Pokémon Go isn’t like other mobile games. In order to be the very best, Trainers need to know how to throw Poké Balls, catch the rarest Pokémon, and battle at gyms — and they have to do all of this while tearing up the streets in real life, walking miles around your city to hit Pokéstops. And every Trainer who’s caught Pokéfever this week knows that no amount of enthusiasm can resurrect your Pokémon adventure if your phone dies in the middle of a battle or you reach your data cap.
Small businesses, advertisers, and fast food chains are already in search of ways to capitalize on the popularity of Pokémon Go, but there’s a whole new industry of gadgets, gear, and data plans that have sprung up to physically help trainers on their real-world journey.
If you’re just a casual player, a simple smartphone will do, but for the hardcore gamers out there, here is the ultimate Pokémon Go gadget setup for your adventures.
The Best Smartphone
The game works on any Android or iOS device, but you’re not just any player — you need the best. There are pretty much just two qualities to look for here: battery life and durability.
To maximize both, the LG G5 Android smartphone with a Mophie battery case is probably your best bet. The regular battery in the G5 will get you a pretty typical day and a half on normal usage, so if you’re playing Pokémon Go all day, let’s go ahead and assume that time is cut down by two-thirds (which is a conservative estimate). That leaves you with less than 12 hours of battery life, and if you’re calling, texting, or doing anything else on your phone, it’s going to be shorter than that.
Thankfully, this phone offers a lot of backup options to compensate. The battery is removable so you can go from 0 to 100 percent charge in seconds by carrying around multiple battery packs. The G5 also has a quick charging feature that should bring you to 100 percent in an hour (if you were to stop playing Pokémon Go that is), and the Mophie pack will give you extra battery time plus protection from clumsy falls.
It’s not the prettiest phone, and the gimmicky module system can be annoying, but if all you care about is a constantly charged phone it’s hard to imagine a better setup, and you don’t have to have dorky cords coming out of your pockets from mobile charging packs.
The Right Data Package
On Thursday, T-Mobile announced that starting Tuesday, customers will receive unlimited data while using Pokémon Go for the next year. So there’s no worry about trying to find free wifi access or concern that you’ll go over those data caps.
T-Mobile is also offering free Lyft rides up to $15 to get to a new PokéStop or Gym, a free Wendy’s Frosty for a snack between battles, and 50 percent off select accessories.
Still, T-Mobile’s service isn’t exactly known for being the most reliable, so don’t get sucked in by all the corporate treats. If you live in a major city there should be no problem, but for others, especially in rural areas those significant perks won’t be enough to compensate for a lack of GPS signal.
Verizon, while the most expensive, is still king in coverage for most areas. Still, all the networks’ coverage varies so be sure to research which plan works best for your area. Verizon tells Inverse users can cut down on data usage by disabling app notifications, closing extraneous apps, and setting up usage alerts.
The LG G5 and Mophie setup should work for day trips, but maybe you’re going on a real bender to find a Mewtwo someone reported seeing on the other side of the country (this hasn’t happened yet, as far as we know). For that kind of trip, you’ll need to recharge those extra batteries without stopping game play — something that’s just not an option for full-on Pokéaddicts.
Get a charging cradle for each external battery pack, then buy this insane battery box from LuxA2 that packs 41,600 milliampere-hours of charge, toss it in a backpack, and make sure to swap out each external battery as it dies. Since each removable battery contains 3,000 mAh of charge, that brick should be able to juice up 13 batteries before the block itself needs a recharge.
For all of that extra battery power, it’ll cost you upwards of $212, but that’s not so bad considering people are paying $1,000 for Pokémon Go bracelets.
Pokémon Go Pro Wristband
If you preordered in time, the Pokémon Go Pro wristband is a far more practical wearable accessory than a $1000 bracelet. It buzzes when Pokémon are nearby so you can look around instead of being buried in your phone all day.
If you’re not in the lucky minority that got in on the preorder, the wristband is going to cost you. The $35 wristband is selling regularly for $200 or more on eBay, so it might just be worth it to buy a smartwatch instead and wait for a compatible app to come out, like Niantic did for its previous game Ingress.
Like the original games, bikes are one of the most efficient ways to get around. It cuts down travel time between gyms and Pokéstops, and helps you rack up the miles to hatch eggs quicker. Unfortunately, the app has a speed limit, which stops people from just hatching eggs in their cars — online tests put the limit somewhere between 10 and 20 miles per hour, with most estimates on the lower end of that spectrum. Many users are hoping that Niantic will increase the speed limit for cyclists, but so far, you’ll have to pedal slow.
Even so, if you’re not looking for a workout (pedaling is hard, we know), you can maximize your Go and minimize effort with the electric-assisted VanMoof Electrified S. Sure, it’ll cost you $3,000, but if you run it below its 20 miles per hour speed cap it should be everything you need to cover the most ground possible. It’s only electric assist, not fully motorized, so you’ll still have to pedal, but it’ll be much easier to get around. And if it runs out of battery, the bike also allows you to pedal unassisted like, you know, a normal bike.
But be safe, kids, don’t ride and play — make sure you pull over and stop the bike before tossin’ ‘balls.
Pull Out The Old iPod
Players can go into settings and turn off in-game music and sound effects so that streamed media can still play over the game. But I’ve found that on Android at least, it causes even more in game glitches and crashes, as well as sucking battery even faster. It might be a better option to break out that old iPod you have laying around the house and jamming out to whatever you had on there in 2010 or whenever you last used it.
You know you’re the very best like no one ever was, but everyone else should know it too. There is a trainer store through the Pokémon Go shop, as well as the Pokémon Center, both of which offer a wide range of apparel, backpacks, and plush toys.
But realistically, all you want and need is that sick Ash Ketchum hat. Thankfully you can find the iconic trucker cap in a ton of major retailers including Walmart and Amazon. Go forth and catch ‘em all!