In Pokémon GO, players catch various Pokémon, evolve them using candies, and power-up them in order to take control of Gyms for their chosen team. These Pokémon are mapped to locations in the real world using GPS technology. PokéStops located at various real-world landmarks aid in this by distributing items for use in catching and battling with Pokémon.
- Main article: Map View
The Map View is essentially the main screen of the game; following the initial loading screen. Most of the game elements are accessible from this screen.
The Main Menu of the game is accessible from Map View and allows player to enter such game elements, as: collection of Pokémon and their eggs, in-game Shop, Pokédex and bag with Items. It also lets player to go to Settings Screen or check out Tips and News on the game.
Trainer setup (also called Intro or Tutorial) is the part of the game, where Professor Willow introduces himself and shows beginner players the basic game mechanics and elements. In this part of the game Trainers select their Starter Pokémon and nicknames.
Below there is the full list of major game elements and mechanics in Pokémon GO.
- Pokémon-related resources
- Map View
- Daily Bonus
- Research tasks
- GO Snapshot
- Today View
- Pokémon Nests
Despite social media channels, creators of the game inform players about updates and news about events and releases of new Pokémon within the game itself with News module. It has been introduced to the game after main release of Johto-region Pokémon in February, 2017 and later reworked to display more than one new update at time in early February, 2018.
Publisher information screen
- Main article: Pokémon GO/Loading screens
The loading screen (or splash screen) is the first thing players see while logging into the game—following the developer and publisher information screens.  It is changed from time to time and may represent newly added game feature or ongoing event.
As of December 2016, there are 3 distinct ways that Niantic posts limits on how fast you may travel:
- If you exceed the speed limit, it zeroes out any progress you have made in the last time window. This speed limit is 17.8 km per hour.
- The max distance per minute you may travel is 175m. This translates to a top sustained speed of 10.46 km per hour.
- Any disruption to the game may discard any progress you have made in the last time window. Disruptions include losing GPS signal, getting a phone call, switching apps, the game crashing, losing your wireless connection, and other disruptions.
Screen top notices
- Main article: AR+
- Pokémon GO Plus – small device that allows players to capture Pokémon while on the move without having to interact with their phone. The device connects to the player's smartphone wirelessly using Bluetooth LE. The device notifies the player about events in the game — such as nearby Pokémon.
- Poké Ball Plus – small device that operates similarly to the Pokémon GO Plus. It is also controller for the Pokémon Let's Go games.
- Pokémon GO Plus+ – unreleased version of Pokémon GO Plus with similar features. Additionally it will gather and transfer sleep data to the Pokémon Sleep app.
- Main article: Pokémon GO/Easter Eggs
Release and development
The game first announcement is date for September, 2015, then the game was released in July, 2016 and is under ongoing development up to day.
Game announcement and press releases
Game was firstly announced on September 9th, 2015, the project Pokémon GO was announced by Niantic Labs, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company. At the same time the initial trailer of the game was released.
Following questions were answered during the press conference with Niantic and Nintendo.
Q: How are Pokémon going to appear and how are you going to catch them, game mechanics-wise?
A: So, I’m not so sure how many people here have played Ingress and the [main series] Pokémon games, but if there are anyone in the audience who’ve played both games, you might get a better idea of what it’s like. On your mobile device you’ll have a map, and on that map Pokémon will appear. You’ll go there, you’ll encounter them, and you’ll try to catch them. Whether you’re able to do that or not — there’s a variety of factors. And then of course you can use those Pokémon to battle other players. It’s very similar to the concepts that were shown in the trailer.
Q: Won’t this game compete with the traditional games?
A: This is obviously something we discussed in great length with Nintendo, and we needed to make sure the games won’t cannibalize one another — to use one expression. So after a long discussion, we found a way to make this game fit with smartphones, which so many people have. At the same time, have it so its not competing or cannibalize the sales of the traditional games, but rather augmenting and putting strength into those sales as well.
Q: Will this be Free-to-play or pay to download?
A: The business model is called “Free-to-start.” You can download the app for free, and there will be purchases available in the app.
Q: What Languages or regions will this be available for?
A: In terms of regions, we’re planning on a world-wide release of the game. As far as languages, the main games support a wide-range of languages already. We’re working to include as many languages as we can.
Q: So in terms of where the Pokémon are going to appear in the world, is that mainly going to be based off of what Ingress uses? For example, in Ingress you’ll get [unclear] where a lot of people show up, but also have certain in-game stuff on the tip of Mt. Fuji. But considering this game is going to be played by kids as well, will there be attention to where people go? Will there be water Pokémon near the water, for example? What are you planning for that?
A: So first, that was one of the biggest topics we discussed at length when we first started this project. Where would Pokémon appear, where will we have people go? Of course there are issues where we don’t want people going into traffic, for example. So this is something we considered very heavily when developing the game. Ingress has been going on for quite some time now. I think people have been playing for 3 years now, and it’s definitely shown a lot of results. We have a lot of data and learning that we’ve gotten from Ninantic that we were really able to use to come up with ideas—ways to place the Pokémon, ways to use the data from Ingress, in a way that’s safe for the players.
Q: Are Pokémon GO and Ingress going to be a separate world from one another? Will Pokémon GO affect the world of Ingress?
A: It’s its own independent world. But we expect the communities to do things together, and for many people in the Ingress community to embrace this game as well. But they are separate worlds.
Q: I saw a lot in the video about catching Pokémon, but how is the battling of the game going to work?
A: So in terms of how the battles are going to work… In Ingress, there are Portals a player can either defend or attack. In this game, I can’t say very much, but imagine that these portals are instead a secret base or perhaps there is Pokémon there — and maybe there is some reason to battle them.
Q: Pokémon is known quite a bit for raising and training Pokémon as well. Is there going to be any of these elements in Pokémon GO?
A: In terms of, for example, Pokémon trading. That’s something we really put a lot of care into all of our Pokémon games. In the video, you saw a little of that came out as well. We’re trying to envision what players will want to do in the game, and considering this game [unclear] connected to a server, we’re hard at work coming up with ideas on how to facilitate that best.
Q: You mentioned a few times in the conference that the late Mr. Iwata was involved in this project. What do you think his thoughts of this project were, in your words?
A: So in our discussions of how Pokémon could really work on smartphones and mobile devices, one of the things that always came up is that we needed to do a new type of gameplay that had never been done before. And I think we really found that with this project. This may sound pretentious, but by adding this element of the location based data to the gameplay of Pokémon really will take it to a new dimension and the next level. And I think this will be a new stage for games.
Q: You mentioned there will be in-app purchases, which we’ve seen in a lot of games. Players with more economic power—players with more money—are able to spend their way to be able to win. How are you planning on tackling [in-app purchases] and what sorts of in-app purchases are you going to offer?
A: So this is actually one of the things we’re most hotly debating at this moment. Of course, the direction that we’re trying to take is the model in which players—we’ll have a lot of players making purchases but they don’t have to spend a lot. That’s what we’re trying to do, instead of focusing on a small group buying a lot. So I’m not able to speak to any of the specifics right here and now, but the main idea is… well, there are games out there that focus on getting a lot of money from a very small group. I can say that we’re trying to do the very opposite of that. That’s the direction we’re trying to take.
Q: For the Pokémon GO Plus, what price-point are you guys thinking of offering? My other question is, how big of difference will there be between players who play with the Pokémon GO Plus and players who just play on their smartphones? What other functionality does it offer?
A: So in terms of the price-point, I obviously can’t say the exact number right now, but we’re hard at work with Nintendo trying to offer it at a price that people find attractive. To your question of the difference between players who have it and players who don’t: right now we’re not planning on implementing a ton of extra functionality, so there’s not going to be a massive difference in what you can do with the device and without. Of course we really want to make a product that players who have it will feel like they are getting an added benefit. But at the same time we don’t want to make players without it feel like they are missing out dramatically on something.
The description said: "Attendees will get a first-hand, in-depth look at how players are interacting and exploring the world with one another through Pokemon GO, the collaborative approach to design and development for the game and the next evolution of augmented reality and real-world mobile gameplay experiences.".
Unfortunately this was cancelled on March 3rd, 2016, with the following explanation: "We have decided to forego our GDC talk on Pokemon Go in order to focus on getting the product ready for beta test and launch. As much as we hate to disappoint those in the industry attending GDC, we feel our time and energy right now are best spent on making sure every aspect of the product is where we want it to be." 
Closed beta release
The game went into closed beta release. It was released for a field test in a different countries around the world.
On June 16th, 2016, the game was showcased by Nintendo at Electronic Entertainment Expo 2016. The game interface during the showcase was different than the one seen with the game official release, mainly regarding Map View and Pokémon encounter screen.
During the field testing of the game there were several version updates released for testers. Between the first closed-beta game version and the first public game version, there were diametrical changes to an UI and UX of the game as well as for some other game features such as initially planned "crystal shards" which were replaced with candy and stardust.
The closed beta finished on June 30th for all locations.
Official game release and availability
Pokémon GO first launched on July 6th, 2016 in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. Due to server issues further releases to other countries were delated.
At this time, Pokémon GO has been released in all countries with access to the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, except for Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, mainland China, Tunisia, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon, the Congo, Angola, and Zimbabwe.
The game was released in following countries:
- July 6th, 2016 - Released in Australia, New Zealand and the USA. 
- July 13th, 2016 - Released in Germany. 
- July 14th, 2016 - Released in the United Kingdom. 
- July 15th, 2016 - Released in Italy, Portugal and Spain. 
- July 16th, 2016 - Released in 26 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Greenland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland. 
- July 17th, 2016 - Released in Canada. 
- July 19th, 2016 - Released in Puerto Rico. 
- July 21st, 2016 - Released in Japan. (due to technical difficulties and an increasingly unhappy consumer base, Niantic released a video statement) 
- July 24th, 2016 - Released in France. 
- July 25th, 2016 - Released in Hong Kong. 
- August 3rd, 2016 - Released in the Latin America countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay and Venezuela. 
- August 5th, 2016 - Released in countries and regions across Asia and Oceania: Aruba, Brunei, Cambodia, Curaçao, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, Turks and Caicos Islands and Vietnam. 
- September 29th, 2016 - Released in Albania, Bosnia and Herezgovina, Macau, Macedonia and Serbia. 
- September 30th, 2016 - Released in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. 
- October 4th, 2016 - Released in Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maruitania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda and Zambia. 
- November 17th, 2016 - Released in Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. 
- December 13th, 2016 - Released in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 
- January 24th, 2017 - Released in South Korea. 
- September 11th, 2018 - Released in Russia. 
- Main article: List of game updates
Just like many other online games these days, Pokémon GO, since the release of the game had numerous updates both client side - updates of game client on players' mobile devices and server side - updates of available content such as Pokémon, events and eggs.
- Main article: Pokémon GO/Technical Issues
In game there were and still are several glitches, bug and issues. Most of them have gone down in history but there are also several known issues, that the game creators are currently working on.
- Main article: Regions
Unlike most of Pokémon games, Pokémon GO is not a part of any particular generation. The whole game is consistent and publishers after releasing new Pokémon to the gameplay, they use term regions, as for example "Pokémon originally discovered in Hoenn region" or "Pokémon known from Johto region".
In original Pokémon games, regions were an organized areas of the Pokémon world known from previous games about Pokémon such as games from core series. In Pokémon GO there are currently only five regions referred, which are Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh and Alola.
- Main article: Events
There have been various events in game that had positive impact to the gameplay. During events certain features of the game were changed to grant players with extra bonuses such as double amount of gained candies, XP and stardust. First, historical event in Pokémon GO was Halloween event in 2016.
There were several reoccurring events that happened for seasonal occasions such as Eggstravaganza, Halloween or Holiday. There are also more frequent events such as Community Days and Nest migrations. Apart from seasonal events there were also unique events that happened just once.
There are few technical requirements that devices have to met to be compatible with the game. 
Devices with Android
Following requirements apply to all smartphones, "phablets" and tablets running on Android operating system:
- Android 4.4 or later;
- Preferred resolution of 720×1280 pixels (Not optimized for tablet);
- Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G);
- GPS and Location Services.
- AR+ support for various devices that are running Android 8.0 or later. See Supported Devices | ARCore | Developers for more info.
Rooted devices are not supported.
Devices with iOS
Following requirements apply to iPhones and iPads running on iOS:
- iPhone 5s or later, 
- The iPhone 5c, although newer than the iPhone 5s, is not supported;
- iOS 9.0 or later, 
- Devices need to be capable of running iOS 11 as this is the preferred OS version;
- Strong internet connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G);
- GPS and Location Services.
- AR+ support for iPhone SE or later and iPad 5th generation or later. See: iOS - Augmented Reality - Apple for more info.
Jailbroken devices are not supported.
On September 7, 2016, John Hanke revealed the Pokémon GO Apple Watch app for watchOS 3 at Apple's fall keynote event. Pokémon GO was also available for Apple Watch of Series 2 and later, that are running on watchOS.  On June 1, 2019, Niantic announced that it will be discontinuing support for Apple Watch devices after July 1st. All the supporting code for the Apple Watch was removed in version 0.147.0. Niantic's decision to drop support comes ahead of the expected unveiling of watchOS 6.
- Main article: Official Partners
- Main page: Promotional pictures
There were three cinematic style trailers of the game.
Game preview videos
Videos with announcements of game release and previews of it.
- ↑ Developer Insights: A look into Pokémon GO Loading Screens. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-12-21.
- ↑ Cancelled: Catch 'Em All: 'Pokemon GO' and Real World Gaming. Retrieved on 22 August 2016.
- ↑ Pokemon Go GDC Presentation Canceled and Here's Why. Retrieved on 22 August 2016.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, July 6). Break out the sneakers and Poké Balls!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, July 13). We are excited to announce that Pokémon GO is officially available to Trainers in Germany.. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, July 14). UK Trainers, the wait is over. Pokémon GO is now officially available to be installed from Google Play or iTunes.. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, July 15). Starting now, Trainers in Italy, Spain, and Portugal can download Pokémon GO officially from the Play Store or App Store.. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, July 16). Pokémon GO Available in Twenty-Six New Countries. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, July 17). Pokémon GO is now available in Canada! Discover and capture Pokémon all around you.. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Telemundo PR. (2016, July 19). Pokémon Go Now Available in Puerto Rico. Telemundo – Puerto Rico. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ PokemonGoApp. (2016, July 21). Pokémon GO is now available to download in Japan!. Twitter. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ PokemonGoApp. (2016, July 23). Trainers, we are proud to reveal that #PokemonGO is officially available to download in France.. Twitter. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, July 24). Pokémon GO is now available in Hong Kong! Put on your shoes, step outside, and explore the world with Pokémon GO.. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, August 3). We are excited to share more details about Pokémon GO including the launch across Latin America!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, August 5). Pokémon GO is now available in countries and regions across Asia and Oceania. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, September 29). Pokémon GO available in five new countries and regions. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, September 30). Pokémon GO available in six new countries. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, October 4). Pokémon GO available in thirty-one new countries. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, November 17). Pokémon GO available in eight new countries in the Middle East. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Niantic. (2016, December 13). Pokémon GO is now available in India and other South Asian Countries!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ PokemonGoApp. (2017, January 23). We’re excited to announce that Pokémon GO is now officially available for download in South Korea. Get up and GO!. Twitter. Retrieved on 2017-06-22.
- ↑ Pokemon Go finally available in Russia (both Google Play and Appstore). r/TheSilphRoad. Retrieved on 2018-09-19.
- ↑ Niantic, Inc. - Supported devices
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 Pokémon GO to discontinue support on Apple devices that are not capable of upgrading to iOS 11. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2018-01-10.
- ↑ Frank, A. (2016, September 7). Pokémon Go is coming to Apple Watch. Polygon. Retrieved on 2019-06-27.
- ↑ HEADS UP!. Pokémon GO Live. Retrieved on 2016-09-07.
- ↑ Discontinued support for Apple Watch. Niantic Support. Retrieved on 2019-06-27.
- ↑ Liptak, A. (2019, June 1). Niantic is discontinuing support for Pokémon Go on the Apple Watch. The Verge. Retrieved on 2019-06-27.
- ↑ Gallagher, W. (June 1, 2019). Pokemon Go drops Apple Watch support ahead of watchOS 6 unveiling. Apple Insider. Retrieved on 2019-06-27.
- Pokémon GO official support page
- FAQ on Pokémon GO official support page
- Article about Pokémon GO on Wikipedia