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How to save battery life and cut down on data usage while playing Pokémon Go

Published Jul 11th, 2016 6:30PM EDT
Pokemon Go Battery Life Data Usage
Image: Pokemon

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If you’ve spent any time playing Pokémon Go over the past week, you know that it can be a bit of a battery hog. In fact, on Sunday morning, I went to Central Park to catch a few creatures, and within two hours, my phone battery was down to under 10%. So how can you save some power without buying a battery pack?

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The easiest way is to turn on the Battery Saver mode in the menu. As discussed in our Pokémon Go quick start guide, you can tap the Poké Ball at the bottom of the screen, click Settings in the top right corner and select Battery Saver from that menu. With Battery Saver turned on, you can turn your phone upside-down (in your pocket) to dim the screen and save some precious percentage points.

If that’s not enough (and it wasn’t for me this weekend), you can also download your local city map data from Google Maps ahead of time so that the app doesn’t have to pull in the data constantly as you walk around. This was first discovered by Reddit users _killbunny_ and throwaway96388.

Here’s how to download your local map data from the Google Maps app:

  • Open Google Maps on your smartphone
  • Tap the hamburger menu button
  • Navigate to the Settings menu
  • Tap on “Offline areas”
  • Tap on the recommended “Home” region or use the “+” button in the bottom right-hand corner to select a specific area of the map.

Although the app doesn’t use up much data, this can also help lessen the amount of data it consumes as you’re running around your city catching Pokémon. This won’t be of much use to those with large data plans, but for some smartphone users, every megabyte matters, so it’s worth preloading the data.

In the end, none of this is going to double your battery life, but those extra few moments could be the difference in catching a Scyther or a Pikachu.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.