Play Store.
Install Sensor Kinetics

2. Open the app and keep an eye at the X, Y and Z coordinates under Gyroscope. Tilt your device and see if the values change. If they do, your device has a built-in gyroscope. If the values are stuck to 0, then you won’t be able to play Pokemon Go in AR mode.

Coordinates under Gyroscope in Sensor Kinetics

Method 3: Update to the latest Pokemon Go app

Pokemon Go was extremely buggy during the initial versions. If you still run an outdated version of it, upgrading to the latest build might just fix your issue. Here’s how:

  1. Open Google Play Store and swipe from the left to the right.
  2. Tap on My apps & games and look for the Pokemon Go entry.
  3. Tap the Update button next to it and wait until the new app is downloaded and installed.
    Update Pokemon Go

It may be that you downloaded the game from a different region store than yours. For example – you live in the UK but you’ve downloaded the US version because the game wasn’t available in your region. If that’s the case, you should know that Niantic has deployed a lot of localized APKs, so downloading the right version for your region will save you from a lot of potential bugs.

Also, if you’ve downloaded the game outside Google Play Store, it’s recommended to install it the official way. Unnoficial stores tend to have outdated versions that might end up not recognizing your gyroscope even if you have one.

Method 4: Managing Permissions and Auto-Orientation

If you’re sure you have a working gyroscope on your device, this might very well be a permission issue. Keep in mind that you need to be running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or above to be able to access permissions. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings > Apps.
  2. Tap on the Pokemon Go app.
  3. On the App info screen, you’ll see a category that lists all the permissions that an app has access to. Tap On Permissions to expand the list.
  4. Once you see the whole list, make sure the Camera and Location are enabled.
    Enable Camera and Location
  5. Go to Settings >Acesibillity and make sure the Auto-rotate screen is enabled.
  6. Restart the game and see if you’re able to play in AR mode.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.