In the spirit of Poke Assistant (PA) and getting the most out of your game time, this article looks at real-world items to enhance your gameplay. Whether you are a new Pokemon Go player or seasoned Ingress veteran, mobile AR gaming has its own set of good value and elite accessory options.
Items are split into two groups, recommended gear and frivolous fun. The PA team recommends items because we own them, love them, and have researched them for hundreds of hours. We will keep this list updated. If you think there are better options than what we’ve suggested, drop a comment on this reddit thread or up-vote some else’s idea.
There are a lot of battery options out there but it’s hard to go past Anker for quality at a great price. The Powercore 5000 would be an excellent mix of portable and powerful for most trainers. It puts out energy at 2 Amps, much faster than the older 1 Amp models, and carries 2 full charges for most phones.
Micro USB ports are not the most durable connections in the world and being on the move playing Pokemon enhances the risk of damage to an Android user's port. Regardless of your portable charger choice, we’d recommend getting the energy in quickly and going cable free again as soon as possible.
A runner up would be the Goal Zero Flip 20, also putting out power quickly. It is smaller, but with the added bonus of not needing a separate cable to charge via its flip mechanism.
If these options are too small, and you have the climate, why not go infinite. Goal Zero has been around delivering infinite energy to hikers for years, and now a new breed of urban adventurers can make use of their wares. The Nomad 7 is small enough for your backpack but still puts out 7 watts. With portable power panels, it is useful to pair them with a battery. The panels won’t always put out their full wattage depending on your orientation and weather. But if you sandwich a battery between them and your phone, the battery will always trickle charge and you can drink quickly from a 2 Amp (10 Watt) battery any time.
At the other end of the weather spectrum are gloves. Given Pokemon Go’s age, many players may be yet to learn the pain of playing a mobile GPS game in a harsh winter. You’ll need gloves to keep your hands warm, but you still want to have your phone’s screen register your touches. Enter Glider Gloves, well reviewed and appreciated for years. They did come out with custom gloves for the two teams in Ingress, so we’ll probably see some Pokemon team emblems as well.
If you are the kind of user that has survived with a plastic screen protector on their phone for some time, Pokemon Go is the reason to change. A decent glass protector can be much better than plastic in maintaining low, consistent friction (whilst protecting your phone). Low and consistent friction is valuable whether you are throwing curveballs at Golbat or glyphing in Ingress, so consider making the investment. A lot of glass is oversold, you don’t need to pay $40 to get a great experience.
Don't believe any of the 8H or 9H hardness lies. It's just glass. They all scratch at around 7 hardness. Go cheap and if it scratches and breaks on a big fall, be happy it only cost a couple bucks.
There’s a bit of grumbling in the community of the apparent speed limit of 15(ish)km/h for egg hatching. Whether we see an increase in this or not, biking is still a great way to get around the Pokemon Go world.
Bike mounts can be difficult to recommend, we prefer recommending universal mounts that do a good job for most phones and don’t require you to take a case off. Quality is important, there’s more than a few horror stories out there of bike mount plastic aging and snapping off at the perfectly worst time (crossing a river). Levin's Universal Mount is a favourite for us.
If you have been ignoring bluetooth headphones for years, you are not alone. Technology has however finally reached a level where we can really recommend them. It’s great walking along with your phone down in battery-saver mode but still hearing when a Poke Stop comes into range. No cables dangling awkwardly out of your phone’s ports. Jaybird X2’s are the top of line right now in terms of low weight, great fit, great sound quality and a battery life that actually reaches 8 hours. A tier below in sound quality, but far better value are the SoundPEATS Bluetooth Headphones.
Another piece of kit loved by hikers and now applicable for GPS gamers is a healthy supply of water. Backpacks with bladders don't just carry a lot of water (usually 3 liters) but they also carry it in an ergonomic way, sitting the weight on your hips. The most beneficial effect is how easily it is accessed. You're much more likely to drink small amounts, more frequently when you don't have to wrestle for a water bottle. A lesser known bonus is that the water is insulated within the bag, warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Which bag you get is up to you. We've used an loved Camelbak for many years now and can wholeheartedly recommend something like the Camelbak Rim Runner. You don't need something as large, and which particular bladder bag is up to your taste, but newer tech like magnetic clip holders for the mouthpiece are desirable improvements.
Once you've got good kit, you should look after it. Ampere is an excellent App for keeping an eye on your phone’s battery heat and power draw. It is Android only, this information is not available in iOS. Upon first install, we recommend going through and testing all of your cables and chargers to weed out the ones that are faulty and not delivering the power they should. Why have a cable hanging out of your phone the whole day gaming when you could have had a quality cable for half the day instead.
The power read-out in Ampere is net of what the phone is burning, so put it into flight mode, close everything and test each cable and charger you own. Every modern charger and cable should be putting out close to 1000mA and newer fast chargers rated at 2000mA and 2500mA should be hitting close to those figures as well.
A second value of Ampere is its heat readout. Keeping your phone’s battery at high temperatures for extended periods will cut down on its lifetime. Ampere can give you handy warnings when your temperature is creeping up too high and it might be a nice time for you and your phone to take a break in the shade. It is personal preference, but we recommend keeping the battery under 40 degrees celsius if you plan on keeping the phone for more than a year.
We prescribe the "n + 3" approach to phone cables. If "n" is the number of cables you think you want/need, then buy n + 3. We all have that friend who mysteriously forgets to give the cables back. But even if you don't associate with thieves, keep spares in you bag, jacket and car and be that player that saves someone's day. Cables and chargers are the new cigarette lighter, "got a light?".
First and foremost we recommened Amazon's own Amazon Basics Cable (iPhone). At the time of publishing it has 21,000 reviews with 4.3/5 average. It's cheap and sufficient. If you're geek-chic enough not to want the brand "amazon basics" printed on your hardware, we love and use Aukey Micro USB Charge Cables. The price is comparable to Amazon's, they're thicker, sturdier and on Micro USB offer the most satisfying and reassuring "click" on insertion. We're big fans of Aukey, honourable mention to their Quick Charge 2.0 Car Charger that has dumped energy quickly into a dying phone on the way to work/elsewhere countless times.
A collection of items we thought were amusing or interesting for Pokemon Go players. We don’t necessarily own them or recommend them. They probably won't enhance your gameplay, except maybe helping to start a conversation with fellow gamers when you make it obvious you're not texting but catching a bulbasaur.