Most Pokémon Go players have likely realized by now that the new Nintendo app is a battery killer, which seems more than a little counterintuitive when you consider that it’s a game all about being untethered and exploratory. While there isn’t a way to outright eliminate Pokémon Go’s hunger for battery power, there are steps you can take to prolong your Pokémon adventures significantly. Follow some or all of the following battery saving tips and you’ll be really be able to catch ’em all (or at the very least add a ton more Pidgeys to your collection).
10. Kill The Volume
While it may be hard for some to go without hearing the familiar cries of their favorite Pokémon, do yourself a favor and play Pokémon Go on mute. It will help conserve a bit of battery power and since this is a game that regularly has you travelling outdoors to busy, noisy locations, it’s not like you’ll hear much of it anyway unless you’re playing exclusively with headphones on (more on that in a bit).
9. Close Down Background Apps
Pokémon Go is quite the data hog, so it’s a good idea to disable any apps you’re not using that may be running in the background (some common ones include streaming services such as Spotify, as well as social media apps like Facebook and Twitter). Not only will this help conserve battery life, but you’ll probably notice a performance boost in Pokémon Go itself. Personally, I was having issues with the game running properly on my phone until I remembered that there were probably a bunch of apps running in the background that were eating up system memory. Once I closed them, there was a noticeable improvement in the app’s performance. Unfortunately, this won’t help alleviate those pesky server issues …
8. Seek Out The Shade
If you want to literally save your phone’s battery from dying, you’ll want to make sure that it doesn’t overheat. Given that it’s the middle of summer and Pokémon Go is played outside most of the time, it’s doubly important to make sure that your phone isn’t being exposed to the sun for long periods of time. It may sound obvious, but the best way to do this is to stay out of the sun as much as possible because once your battery hits an ambient temperature higher than 95° F (35° C), permanent damage can occur. Plus, getting less sun exposure is good for your health as well!
The same situation applies for cold weather too, as batteries don’t do well in subzero temperatures either, but considering winter is months away here in North America, we don’t really need to worry about this yet (I can only imagine how many cases of frostbite we are going to see if Pokémon Go is still going strong next January.)
7. Turn Off AR
If you can forgo the novelty of seeing Pokémon appear in the real world through the magic of augmented reality, your battery life will increase by a decent amount. As exciting as it is to find Pokémon just hanging out in your bathroom or in the middle of a baseball stadium, turning off AR will disable the app from using your phone’s camera and thus, net you some extra battery life in the process. Simply toggle the AR slider in the top right of the capture screen off to make the act of capturing Pokémon a little less exciting, but with the added benefit of being able to capture more before your phone dies (which is what really matters, right?).
6. Download Maps
This tip is especially useful if you plan on playing in the same locations frequently. It turns out that Pokémon Go uses Google Maps’ dormant data to build the game world, meaning that it actually interacts with Google Maps as you play, even if you don’t have that app open. Thankfully, you can use this to your advantage by downloading specific offline maps. Simply open Google Maps, hit Menu > Settings > Offline Maps/Areas and hit the + symbol. This will let you download a local area map of your present location, but considering the file sizes are relatively large, you’ll want to do the download over Wi-Fi. Once this is done, Pokémon Go will start using the downloaded map instead of pulling all the GPS information from your data network. Reportedly, this will not only make the game run smoother but also give a significant bump to battery life in the process!
5. Do Less
This may seem like strange advice, but if you’re worried about battery life in Pokémon Go, try just interacting with the game less. To clarify, try to cut down on things like zooming in and out on the map, tapping your Pokémon to have them make cute noises, and tapping on points of interest on the map. All of these actions contribute to battery drain, as they cause the game to make more information requests and process more data from your phone. In other words, avoid spamming unnecessary interactions and you’ll be able to play longer.
4. Turn On “Battery Saver” Mode
If you haven’t bothered to dig around in the game’s settings yet, you may have missed Pokémon Go’s “Battery Saver” setting. If you’re looking to conserve battery power, it’s a no-brainer to turn this setting on, but what does it actually do? The game doesn’t bother to tell you, but the main benefit is that your phone’s screen will now turn off when it’s face down on a flat surface, or more importantly, in your pocket. This means that the game will remain active while in your pocket, which will make a world of difference when trying to accrue distance to hatch those pesky eggs.
Your battery will be spared a bit and more importantly, you’ll no longer have to constantly look down at your phone every few seconds while walking to see if a Pokémon is nearby. Simply plug in a pair of headphones (I know I said turn the volume off, but you can make an exception in this situation) and listen for alerts for when a Pokémon is nearby. Safety first!
3. Disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi While Away From Hotspots
It may seem pointless to disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi while playing Pokémon Go since you’ll primarily be relying on data networks while you’re out and about, but these two functions can hurt your battery more than you think. The problem is that your phone is constantly searching for access points to connect to, which drains battery power. It’s even worse when you’re in an area with a ton of Wi-Fi hotspots, as your phone will constantly be trying to connect to them. Using data may kill batteries faster than Wi-Fi alone, but you’ll actually conserve power by relying on it exclusively if you don’t plan on staying put while playing … and who really wants to do that?
2. Lower Your Screen Brightness
It goes without saying that the lower your screen brightness, the longer your phone’s battery will last, but considering your screen needs to be on at all times while playing Pokémon Go (the game doesn’t play nicely with sleep mode), this point really can’t be stressed enough. According to this Wirecutter test, an iPhone 6S will use 54% less battery at minimum brightness than it does at maximum, so there are significant benefits to playing with as low a brightness setting as possible. Unfortunately, this may not always be practical, as Pokémon Go’s focus on outdoor gaming almost requires a high brightness setting in order to actually see anything on your phone’s screen. Hey, all the more reason to seek out shaded areas, right?
1. Get An External Battery Pack
When one battery’s not cutting it, why not bring two? The truth is that even if you follow all of the above tips, your phone’s battery isn’t going to survive a day’s worth of Pokémon tracking. Having an external battery pack will allow you effectively double your playtime while also giving you peace of mind in cases where you encounter a particularly rare Pokémon and do not want to risk having your phone crap out on you. Lifehacker recommends the Anker PowerCore 13000 but there are plenty of great, affordable options out there. Simply put, having an external battery pack on hand is the best thing you can do to increase your time with Pokémon Go and cut down on the need to constantly recharge.