Pokemon Go Plus

Recently the Pokemon Go Plus accessory became available in the UK. As it is highly in demand, it is expected that the units which are available have a higher price tag than its RRP of £35.00. But as I saw that there were 10 available for immediate despatch through Amazon Prime at £63.99, I felt it worth the extra cost just to try it out.I had mine delivered to our local Post Office, which meant that it arrived a few days later than if it were delivered directly to my house.

Original packaging of Pokemon Go Plus
Original packaging of Pokemon Go Plus
Pokemon Go plus and its wrist band attachment and the instructions
Pokemon Go plus and its wrist band attachment and the instructions
Pokemon Go plus with the wrist band attachment
Pokemon Go plus with the wrist band attachment
Back of the Pokemon Go Plus with the clip attached
Back of the Pokemon Go Plus with the clip attached

First thing I did was to remove the protector tag for the battery so it could be activated. Next was to remove the clip and install the wrist band attachment – this requires a small Philips screw driver to do. Then it is simply ensuring the Bluetooth of the iPhone is switched on, and then accessing the Pokemon Go App, going to the Settings and choosing the Pokemon Go Plus to activate it.

Once it is setup, there should be a Pokemon Go Plus sign to the left of the screen of the Pokemon Go App. If the icon is darkened, it means that the Pokemon Go Plus is not connected. If it is connected, it should look as below. The icon can be used to switch on or off this accessory.

The Pokemon Go Plus icon is on top left of the screen - this can be tapped on to switch on or off the Pokemon Plus Go.
The Pokemon Go Plus icon is on top left of the screen – this can be tapped on to switch on or off the Pokemon Plus Go.

When you first set it up, they do give some hints as to what the different lights mean:

  1. Green flash = a Pokemon you’ve caught before is nearby.
  2. Yellow  flash = a Pokemon you’ve never caught is nearby.
  3. Blue flash = Pokestop is nearby.
  4. Red flashes =  error or Pokemon has run away.
  5. Multicolour flashes = Pokemon caught or Pokestop items collected.
Simple instructions about understanding the Pokemon Go Plus flashes
Simple instructions about understanding the Pokemon Go Plus flashes
Worn on the wrist
Worn on the wrist

What is good about the Pokemon Go Plus?

  1. It seems to highlight more Pokemon through the green flashes than what I see on my iPhone screen.
  2. It can help with hatching eggs and getting candies from your buddy, even when the iPhone is in lock mode, provided the Pokemon Go Plus is connected to it.
  3. It is possible to catch a Pokemon with the Pokemon Go Plus, while you try to collect items from a Pokestop at the same time. This is particularly useful if you are a passenger in a car or on a bus. But do note that if you try to catch a Pokemon via the phone itself, this will switch off the Pokemon Go Plus – this will need to be reconnected afterwards by pressing on the icon in the top left of the screen and pressing the button on the Go Plus when prompted to. 
  4. The Pokemon Go Plus actually shows up more Pokemon than the App, as it has a larger circle of detection, and seems to show them up quicker as well. This potentially means more Pokemon to catch (or wasted Pokeballs depending on how you look at it). But it could also be used to find Pokemon on the sightings list. A red dot appears where a Pokemon supposed to be, linked by a white line to the Pokemon Go Plus icon. If you move close to where the Pokemon is, it will then show up on the App as well. If this is not the one you are looking for then keep going until you find that elusive Pokemon – sort of works like a Poke radar.

What could be improved?

  1. The catch rate using normal Pokeballs is not great, particularly if there are rare or higher CP Pokemon around – I missed out on a Charmander because of this.
  2. It cannot be configured to use the Great or Ultra Balls. Hopefully this feature can be included in future Pokemon Go upgrades, perhaps to allow us to choose at a level of CP e.g. above CP300, or for certain rarer Pokemon, that the Pokemon Go Plus will use the Great or even Ultra Balls.
  3. If the above is not possible, then perhaps Niantic should allow for users to be able to choose certain Pokemon to flag up as yellow (rather than green) similar to ones they have never caught, so they know to switch on the iPhone/Android to catch these Pokemon instead of with the Pokemon Go Plus – that way it will become a great alert device as well.
  4. There were glitches where some Pokemon disappeared after an Error alert showed up on screen, which meant losing certain Pokemon. Hopefully this issue will be resolved.

Verdict:

The Pokemon Go Plus is by no means perfect, but it adds a little to the gameplay to help egg hatching, getting candies from buddies and also getting more stardust and XP, and all for a one off cost. But if Niantic/Nintendo would like this to be a true success, it needs to be able to do more and allow for better alerts for rarer Pokemon or ones that are highly sought after to differentiate them from other Pokemon, such as making these to blink yellow instead, particularly as it is less likely to blink yellow as your Pokedex gets filled up. But at the moment I am pleased I have bought it.

Boon