Pokemon Go took the world by storm upon launch in 2016 as a revolutionary augmented reality mobile game by Niantic. It requires players to physically visit real-world locations to catch virtual Pokemon characters popping up on their screens while overlaying the camera view. However, the game actively tracks user locations to drive gameplay. This is where Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) come in very handy.
By allowing users to mask their real-world location and spoof a virtual one, VPNs enable Pokemon Go fans to circumvent geographic restrictions in the game. Players leverage this to sniff out regional Pokemon variants, partake in remote Raid Battles or trade creatures without physically travelling. While not always encouraged by Niantic, utilising VPNs tactfully opens new dimensions for enthusiasts to enjoy the game.
How VPNs Work for Pokemon Go
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, enables users to bypass regional access limitations imposed in online games by masking their actual location. Here’s how it works for Pokemon Go:
VPNs funnel your internet traffic through an encrypted tunnel to servers based in different countries of your choosing. By connecting to a VPN server in say, Japan or Australia, your IP address gets replaced with one local to that country provided by the VPN.
So you impersonate being a local Pokemon Go player from that region. Since game servers only see the VPN’s IP address allocated to you, they remain unaware of your true location. Features in the game limited to certain countries can thus be accessed, while you are physically elsewhere!
Besides VPNs, there are location spoofing apps that mimic GPS data to achieve similar effects. However, they bring bigger risks of detection with more likelihood of account suspensions or bans by the game operators. VPNs offer more safety.
Best VPNs for Pokemon Go
The most reliable and safest VPNs for accessing geo-blocked features in Pokemon Go worldwide include:
1. ExpressVPN – Offers blazing speeds even while encrypting traffic, ensuring smooth Pokemon Go performance. Wide choice of Australian, European and North American servers to select location spoofing best suited for gameplay needs.
2. NordVPN – Boasts thousands of high-speed servers across the globe, including rarer locations like South America and Africa, besides common markets. Masking identity is easy with dedicated IP available.
3. Surfshark – Provides private DNS and whitelisting modes offering added customisation for connecting only apps that need location masking. Pocket-friendly plans with unlimited device support.
4. CyberGhost – Has dedicated servers optimised for gaming needs like reducing latency. Data compression tools reduce bandwidth usage while playing data-intensive AR games.
5. PrivateVPN – Smaller provider but growing presence across 63 countries including Japan & New Zealand. AES 256-bit encryption gives watertight security with custom DNS/IPv6 leak protection.
Guide to Setting Up a VPN for Pokemon Go on Android Phones:
- Select a suitable VPN service from a reputed provider like NordVPN with international servers. Sign up for a paid account.
- Download the VPN app for your Android OS phone from the Play Store. Install and launch the app.
- Log into the VPN app using your registered account credentials.
- Connect to an overseas server location most optimal for your gameplay needs.
- Once connected, open your Pokemon Go app. It will now use the VPN server’s location allowing you location-limited gameplay.
Reasons to Use a VPN for Pokemon Go
Catch Region-Exclusive Pokemon
Different parts of the world feature varied landscapes, landmarks and cultural elements that reflect in region-exclusive Pokemon. The Americas unlock legendary beasts like Tauros, while Kangaskhan roams Australia. Japan-based Farfetch’d remains elusive overseas. VPNs help catch ’em all!
Compete in Events and Tournaments
Special events, tournaments and nest migrations drive unique gameplay across countries. A Paris Safari Zone competition or Japanese Earth Day climate awareness drive feature different in-game mechanics. VPNs let one participate without actual travel.
Avoid Getting Phone Banned
Spoofing location via unauthorized GPS overrides in the game itself risks permanent device bans by Niantic for breaching terms of service. VPNs offer safer location masking reducing such outcomes.
FAQs About VPNs and Pokemon Go
Does Niantic allow VPN usage?
No official stance sanctions VPN usage. However, leverage reputed brands like ExpressVPN subtly without exploiting gameplay, and the minimal risks inspire confidence to proceed. Moderation is key.
Can free VPNs work smoothly for Pokemon Go?
Typically no, as they lack reliable connections, have slower speeds, may log activity, or even sell data for profit. The tiny subscription fee for proven elite VPNs makes gameplay far more optimal.
Pokemon Go indeed lives up to its name in urging people to step out to explore real-world places. Yet VPNs judiciously applied enable extending gameplay dimensions in new environments without actually travelling. Responsible usage staying clear of exploits offers exciting new vistas for trainers to “catch ‘em all”. Just ensure your personal security with a trustworthy VPN partner so that the only monster you need worry about is safely inside a Poke Ball!