How to stay safe while playing Pokémon Go

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Pokémon Go is a free augmented reality mobile game which allows users to find and catch Pokémon. Pokémon Go taps into your phone’s GPS data, and as you move around the world it shows Pokémon which are hidden nearby. Pokémon then pop up on-screen and you have to capture them by swiping the little Poké Ball toward them. Sightings of rare Pokémon have already led to astonishing amounts of people coming together in one location just to try and grab them. If this is making no sense, take a look at the video below.

Of course this is all good innocent fun and it’s getting kids and adults (many adults!) alike outside into the real world again. Unfortunately, reports of people walking off cliffs, walking into busy streets or being lured by criminals have cropped up all over. With this in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips on how you can avoid similar tragic circumstances while out adding to your brood of Pokémon.

1. Get yourself a Pokémon Go Plus.

Announced long before the app was even released, this Poké Ball looking accessory straps onto your wrist and allows you to play Pokémon Go without having to constantly look at your phone. It will keep you up to date on whether any Pokémon are nearby through LED and/or vibration alerts.

2. Avoid hunting in high risk areas

Whether it takes the from of busy traffic, bad people up to no good, or mother nature herself offering up unique elevations to fall from, every town or city has areas which are considered dangerous. Evaluate an area before hunting there and ask yourself whether it could be considered a risk. If so, perhaps avoid it. If you don’t want to avoid an area, then at least try to stay aware of your surroundings at all times and take a friend with you.

3. Make sure someone knows where you are

When internet dating started being a thing, there were certain ground rules laid out which aren’t as implicit as they are now: Meet in a public place, make sure you tell someone where you’re going, have an exit strategy. Pokémon Go should be treated in much the same way. If you’re going out hunting:

  • Meet in a public place
  • Make sure someone knows where you’re going.
  • Have an exit strategy

4. Don’t hunt and drive

If you aren’t much of a walker and want to hunt in a vehicle instead, consider finding yourself someone else to do the actual driving? Hunting and driving does actually divide your attention, worse things than losing a Pokémon can happen when your focus isn’t 100% on the road.

5. When all else fails, use a bit of common sense

Common sense is your best friend when out playing Pokémon Go. Hunting on a busy street? Raise your gaze away from your phone often and make sure you aren’t about to step off the sidewalk and befriend a truck. See a rare Pokémon but it’s 3am on a work night? Maybe give it a miss and try again during more sane hours. Basically try use critical thinking to keep yourself healthy and alive while playing Pokémon Go, or any mobile game for that matter. Have fun and stay safe trainers.