Augmented reality (AR) existed way before the launch of Niantic Labs’ Pokémon GO – the studio’s first AR title was Ingress – but the creature capturing videogame can be honoured with the title of being the first to capture the imaginations of a worldwide audience. The actual AR feature in Pokémon GO is fairly basic however, literally placing a cartoon character in the real world yet you can’t exactly walk any closer to it or move around it. That’s set to change however with a new update exclusively for Apple’s iPhone called AR+.
The new AR+ feature builds on core AR gameplay in Pokémon GO and leverages Apple’s ARKit framework to enhance the visuals and dynamics of catching Pokémon in the real world.
Thanks to ARKit implementation, users activate the new AR+ feature in encounter mode, enabling individual Pokémon to be more accurately positioned based on their surroundings and environment thanks to the six degrees of freedom (6DoF) the software provides. By utilising ARKit’s 3D AR scaling, a Pokémon’s size will be more accurately based on the world around them, changing in perspective and size as Trainers move closer or further away.
Because of this encounters will provide Trainers with more ways to catch Pokémon. Trainers will have the option get closer to a Pokémon to receive a special capture bonus, but Pokémon are aware of the physical proximity of Trainers, so they must approach carefully as they may flee if a person comes too close too quickly. If it does, you can try tapping on the tall grass nearby, which may cause the Pokémon to reappear and give you an additional chance to catch it.
Getting closer to a Pokémon using AR+ has unique gameplay benefits, including being awarded the new Expert Handler bonus, which provides more XP and Stardust as well as a better chance at earning Great and Excellent Throw bonuses.
The update will be available soon, to make use of the feature you’ll need to be running iOS 11 on iPhone 6s and newer models. As Niantic Labs continue to improve Pokémon GO, VRFocus will keep you updated on the latest announcements.