Pokémon Go is now OFFICIALLY available to download on iOS (iPhone) and Android devices in the UK and all over the world, following its initial rollout in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and arrival in other European countries like Spain and Italy. When can you download it? Here's how to catch 'em all right now – even if you're in a country where the app isn't available yet, you can still grab the Android APK or 'hack' the App Store.
To get the game now without having to fiddle about with any workarounds, just head to the iOS App Store or Google Play Store and prepare to sign away the rest of your life. At least, it's that simple in the UK, US, Europe, and most other countries around the world.
However, some regions and countries are still locked out – if this is you, scroll down for instructions on how to download Pokémon GO right now including a link to the Android APK.
Watch: Pokémon Go tips and tricks
What is Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO combines the traditional features of the Pokémon game, capturing and battling Pokémon, in a real-world setting. The app uses augmented reality to place Pokémon in the real world, which can then be captured by the player. Once captured, the player can train and level up their Pokémon, and challenge other players to battles.
As you've worked out already, the world has gone mad for this, which is why you're reading this article. So far we've seen huge groups of Pokémon GO players congregating at major landmarks, such as Central Park in New York, while some venues have had to put notices to deter Pokémon GO players.Nintendo's new augmented reality mobile game initially launched in a few territories, including New Zealand, Australia, and the US, but us Brits had to wait for official access.
Those impatient to get Pikachu in their pockets, though, had to resort to workarounds for both iOS and Android – we explained the easiest ways to get Pokémon GO ahead of time below, and will keep the instructions there for those of your in countries that may still be locked out.
Should you download it, though? Early versions of the app requested full access to Google accounts, which was totally unnecessary and a security risk. Since the update, the app only uses your User ID and email address, so it's no longer a privacy concern.
It is, however, highlight addictive, though some people find this to be a positive and report it's helping them to improve their fitness.
Unfortunately, the game is also a big power hog, and those of you intending to venture out on extended Pokèmon hunting trips will want to consider one of these battery packs to ensure the fun isn't cut short right when you're about to ensnare a Charizard:
Where can I get Pokémon Go?
At present, the full list of countries where Pokémon Go is officially available is as follows:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
Related: 7 clever Pokémon Go hacks
Still can't download Pokémon Go on iOS?
Some people seem to be having issues with getting Pokémon GO to work in this way, while others have it working. Let us know how you get on in the comments.
First, open the Settings app, select Apple ID, and sign out. Now head into the General section and select Language & Region. Change the region to the US (or Australia, or New Zealand, or now the UK – or anywhere on the long list above).
Head into the App Store and search for Pokémon GO, or whichever free app you're after. Hit install, then opt to Create New Apple ID. Note, it's important you try to download a free app before creating a new Apple ID.
Set up a completely new Apple ID, with a new email address, and when you reach the Billing section select None. Some people have noted that this is missing for them, but this should only happen if you didn't choose to try and download a free app before creating a new ID.
Next, add a valid local address (Google should be able to fix you up with one) and hey presto, you should now have access to the US App Store. Now you can download Pokémon GO, or any other US-only free app that takes your fancy.
Once complete, you can reverse the process to go back to using the UK app store with no problems.
Important: If you use Apple Music, you may find that all your music has now disappeared. Worry not! We have a solution to that problem too. Just click the link below.
Still can't download Pokémon Go on Android
To get it working on Android, all you need to do is launch this APK download from your mobile and install the game from there.
Since the download isn’t coming from the Google Play Store you may be asked to confirm the installation before Pokémon GO can be launched.
You'll also probably have to change the setting that allows installations from unknown sources, but the OS should prompt you to do that itself.
The free-to-play mobile game has you catching Pokémon in an augmented reality environment that uses real-world locations.
You even get to create your own character and visit locations such as Gyms and Pokémon Centres.
So far I’ve found it to be a fun, surreal experience. If you’re out and about on a daily basis it’s definitely worth checking out.
Disclaimer: Always be cautious when downloading .apk files from third-party websites. To install an .apk, Google will make you turn off the default settings that block third-party downloads. Once you've installed an .apk, you'd be wise to turn this back on. You are always safest when downloading apps from the official Google Play Store.
Related: Best free Pokémon Go bots
Watch: What is Pokémon Go and how do I download it?
Related:Pokémon Go Android Malware: How to see if you're infected
Have you managed to get Pokémon GO working in your territory? Let us know what you think in the comments.