What’s All the Fuss about Pokémon GO Plus?

Though only released weeks ago, on September 16th, the Pokemon Go Plus accessory is creating quite a commotion amongst Pokemon trainers all over the world. The trendy new companion gadget is available for $35. Some questions have been raised as to whether or not the accessory is worth the price, but if you are real Pokemon trainer there’s no question at all. True trainers won’t want to miss the opportunity to enhance the already awesome alt-reality Pokemon GO game.

Pokemon GO Plus
Pokemon GO Plus released on September 16th

What Is It Exactly? 

The Pokemon GO Plus accessory is fairly simple; in both visual design and functionality. Essentially, it is a companion device which you can connect via Bluetooth to your smart phone in order to enhance your gaming experience while using your phone to play Pokemon GO.

It does require reasonable proximity to your smart phone to stay connected, and you must continue to run the Pokemon GO app in the background of your device. However, it does not drain your phone’s battery power quickly. It uses the same low-energy consuming Bluetooth technology that fit-bits and other exercise gadgets use.

It can be worn like a wrist watch, straight out of the package. Or, if you prefer not to let your nerd flag fly at work or what have you, you can detach the strap and carry the tiny device somewhere more discreet, such as a pocket or purse. When worn, it is a fun way to identify yourself to other trainers that may want to battle with you.

What Does It Do?

Visually, it basically looks like a Pokeball that has been stretched into a teardrop shape. The circle in the center of the Pokeball is an LED light display which changes color in coordination with vibration patterns in order to convey different alerts to trainers while they are out and about. These different patterns of light and vibration alert Pokemon GO trainers to nearby Poke Stops; or wild Pokemon that are nearby; without the player having to walk around with their eyes constantly glued to their smart phone. Below is a simple breakdown of the different in-game alerts-

  • Green flash with single vibration- A Pokemon is nearby
  • Yellow flash with single vibration- A previously uncaught Pokemon is nearby
  • Blue flash with single vibration- A Poke Stop is within range

If either of the first two occur, you can push the single function button on the Plus to attempt to catch the wild Pokemon. If the third occurs, pressing the button will pick up any items that are at the Poke Stop.

  • Strobing white flashes with vibration- A Pokemon that you have tried to capture is within the Pokeball; and as in the traditional video games, they will either remain caught or break free after a few seconds
  • Strobing multicolored flashes with vibration- Depending upon which action you’ve just taken, it means that you’ve either caught a Pokemon or successfully received an item
  • Pulsing red light with 3 vibrations- A Pokemon has escaped your attempt to catch them
  • Red flash with vibration- A problem has occurred with either your connection, your in-game item or Pokemon storage may be full, or you may be out of Pokeballs.

To Buy or Not to Buy – That is the Question

If you’re a serious Pokemon enthusiast that enjoys playing the Pokemon GO game, stop denying the inevitable and just buy the companion accessory now. You’ll probably cave eventually either way, and you might as well start enjoying the benefits sooner than later.

You’ll enjoy the bonus features like picking up more candy for you and your Buddy; as well as the ability to walk around and be playing practically hands-free. The added bonus that you won’t accidentally fall down a flight of stairs or get flattened by a large truck while watching the Pokemon GO map as you walk, doesn’t hurt either.