Pokémon Go has received a substantial update on Android that allows select high-end Android phones to use AR+, the game’s advanced augmented reality mode.
Niantic, the title’s developer, has been iterating on the game’s augmented reality technology since its launch. AR+ first released on iOS back in 2017, though it’s taken about a year for the feature to migrate to Android.
To get AR+ mode first make sure your Android device supports Google’s ARCore. If it does, navigate over to the Google Play Store to download the ARCore app. If you have the Pokémon Go update, a supported phone and ARCore installed, you should then be good to go.
The update makes the world of Pokémon Go feel alive, if you play with augmented reality turned on. The Pocket Monsters stand on the ground more realistically and scale in size to match the real world.
Players can even move closer to the Pokémon they’re trying to catch to get the Expert Handler XP and Stardust Bonus. When a Pokémon appears in AR+, it’s marked with an Awareness Meter. If the meter fills up, it means the Pocket Monster’s noticed you, and it might get spooked and flee.
To get the bonus you need to catch the Pokémon without it noticing you. Moving slowly and using Nabnab Berries can help increase your chances of catching the monster. If the Pokémon flees, you can stand still and look around inside of AR+ mode to have a chance of finding it hiding in nearby grass.
The update still doesn’t make the game as realistic as the Project Occlusion, but it is a step in the right direction for Android players.