Trainers,

our data mine of 0.87.5 is now complete, bringing a lot of new info on the table, especially in the AR department. If this update had an unofficial title, it surely would be “The AR update”, as majority of changes in the APK relate to Augmented Reality.

Update: our AR Plus guide is out. This is basically part two of this data mine. Read it.

Also, don’t go crazy when you read the article, but yes, you will probably be sneaking up to Pokemon with AR Plus.

Data mining contents:

AR Plus is coming

Hold your breath reader, things are about to go crazy.

AR Plus mode is coming soon and it’s a completely new augmented reality mode that seems to be focused around sneaking up on Pokemon. Its currently in testing at the moment and which enables deeper interaction with the Pokemon in AR. At this moment, we know quite a lot about AR Plus:

  • AR Plus comes with encounter bonuses and special mechanics. In a nutshell, it seems like you will be hiding from Pokemon and catching them using special tricks
    • Pokemon can become frightened
    • there are limited AR Plus attempts before the Pokemon flees
    • there are special AR Plus encounter values we don’t understand yet
    • there will be an in-game tutorial for using it
    • AR Plus is not exclusive to iOS or Android but…
      • but we’re unsure if it can work on Android as of the time of this writing. Niantic has been working with iOS AR Kit for a while now and AR Core (Android equivalent) is still in its infancy. We don’t expect them to release it on iOS and leave Android players with nothing – that would be silly.

The following code was found:

.ARPlusEncounterValuesProto
.get_Proximity
.set_Proximity
.get_Awareness
.set_Awareness
.set_PokemonFrightened

The proximity and awareness mechanisms are still unclear, but they seem to have a maximum and minimum and the you probably loose one attempt if you go over those values. Code excerpt about Awareness and Proximity:

.ArPlusModeEnabled
.ArCloseProximityThreshold
.ArLowAwarenessThreshold
.ArCloseProximityMultiplier
.ArAwarenessPenaltyThreshold
.ArLowAwarenessMaxMultiplier
.ArHighAwarenessMinPenaltyMultiplier
.ArPlusAttemptsUntilFleeMax
.ArPlusAttemptsUntilFleeInfinite

There’s a definite bonus for catching a Pokemon with AR Plus:

.ACTIVITY_CATCH_AR_PLUS_BONUS

The technical side of everything is also fairly interesting, showing that a wide variety of phones will be supported:

  • there are two modes: high and low fidelity
  • there is support for Experimental AR (likely ARKit)
  • there’s a lot of new code supporting this new mode

AR Plus promo image and tutorial icons are already in the APK

We’ve also found the following icons in the APK, titled as AR Plus Tutorial icons, from 0 to 2 (developers use a zero based numbering system for sequences). As far as we can tell, the feature is in testing and it is not iOS exclusive.

We believe that the tutorial describes the following steps:

  • searching for a Pokemon
  • locating a Pokemon in the bushes
  • sneaking up to the Pokemon

This image is the AR Plus feature splash image, probably used for an upcoming news announcement:


AR Kit support

Although most of our readers are already going crazy and practicing their AR Plus sneaky dance by now, there’s more. Initial AR Kit support is now in the APK, however, its far from finished as far as we can tell.

AR Kit is limited to Apple’s platform and it is not available on Android.


Holiday present icons are in the APK

The following icons were found in the APK, probably related to the upcoming Holiday event and sale:

Aside from the icons, there’s no mention of a special event in the APK, so don’t expect a medal or a new badge for this holiday season.


New Pokedex badge icons for Hoenn and Johto regions

New Hoenn Pokedex badge (comes also in silver and bronze):

New Johto Pokedex badge (comes also in silver and bronze):


Other fixes

  • A new scaling function has been implemented, called ScaleV2. Pokemon can now scale differently in various scenarios (gym lobby, gym combat, wild, raid, Pokedex). This should make things easier for Pokemon with large models
  • A new “I’m safe button” should be now available during Extreme weather conditions. Functionality unknown
  • A lot of changes to various warning and bugs that were reported post last release
  • Josh Hack

    Cool news, but when did Niantic actually announce this update? Isn’t that their job?

    • Truther

      The updates are announced when the features are ready for prime time, not during development.
      A data mine looks for things (hidden) in development to leak the info to the masses

    • As @disqus_dEUlOkldad:disqus said, data mines are here to reveal hidden things, not official announcements.

  • T.Armstrong

    This would be cool, and I hope they release a video of how it will work as I am trying to wrap my head around the idea of an AR Pro apart of PoGo.

  • Robdebobrob

    “A new “I’m safe button” should be now available during Extreme weather conditions. Functionality unknown”

    If this removes the Extreme weather warnings you get ingame, it would be a great solution to level 3 and 4 weather.

  • peponzio

    Oh wow. This. This is hope. An actual AR gaming experience of Pokemon. I want to crawl up to pokemon and see them runaway and flee or face me and fight!

    Also hoping for the so called sandbox and PvP in AR. Here’s to hoping.

  • amvhate

    I think most people have android because there cheaper I am not to excited for this

    • Kai von Hagen

      im on Android because its a open plattform and not Exclusive to on Dev and Company

      • Armik Asheghian

        Sigh… there’s always one….

        • Justin Rodriguez

          Sigh… there’s always one….

  • Felipe Bauer

    Finally, an actual AR experience with pokemon. This will be really cool, though I hope you can turn it on and of. Would be really annoying having to sneak up to catch every single pidgey.

  • Christopher Andrew Moore

    this is very good and clever and all but who plays with ar on?

    • trainer exus cF

      To be fair, quite a few people use it to take pictures, but im sure this is a strategy of niantic to make people more interested in the feature. I’m really excited for it, the fact we can “sneak up on pokemon” or get bonus rewards for using the AR system after catching a pokemon is amazing

    • Neopiru Games

      I’m pretty sure they will make people use it in various conditions. Like for instance certain rare Raid Boss or very rare pokemons, or special areas designed by Niantic for events where AR will be triggered automaticaly to catch a pokemon. Then you would sneak and try to ambush it in order to catch it 🙂 that would be very challenging and funny as well

      • Christopher Andrew Moore

        Just seen the vids looks good. I’m Sceptile on it as I seriously reckon the battery drain used from ar captures gonna make it virtually impossible to play for longer then 40 minutes. Seriously drains too much battery without it.

  • Darren Ginge Freeman

    My android does not have gyroscope functionality, as such I cannot use the AR feature. It looks like I might have to upgrade my phone to continue playing to its full potential. Not ideal but what can you do

    • Michal Hušák

      The new AR mode will utilize optical tracking based on camera analyzis. It should work withaut gyroscope.

  • Michal Hušák

    The update is buggy an I expect they must stop distribution. Try to rename or delete pokemon an you will see :-(.

  • Allegra May Scott

    ugh, its not gonna force you to use it will it? i hate playing with ar on and only use it to take pictures =m=