Unless you’ve been living under a Golem for the past couple of weeks, you already know all about the wonder from heaven that is Pokémon GO. Well, in case you don’t, Pokémon GO is an augmented reality adventure game based on the Pokémon anime series that came out around 20 years ago – yes, that one! Developed by the Niantic – the people behind the popular augmented reality game Ingress, Pokémon GO requires users to physically go out into the world, using a combination of a Smartphone’s internet connection, GPS and camera to allow Pokémon trainers to catch all the 151 Pokémon from the original series in the real world. Aspiring trainers can then go on to train and evolve their Pokémon so that they can pit them against other trainers’ Pokémon for control over Pokémon gyms – virtual structures located at actual, physical locations.
Only a week after its launch, Pokémon GO had almost as many daily users as Twitter and became the hottest app on the Google Play Store, earning Nintendo (the people behind the Pokémon gaming franchise) billions in revenue and stock increments. The app is almost certainly the most viral mobile application of 2016, and, according to Niantic, this isn’t even its final form. However, the only (yes, only) negative of Pokémon GO is that it has still not been officially released worldwide. As of yet, Pokémon GO is only officially available in the United States, Australia and (for some reason no one seems to know) New Zealand, leaving much of Asia, Europe and other parts of the world looking for ways to get in on the Pokémon GO action.
Thankfully, you can pretty easily download, install and play Pokémon GO even if it isn’t officially available in your country yet, regardless of whether you have an Android device or an iOS device, with the only drawback being that you’ll become just another person exerting pressure on Niantic’s Pokémon GO servers which, judging from how often they break down and experience issues, are made of paper. If you are one of the many unlucky aspiring Pokémon trainers living in countries where Pokémon GO is not officially available yet, here’s how you can start playing it:
On an Android device
On an Android device, since you can’t download and install Pokémon GO from the Google Play Store seeing as though it is not officially available in your country yet, the most effective way for you to install Pokémon GO is by downloading the APK file (which is basically a setup file for Android devices) for Pokémon GO and then using it to install the app on your device. It should be noted that Pokémon GO is only compatible with Android devices running on Android 4.4 KitKat or higher.
Go here and click on the Download APK
Wait for the APK file to be successfully downloaded to your Android device.
Once the APK file has been successfully downloaded, navigate to where your device has saved it and tap on it.
Tap on Install.
Note: You may receive an error message stating that your device is not permitted to install applications originating from unknown sources (basically any place that isn’t the Google Play Store). If you do, tap on Settings on the dialog displaying the error message and, in the Settings app that launches, locate and enable the Unknown sources option. Once that’s done, go back and tap on Install once again, and you will be able to proceed.
Wait for your device to successfully install Pokémon GO.
Your device will inform you once Pokémon GO has been installed successfully. At this point, you can simply tap on Open to launch the app and start playing Pokémon GO.
Note: If, at any point during this process, your device displays a list of all the permissions that Pokémon GO requires, be sure to accept all of them.
On an iOS device
Pokémon GO is also available for the most recent iOS devices starting with the iPhone 5. However, iOS users are going to have to jump through a few more hoops to get in on the Pokémon GO action as compared to Android users as they are going to have to switch their region on the App Store to the United States by creating a new Apple ID before they can successfully download and install Pokémon GO from the App Store. To start playing Pokémon GO on an iOS device if it’s not available in your country yet, first of all, you are going to have to sign out of your current Apple ID and then change your iPhone’s region to the United States.
Open the App Store.
Tap on your Apple ID
Tap on Sign out.
Exit the App Store and launch the Settings
Tap on General.
Locate and tap on Language & Region from the list of General settings in front of you.
Tap on Region.
Select United States.
Close the Settings
Once that’s out of the way, you can move onto creating a new Apple ID with the United States set as its region so that you can download and install Pokémon GO.
Launch the App Store.
Search for and tap on the listing for Pokémon GO.
Note: If the App Store says that the item isn’t available in the current store, tap on Change Store and it should be fixed.
Tap on Get > Install.
Tap on Create New Apple ID.
Fill out all of the required information and follow the onscreen instructions for creating a new Apple ID, but be sure to set your region as the United States and select None for your billing information as Pokémon GO – the reason why you’re creating this Apple ID in the first place – is completely free to play.
Verify your email address via the verification email sent to it.
Launch the App Store and login to your new Apple ID if you aren’t already logged into it.
Go back to the listing for Pokémon GO on the App Store.
Tap on Get > Install.
Your iOS device will begin downloading and installing Pokémon GO, checking “Become a Pokémon trainer” off your bucket list for your life. Once it’s done, you’ll be able to play Pokémon GO on your iOS device even though it’s not available in your region yet!
You are free to change your region back to your own country, and your Apple ID back to your original one, but you’ll still be able to return to the United States account when and if you need to by simply logging out of your original Apple ID and then logging back in to your new United States Apple ID.