Pokémon GO Plus - The good, the bad and the ugly

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

If you've been playing Pokémon GO since day 1 like me, you know it takes a lot of time and effort to progress in the game. At one point I was running out of stardust and couldn't even power up my pokémon. My phone battery would drop 50% in a short session and I'd be scrambling for a phone charger. It became exhausting and frustrating to play the game.


Pokemon GO Plus bracelet

Eventually an accessory called the Pokémon GO Plus was released. This is a device that runs on a battery which connects via Bluetooth to your phone and allows you to partially play Pokémon GO without having to look at your phone screen.


What exactly does it do?

The Pokémon GO Plus allows you to attempt to catchpPokémon, walk to hatch eggs and spin photo discs at Pokéstops without having to look at your phone's screen. Once connected to the game, you push a button on the Pokémon GO Plus to perform certain tasks without needing the app currently on your phone screen.


Sounds awesome, right? Well nothing is perfect, but it's perfect enough for me. Let's break down the good, the bad and the ugly.



Pokemon Go screenshot

Pros


1) You don't need to have your phone screen on all the time! If I even thought about wanting to walk my dog while having the game up, I had to make sure my phone was fully charged because this game KILLED MY BATTERY. How the heck am I supposed to realistically hatch eggs if my phone is dead all the time?


2) It's easy to sync with your phone. I do it every morning after I get to work so the walk in between the parking lot and my desk counts toward hatching eggs, spinning discs and trying to catch pokémon.


3) You can rack up stardust and xp fast. The best part about this accessory is you can hold it or put it on your wrist and push the button while doing other things. Walking around an outdoor mall? At the amusement park? No need to have your phone out constantly if you're looking to work on stardust and experience. Just connect the accessory and push your button when prompted.


4) It's really simple and easy to learn. There's one button on it that lights up and vibrates differently based on what you have an option of doing. If it vibrates and blinks green, then there's a pokémon near me that I've caught in the past I can try to catch again. A yellow blink with a slightly different vibration tells me a pokémon I don't have is around. And finally a blue light with yet another vibration notifies me of a photo disc nearby I can spin. Without even looking at the Pokémon GO Plus, I can tell you how many items I got from a photo disc or whether I caught the pokémon nearby.


5) You have some options. Well, really very limited options, which is why this is also going on the cons list. But you can choose to have the accessory ignore pokémon or photo discs if you want. Sometimes I shut photo discs off it my inventory is maxed and I don't want to delete anything just to make room.


6) It's sturdier than I expected. I have dropped this thing a ton of times and even accidentally ran it through the washing machine and it still works!


Pokemon GO Plus bracelet
Pokemon GO Plus bracelet

Cons

1) If a pokémon is nearby and you tell the device you want to try and catch it, the Pokémon GO Plus will only throw ONE pokéball in an attempt to catch it. If the pokémon is not caught on the first throw, then that's it - you missed it. This could be incredibly awful if something like a Lapras is nearby and your one dinky pokéball toss doesn't do the job. But if you're just looking to catch pokémon so you can collect xp and stardust, then have at it.


2) Once you are out of pokéballs, the Pokémon GO Plus will not allow you to attempt to catch pokémon until you gather more pokéballs. (Yep, even if you have 200 ultra balls sitting around.)


3) The device vibrates and it's LOUD. I tried sitting on it, shoving it in my pocket, you name it. It's not something you can discretely use while at the library or at work.


Pokemon GO Plus bracelet

The ugly

I'm just being picky here but I think the bracelet isn't very attractive. The fabric seems cheap and I always worry it's going to fall off my wrist. I tend to hold it in my hand, which is fine because it helps me hit the button easier.


Upcoming news

Niantic announced this week a new feature coming to Pokémon GO called Adventure Sync. I sounds like this will help you hatch eggs and earn candies with your buddy without needing to have the game open. Will it help you catch pokémon and spin pokéstops as well, rendering the Pokémon GO Plus useless? We'll find out!


Update December 27, 2018: I have recently received Let's Go: Eevee with the poké ball plus item and I have not gone back to the Pokémon GO Plus bracelet. The ball will spin stops for me, which saves me even more time. If you get one of the Let's Go games for the Switch, I suggest getting the pokéball plus as well!


Adventure Sync has also really helped me in hatching eggs and earning candies. It does not help you catch pokémon or spin stops for you.


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