Trainers,

Niantic has gone ahead and announced AR Plus, a new game mode that will be initially only available on iOS 11 devices (iPhone 6) onwards. The technical reasoning is simple: AR+ uses ARKit and ARKit is only available on iOS 11.

Unfortunately, we have no information to share for Android players as of now.

The following is now confirmed for AR Plus:

  • AR Plus encounters will feature a realistic Pokémon scaling mechanism
    • Scale: With AR+, Pokémon are now fixed to a point in space, meaning you can walk up close to a Pokémon to see to how they’ll look in the real world. Imagine looking up at a massive Onix or walking around a gigantic Snorlax blocking your path! This feature brings us one step closer to truly realizing Pokémon the way they are supposed to be represented in the real world. Pokémon GO AR photos will never be the same again!
  • AR Plus encounters feature an Expert Handler bonus for careful trackers
    • “Pokémon will run away if they become aware of the Trainers getting close, so be careful. You can sneak up close to earn an Expert Handler bonus, but think twice before running right up to that Charizard!”
    • “If you’re able to catch a Pokémon while in close proximity, you’ll have a better chance at earning Great and Excellent Throw bonuses, as well as an all-new Expert Handler bonus that awards even more XP and Stardust.”

Android support not coming before AR Core releases

We don’t know how we feel about iOS and Android separation. The code base clearly states that AR Plus mechanics are a standalone feature, however, it is currently impossible to implement it on Android.

The entire Android platform is awaiting the release of AR Core, an AR framework which pretty much does the same thing as ARKit on iOS. The unfortunate truth is that AR Core is not ready yet – the latest news we’ve got dates back to December 15th, 2017, when  ARCore Developer Preview 2 had been released.

The following statement was issued by Google’s Nikhil Chandhok, a Product Manager behind ARCore:

If you’re a developer interested in AR, now’s the time to start experimenting. In the coming months, we’ll launch ARCore v1.0, with support for over 100 million devices. And soon, many augmented reality experiences will be available in the Play Store. We can’t wait to see what you create.

  • Patrick Terry Jr.

    Nice

  • niu541412

    Exciting news, and I choose to continue to disable AR

    • Camilo Maiz Ortuzar

      Jajajaja x2

    • Bellal Amerkhail

      right lol

  • Men Neke

    Great niantic, make Pokémon GO impossible to play for iPhone 5c players.😡

    • Felipe Bauer

      The AR plus thing is optional, and it is not Niantic’s fault that IPhone 5 doesn’t have ARplus

      • Susan Slomski

        Then making features that clearly give people having one type of phone over another an advantage is not fair and should not be released until all phones have the ability to run it or some other way to also get extra XP and Stardust. How would you like it if they gave only Android Kit Kat users the ability to get extra stardust and XP? Now the playing field is clearly not even and fair and seems like Niantic is in the phone selling business instead of the game.

        • Neopiru Games

          its not about software in this case

        • StenD

          Then they will never introduce new features, because there will always be functionality not available on some portion of the devices they support.

          • Susan Slomski

            Then they shouldn’t give people an advantage in the game. After all, that is what this is, a game. They can introduce it and allow it on the select few phones that run it but giving them bonus stardust and XP isn’t fair. That is clearly giving new iPhone owners an advantage that NO Android or older iphones have. Again, in the game this is an unfair advantage which is my point. Seems they went into selling new iPhones, not the game.

          • Dan

            There’s no advantage to AR+. In fact, it’s more of a disadvantage. You have to find the Pokemon in AR+ mode. You don’t with AR off.

  • Heydavid17

    I mean, seems like a nice idea, it’ll be worth giving a try =)
    Just gotta get a new phone first…

  • Charles

    Armmm so we have to now stalk The Pokémon like sneak around like stalkamon. I hope the police are well informed on this because if where not being pulled up for driving at night or questioned about why we are walking in funny places at night or even in the day now we add stalking into it. I mean I love the idea and the concept of it. Arwell we will see how it goes.

  • Nebojša Simić

    and what is with android players?

    • Tablekiller

      read the news and you know what’s with android players

    • raichu DL

      niantic is yet to say anything about AR+ getting adapted to ARcore when that launches. but i feel they don’t want this big of a device disparity to exist.
      expect android to remain with the base AR for the next few months at the latest.

  • ikato kiyazaki

    #banARplus loloololol

  • Brady Newton

    wait so is this ar+ out yet?? if it is YES!!!!!

  • T.Armstrong

    So in a way: Want the AR+ and have an iPhone 5 or android? Get a new phone. I have already done this when Pokemon GO first got released (I had an iPhone 4S) And went to a 5S instead. 5S supports iOS 11 and yet it isn’t for them? Load of BS is all I am going to say (And to think I was SUPER HYPE for this as well when I read it on here yesterday). I am only saying this from the information that is presented in this post. I can be wrong and my opinion may change, but for right now, I am starting to lose a bit of fate in this game.

    • KoenB

      Blame Apple for the AR kit not being supported on older devices. I don’t think its reasonable though you expect to get the laters features on a device three generations old.

  • News for games

    i want it on andorid

  • News for games

    🙁 but i have android and i cant do it

  • Austin Tang

    I have an iphone 7 and ios 11 but cannot find the ar plus option, only the normal ar switch. Is it not in the game yet?

    • Brady Newton

      idk thats what i want to know

      • Dan

        It just launched.

  • Dylan Thornley

    Will this work on the iPhone SE? (The iPhone SE was made later than the 6s.)

    • Dan

      The SE is the 6s inside a 5’s case. This should work on your phone.

      • Dylan Thornley

        Cheers mate.

  • Dan

    Tested the feature out. It replaces the old AR system in the phone, and will not be required to use. Definitely something that’s niche.

  • Flexifab

    Congratulations niantic !!!!! You developed this feature for less than 10% users !!!!! How many time did you spent for this useless add? …