Pokemon GO has started rolling out around the world, finally giving long time fans of the franchise an opportunity to roam the world and capture the charming little monsters. What’s the first thing you should do as a new Pokemon trainer? Buy a portable battery pack, it seems.
Some of the first players to get their hands on the long-awaited mobile game are reporting that the app, for all of its entertainment, is a real battery killer. It would appear that the cost of finally becoming a Pokemon trainer is a drained battery, though it isn’t much of a surprise that some players don’t seem to care. Also not a surprise is the fact that the game results in such heavy battery drain in the first place, since we’re combining camera usage, screen-on time, and GPS tracking into a perfect storm of battery killing features.
SlashGear’s Chris Burns, who has spent a significant amount of time with Pokemon GO, says that even though battery drain is a worry while playing, players should expect battery usage on par with other GPS-intensive apps.
“While Pokemon GO battery drain was absolutely a problem when I kept the app open at all times, it’s no worse than any other intensive GPS map-heavy app, like Google Maps,” Burns said. “Using the Pokemon GO PLUS device should alleviate all concerns for people (like myself) that want to keep the app open at all times.”
For what it’s worth, the Pokemon GO website says that battery drain is a known issue with the game, suggesting that this may be a bug instead of an inevitability. Still, even if Niantic finds a way to improve Pokemon GO‘s efficiency, it’s probably a good idea to just expect higher levels of battery drain while playing.
Also worth pointing out is the fact that Pokemon GO has a relatively easy-to-miss battery saver feature, though given the amount of hardware needed to play the game, it likely won’t result in a ton of extra battery life for those who are experiencing problems.